Amy Okamoto

The reopening of the Elkhorn Valley Museum has been punctuated by two announcements: first, that former education coordinator Ashley Brown has been named the new executive director; second, that a new exhibit featuring Nebraska Regionalists will be on display beginning June 26.

The first new exhibit under Brown is “Nebraska Regionalists.” The “Nebraska Regionalists” exhibition features works on loan from the Museum on Nebraska Art. It will be displayed in EVM’s new rotating gallery.

American Regionalism is a realist art movement that emerged in the 1930s. The regionalism movement largely depicted realistic scenes of life in rural and small-town Midwest.

Iowan Grant Wood’s iconic “American Gothic” is a famous example of American Regionalism. Much of the regionalism movement was led by Midwest artists, including Wood, Thomas Hart Benton (Missouri), John Steuart Curry of Kansas and Dale Nichols of David City. Nichols was well known for his idyllic winter farm scene paintings. Nebraska artist Aaron Pyle was a student of Benton and adopted his rhythmic style for his paintings of western life. Pyle’s work was frequently spotlighted by the Omaha World Herald.

The EVM exhibit will focus primarily on works by Benton, Pyle, Nichols and Kady Faulkner. Faulkner was a long-time instructor at the University of Nebraska and a key member of several art societies, including the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors.

Though not a native Nebraskan, during her time here she worked in the regionalist style. Her 1939 mural for the Valentine post office remains there to this day.

The Nebraska Regionalist exhibit opens on Friday, June 26. The EVM is observing new hours and practices. As of this week, the museum is open for visitors Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call ahead in order to maintain a safe number of visitors to the museum. Staff will be in the office Tuesday through Saturday to receive your calls. All guests need to wear a facemask. Should you forget yours, the EVM has masks available.

The Nebraska Regionalist exhibit will be on display through Sep. 26.

In other news

Rats can drive cars. Not your car or my car. (Their legs really wouldn’t reach the pedals, after all.) Rather, researchers have created tiny cars just for their lab rats and certain experiments and have taught the little critters how to drive.

This year’s Madison County Fair continued Wednesday with the 4-H rabbit show in the morning and poultry show in the afternoon, and an important takeaway from Wednesday’s shows was the educational experience.