Artist INC Live Omaha Peer Facilitators

Susan Knight, a Nebraska-based paper artist has exhibited at The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art (Omaha), The Sheldon Art Museum (Lincoln), The Museum of Nebraska Art (Kearney) and Creighton University (Omaha) and is currently featured in Fiber at Kaneko Open Space for Your Mind.  Internationally, she has shown in Canada, China, Ireland and Italy.  Among her honors, Knight is a recipient of a Nebraska Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship.  In 2013 she was chosen by The Colorado Art Ranch and The Nature Conservancy for a “Land/Water” residency at Carpenter Ranch, Hayden, CO and awarded artist residencies at Ragdale, Lake Forest, Illinois in 1997 and 2009 and at the International School of Art, Montecastello di Vibio, Italy, in 1999.  Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, she earned a BFA in art from Saint Mary College, Notre Dame, Indiana, and attended The University of Notre Dame, The Glassell School of Art, Houston, and The School of the Chicago Art Institute.

Ellen Struve is an Omaha-based playwright. Her play Prince Max's Trewly Awful Trip to the Desolat Interior was selected for the 2015 PlayPenn Playwrights' Conference and presented at GPTC PlayFest at Joslyn Art Museum and will have its premiere in 2017 at Red Theatre in Chicago,IL. She is a Nebraska Arts Council Individual Artist Fellow, a WhyArts resident artist and serves on the board of Shelterbelt Theatre. In 2017 she will be playwright-in-residence at Creighton University working on The Dairy Maid-Right and The Octopus Play. She has degrees from University of Iowa and School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Bart Vargas is from Bellevue, Nebraska. He received his BFA from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and his MFA at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, and his work can be found in many collections throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. His works have also been featured in many publications including Sculpture magazine, New American Paintings, and HGTV Magazine. Vargas is currently a member of the
full time Art Faculty at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.


Winner of the 2011 Nebraska Book Award for Poetry for her debut collection, Cradling Monsoons as well as the 2014 Nebraska Book Award for Poetry Anthology, Sarah McKinstry-Brown studied poetry at The University of Nebraska under the tutelage of Missouri’s Poet Laureate, William Trowbridge. She’s been published everywhere from West Virginia’s standardized tests to literary journals such as South Dakota Review and Ruminate. Published in a number of poetry slam anthologies, her poems are featured alongside Poet Laureates Billy Collins and Ted Kooser in The Spoken Word Revolution Redux. McKinstry-Brown, a Teaching Artist for the Lied center for Performing Arts, teaches performing and writing workshops in schools, libraries, lockdown facilities, nursing homes, colleges, universities, and everywhere in-between. When she’s not reading or teaching, you can find Sarah in Omaha with her husband, the poet Matt Mason, and their two beautiful, feisty daughters. 

Watie White was born in 1971 to a family of Itinerant cultural Anthropologists in Palo Alto, CA.  Eventually settling in rural Southern Illinois, he worked at the family business, Ancient Lifeways Institute until attending Carleton College (BA, 1993).  Degrees followed at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (BFA, 1999) and American University (MFA, 2003).

Currently, White is a Painter and Printmaker living in Omaha, Nebraska.  He has two adorable kids and a loving wife.

Mary Zicafoose is an award-winning textile artist known for bold color, dramatic scale and articulate process in contemporary Ikat tapestry. She also translates her powerful ethno-contemporary textile images into fine prints. She  received her BFA from St. Mary's College, Notre Dame, IN with graduate studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Nebraska. Zicafoose was a 2008 Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts resident artist, is co-director of the American Tapestry Alliance,  chairman of the board of the Omaha Union For Contemporary Art,  and former boardmember of RugMark USA and the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery.   International exhibitions include the 13th Triennial of Tapestry in Lodz, Poland, Interweaving Cultures, Museo de Textil, Oaxaca, Mexico and Peter Gray Museum, Peurto Vallarta and the collections of fifteen United States Embassies abroad. She lives, weaves and teaches from her home on the Great Plains in Omaha, NE.