Nebraska artist pays visit to Arts Council

By Theo Tate
Posted 10/14/21

Even though she’s a longtime Nebraska resident, Hannah Demma always looks forward to coming to Missouri.

“I love Missouri,” said Demma, who has family members who live outside …

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Nebraska artist pays visit to Arts Council

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Even though she’s a longtime Nebraska resident, Hannah Demma always looks forward to coming to Missouri.


“I love Missouri,” said Demma, who has family members who live outside Maryville. “They have a lot more trees than Nebraska.”

Demma was at the Show-Me-State on Oct. 7, when she made a 30-minute presentation about her journey as an artist called Hear Hannah at the Montgomery County Arts Council in Montgomery City. All of the Arts Council board members and 11 visitors attended the event.

Demma was invited to come to MCAC by her friend, Shannon Brock, who runs an arts studio at the old Oliver’s Restaurant site on Sturgeon Street. Demma also was an artist-in-resident as she stayed at the studio for six days from Oct. 4-9.

“Shannon has been helpful,” Demma said.

Brock, a 1991 Montgomery County High School graduate, first met Demma while she was doing some teaching at the University of Nebraska.

“She was very new to paper,” Brock said. “She was taking my class and working in the studio with me during regular time and then outside of time. I was so impressed with her work. I loved the color, the texture and the movement.”

Demma is an expert in printmaking. After the presentation, she and Brock made a demonstration on how to create paper at the studio.

“I can respond to paper, for sure,” Demma said. “I can do this at my home studio. I don’t need a printing press to make something every day. I’ve been using paper my whole life as I make art on paper. Paper is my main medium, but there’s so much that you can do with it. I haven’t tried sculpting with it or casting it into shapes. It’s endlessly exciting.”

Demma started taking printmaking classes when she was an undergraduate at Nebraska. She said screen printing, wood carving and linoleum carving are among the types of printmaking.

“You have to be very precise when you’re doing printmaking,” Demma said. “That is not the part that appeals to me. I’m a type B person. I’m not type A enough to print making, lining things up perfectly and planning. I’m more of an intuitive worker when it comes to all art processes.”

Demma graduated from Nebraska with a Bachelor’s degree in fine arts four years ago. She’s currently pursuing a master’s degree in fine arts at the Lincoln school.

After getting her undergraduate degree, Demma did some pet portraits and worked as a bartender. She said at first, she never planned on going to graduate school.

“Usually you have to move for it and I wasn’t interested in moving,” Demma said. “I really loved Lincoln. My whole family is there. We’re really rooted, so that wasn’t the plan for me. But the college recruited me to come and join their printmaking program. They paid for everything.”

Demma said one of her aunts got her interested in art.

“She was a professional working artist,” Demma said. “She was my first model. She did a lot of mosaic work. She was doing one for Tom Osborne, the Nebraska football coach. So she made this Husker football mosaic. It was mind blowing. She did a lot of cartooning in illustrated books.”

The artist said while she was in high school, she took art instruction at a school that used to be an old Coca-Cola bottling factory.

“That was pretty amazing,” Demma said. “I get to work all day on art. We have studio times so we could leave and take photos. I was really interested in photography then. So I was leaving and taking photos and developing my own film and working in a darkroom. I just really loved it.”

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