college of communication fine arts and media
Department of art and art history


Bart Vargas

Instructor, art & art history

(402) 554-3035 • Office: WFAB 326


Bart Vargas is from Bellevue, Nebraska. He received his BFA in Sculpture from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and his MFA at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, and his work can be found in many collections throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. His works have also been featured in many publications, including Sculpture Magazine, New American Paintings, and HGTV Magazine. Vargas has received many awards including a 2010 Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award from the International Sculpture Center, and the 2012 Omaha Entertainment and Arts Award for Best Visual Artist. Vargas has taught at University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Metropolitan Community College, as well as the Kent Bellows Studio.


Artist Statement

I am an object maker.

I grew up in my Father's upholstery shop. There I learned the use of tools, three-dimensional relationships, and how to explore the nature of materials. Those three sets of lessons have followed me throughout my life, education and career as a Professional Artist, as well as an Arts Educator.

As an Educator, I primarily teach three-dimensional foundations courses where I introduce and reinforce basic three-dimensional design concepts to students through sculptural exercises. Where the two-dimensional Arts are dominated by imagery and illusion, three-dimensional objects are tangible and real, they are honest, they are what they are. I remind the students that they have had a relationship to objects their whole lives, I teach them the vocabulary of objects, and empower them with the ability to make their own.

In my Artistic practice, I explore the artistic potential of trash, surplus and recyclables to build paintings, sculptures, and installations that blur the identity of these everyday materials, transforming them into playful, thought-provoking objects. I want my creations to act as artifacts and evidence of the early 21st century, and hope to do so by using materials that are no longer needed or valued in an era of limited resources and extraordinary consumption and waste.


HGTV Magazine, September 2013
Sculpture Magazine, October 2010
New American Paintings No. 89, Midwest Edition 2010
The Briar Cliff Review, Briar Cliff University 2010


REMAINS,  RNG Gallery, Council Bluffs, IA
Green Revolution,  Fontenelle Forest Nature Center, Bellevue, NE
WORDS, Moberg Gallery, Des Moines, IA
We Are All Made of Stars, Norfolk Art Center, Norfolk, NE

REDUX: Repurposed Materials, DuPont Gallery, UMW Galleries, University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA
The 1st Santorini Biennial for the Arts, Santorini of the Past Cultural Village, Santorini, Greece
Contemporary Indigeneity: The New Art of the Great Plains, The Great Plains Art Museum, Lincoln NE
7th Annual Human Rights Exhibition, South Texas College in McAllen, TX

Alchemy, Dayton Visual Arts Center, Dayton, OH
Expanded Field, Salt Lake Art Center, Salt Lake City, UT

The Forth Beijing International Art Biennial, National Art Museum of China,
Beijing, China 
Sustain, UIS Visual Art Gallery, University of Illinois, Springfield, IL


Department of Art & Art History
College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media
University Nebraska at Omaha
6001 Dodge Street
Omaha NE 68182-0011
(402) 554.2420 Fax: (402) 554.3436