Four Hastings College students win prizes at art show

Hastings College students took 32 art pieces to the 2019 Nebraska Independent College Foundation (NICF)/O’Keefe Elevator Company Art Show — and played an integral role in producing the show, which had a total of 117 entries from independent colleges across Nebraska.

Students in a gallery hanging art for a show.
Turner McGehee (right/center), professor of art, and students work on hanging the show at the 2019 Nebraska Independent College Foundation (NICF)/O’Keefe Elevator Company gallery.

Three outside jurors judged the show and awarded four Hastings College students four of the eleven prizes, the most prizes of any other school in the show.

Hastings College prize winners include:

  • Mary F. Ware of Leroy, Michigan, won 1st place in the 3D category and received $300 for her mixed media piece titled “Peanut.”
  • Morgan Stromer of Bladen, Nebraska, received 2nd place in the 3D category and was awarded $200 for her fabric sculpture titled “Neptune’s Throne.”
  • Jordan Ismaiel, a sophomore from Hastings, Nebraska, received 3rd place in the 2D category and was awarded $150 for his oil painting titled “Self Portrait #4.”
  • Melissa Loney, a junior from Omaha, Nebraska, received an honorable mention in the 2D category and was awarded $50 for her silkscreen print titled “Dissolve.”

Two Hastings College students also sold pieces at the show. Thomas Burdette of Denver, Colorado, sold his ceramic piece titled “Tumbler 1,” and Lauren Feden of Papillion, Nebraska, sold her etching titled “Cabin Vibes.”

The annual competitive undergraduate art exhibition is housed in the O’Keefe Elevator Company gallery in The Old Market in Omaha. As in past years, the O’Keefe Elevator Company donated the gallery space and $2,000 in prize money for the student artists. The outside jurors were Holly McAdams-Olson of the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Joel Damon of Project Project and Paige Reitz of the Union for Contemporary Art.

For the third year in a row, Hastings College art professor Turner McGehee and Hastings College students organized the gallery show.

“Giving students the opportunity to put a gallery together and display their own work in the process is a wonderful opportunity to learn and gain new experiences,” McGehee said. “It’s a gracious honor for me and the students to continue to have the privilege to hang the show.”

Hastings College is a private, four-year institution located in Hastings, Nebraska, that focuses on student academic and extracurricular achievement. Hastings College has been named among “Great Schools, Great Prices” by U.S. News & World Report and a “Best in the Midwest” by The Princeton Review. For more, go to

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