Nebraska is a rugged place, and from that ruggedness creativity is born. The state has always been inhabited by makers – people have been using their hands for centuries raising cattle, planting crops and molding the land that molded them. Not everyone works on the land anymore as they used to, but that history is ingrained in Nebraska’s culture and in their people. Today, Nebraska is full of creative people. Some of full time artists, others simply live creatively.

Meet Our Makers:

Patricia Scarborough
Nebraska Landscape Painter

Nebraska native Patricia Scarborough has focused on painting landscapes of the Midwest since she wound her way through Kearney State College, graduating eventually with a degree in Fine Art. Her attraction has always been to the shapes and intervals of color that describe the forms in the landscape as they drift toward the horizon. Scarborough works from her home studio, making regular forays into the countryside near her home in Geneva in pursuit of an understanding of her place in this rural environment. She exhibits regularly in solo and group shows, and was recently profiled in Nebraska Life and L-Magazine. Her oil and pastel paintings can be found in collections on several continents. Lux Center for the Arts and the Burkholder Project, both in Lincoln, Ne. exhibit her work, as does the gift Anne Thorne Weaver shop at the Museum of Nebraska Art in Kearney, Ne.

Jeanne Goetzinger
Innkeeper, Olde Main Street Inn

Jeanne was born in Chadron, NE, and lived in Denver, CO, for many years where she practiced law. She came home to take over the Olde Main Street Inn, which her mother had been running. She spins in the Longbranch Saloon, the Inn’s bar.  It forces her to sit down and calm down.  Spinning is something she does for pleasure.

Kyle Rosfeld
Bootmaker

Kyle Rosfeld is a custom boot maker in Cody, NE.  He worked many years as a ranch hand, but decided to changes careers at the end of the 20th century.  He taught himself how to make boots and has been doing it ever since.  He also delivers mail for the USPS part time.

Jane Marie
Artist

Jane Marie is an artist and a gardener who feels a deep connection with nature. Never willing to let winter put a stop to gardening, Jane started making sculptural baskets with the tail-end of a fall’s garden gleanings on a crisp afternoon just before there was sure to be a hard freeze because she wanted to have something from her garden to enjoy through the winter to tide her over until spring. Things have evolved, now Jane purposefully grows and gathers basket making materials. Jane has been a producing artist since the 1970’s. Her baskets have been accepted into national and international exhibitions such as: GoogleWorks Center for the Arts’ Inside Outside in Reading PA, Blue Door Gallery’s Fiber Plus in Yonkers NY, Wichita KS Center for the Arts’ National Fiber Direction, and Handweavers Guild of America’s internationalSmall Expressions.

Sally Jurgensmier
Metal Artist

Raised on the family farm in Central Nebraska, Sally’s roots have never strayed very far. With close family and community ties, she has remained firmly planted in thoughts of creating art from elements which surround her. Returning to the family farm, she is now committed to sculpting and creating on a full-time basis.

She rarely uses “new” metal. Found pieces from machine shops or scrap yards are her focus. Occasionally she’ll add color for a bit of “pop” and interest.

Her sculptures are intended to bring a smile to your face. She takes metal, which is thought to be cold, hard, and unattractive, and give it life, expression and personality. Each piece is unique and never mass produced. Each piece can be displayed indoors or out.

Tim Grothen
Leather Artist

Time was was born in 1960 to a typical farm family in Nebraska.  He’s worked his whole life on the family farm and took it over when his parents died.  His pride is still living in the same house that he grew up in.  In high school he enjoyed music and sports and that is where he was introduced to leather carving. In his free time  while attending the University of Nebraska, he did leather to earn a few extra dollars.  In the following years he received a little notoriety in the leather world when Tandy Leather published a few of his carving ideas on their world distribution of Doodle Pages. He also has some work displayed in the Tandy Leather Museum and Gallery in Fort Worth, Texas.  After a few years of putting his leather tools into a box while his 3 children were very busy in high school, he has gotten them out again and is rediscovering an art he didn’t realize he was missing.

Andrew Vrbas
Head Soap Maker, Pacha Soap

Andrew has founded Pacha Soap in Hastings, NE. From the beginning, Andrew designed Pacha Soap to be a for-profit social business, meaning a business that helps with a social issue. In our case, we are tackling the WASH sector (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene). Through the Raise the Bar campaign, Pacha gives a bar of soap for every bar purchased! About 4,500 children die each day from unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation facilities (UNICEF). To help solve this problem, Pacha’s Raise the Bar campaign extends to a global scale, collaborating with our international partners to promote better standards of hygiene in developing nations.

Jeremy Hansen
Glass Artist

Jeremy was born and raised in Hastings, NE.  He discovered glass blowing while attending Hastings College. He was drawn to the hands on approach of working with glass and the immediate satisfaction of finishing what you start. Jeremy is a glass blower and an artist, making functional and nonfunctional glass art. He also uses other mediums in his sculptural works.

Gregg Lemke
Preservationist

Greg was born on a farm south of Lawrenceville, NE, in 1960.  He received a degree in horticulture from NU.  He has spent 25 years working electrical generation at Hastings utilities and currently lives in Glenvil, NE. He considers himself a preservationist and steward of old and interesting things.

Ted Kooser
Poet

Ted Kooser was the 13th Poet Laureate of the United States and received the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 2005. He was born in Ames, IA, in 1939, but has lived in Nebraska for most of his life. He spent many years working as an insurance executive but is now retired and teaching half time at the University of Nebraska.