By Brittany Ward
Sept. 12, 2018

For those that are unfamiliar with Lincoln’s First Friday event, one would find that galleries, bars, and coffee shops alike open up their doors at more or less the same time to showcase art and artists. Some galleries are known for featuring different artists and some are a collective that feature their own work. The Aliens, a gallery in Parrish Studios, is a collective that not only features their own art and that of guest artists but also host writers’ group, readings, a book club and even a prom.

This month, The Aliens had work by Christian Gauthier, an owner of the studio, and featured guest and first-time First Friday artist, Toni Kemerling.

“I was blessed to show my art at The Aliens, thanks to my super cool friend, Kyle Brosnihan. I work with Kyle and he asked me if I would like to show some art at his space,” said Kemerling.

Kemerling enjoys working and experimenting with a variety of mediums. She dabbles in watercolor, oil graphite, ink, ceramics, colored pencil and is open to finding more mediums to use. On Friday, you could find two of Kemerling’s favorite pieces, the skull made with white charcoal on black paper and the watercolor of her and her dad.

“I would say the watercolor because of sentimental aspect behind it. My dad meant so much to me and the painting is a reminder of his beautiful life,” said Kemerling. “On the other hand – the skull is also my favorite because of the immense time and detail I put into it. It also is a reminder that death is a part of life.”

Family is a big inspiration in Kemerling’s life. Her mom was the one to first inspire her creativity. When Kemerling was younger she would pick up rocks that intrigued her and her mom would then take them and turn them into hair clips.

“Her eccentric style rubbed off on me throughout my life and inspired me to create,” Kemerling said.

Not only was it Kemerling’s first time showing work at First Friday but it was also her first time attending.

Kemerling said, “I will say I learned so much about myself just by speaking to people who were interested in my work. Everyone was so kind and I enjoyed watching them react to my work.”

Currently, Kemerling is working on finishing an oil painting of the female form on canvas, as well as an oil painting of her cat, Nora. Nora is also very interested in helping Kemerling in the creative process, staying up late and constantly moving her pencils. Occasionally, she even makes her own masterpieces (which may be featured next time.)

This semester, Kemerling also had some of her work shown at Medici Gallery on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus. The art featured at the gallery consisted of work she created during her summer course at Cedar Point in Ogallala, NE. Currently, Kemerling is working on making an Instagram dedicated to her art; the handle will soon be found on her personal Instagram.

For more information on what’s happening at The Aliens, follow them on Facebook or reach out to Kyle Brosnihan. You can find Gauthier’s work on his Instagram.

For more on the arts in Lincoln, check out Arts on the Air (Thurs. 6 p.m.) and KZUM Podcast, Art Talk Live

Brittany Ward is an editorial intern with KZUM.