KHN resident artist, Jessica Witte, to engage community members in the creation of a large-scale temporary public art project during the 1st annual Nebraska City Community Picnic at Wildwood Park on Sunday, June 10, 2018 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Jessica Witte arrived in Nebraska City on Monday for her 2-week residency at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. No stranger to Nebraska City, Witte was awarded an 8-week KHN residency in early 2005 then returned later that year, for three months, in the role of Intern Program Director.
Witte is excited for her return and for the fortuitous timing of the 1st Annual Community Picnic that will allow her to engage a large number of community members in a new collaborative work. Utilizing wood chips and other natural materials, the community will be invited to help Witte realize a large-scale, site-specific temporary drawing in the lawn surrounding the large picnic shelter at the north end of Wildwood Park. Recognized nationally for her large-scale drawings made from natural materials that grow, shift, and alter with audience engagement, Witte’s work celebrates collaboration, labor, and change.
"Nebraska City and KHN helped form my voice as an artist. I'm looking forward to working with the locals and seeing what we can all build together in an afternoon. My work is a visual metaphor for seeing what can happen when you invite and involve others even for an hour,"said Witte.
Born in Omaha, Witte is an educator and nationally-exhibited, award-winning artist based in St. Louis, MO. In 2017, her Seed the Change public art project garnered national recognition from Americans for the Arts.  
Her multi-media work has been included in over 50 exhibitions at venues such as the San Diego Art Institute, the Textile Center (Minneapolis, MN), Museum of Nebraska Art (Kearney, NE), Rockford Art Museum (Rockford, IL), Koehline Museum of Art (Des Plaines, IL), Maas Gallery (Purchase, NY), Good Citizen Gallery (St. Louis, MO), Athens Institute of Contemporary Art (Athens, GA), WomanMade Gallery and Beverly Art Center (both Chicago, IL).
The 1st Annual Nebraska City Community Picnic has been organized by Nebraska City Tourism and Commerce and T.A.R.T.(a volunteer community group focused on Tourism, Arts, Recreation, and Trail development in conjunction with the citywide Community Prosperity Initiative). In addition to this unique participatory art project, the picnic will include free food, live music (Nebraska City Apple Corp Barbershop Chorus and The Belles-a-Peelin’ Women’s Barbershop Chorus), and ample chances to see old friends and meet some new ones. Parking is limited, bring your lawn chairs and join us in celebrating the Nebraska City Community.