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2006.12.06 > For Immediate Release
contact: Tim Kaldahl - University Affairs
phone: 402.554.3502 - email: tkaldahl@mail.unomaha.edu

Bemis Center to Show UNO Student’s Work

Omaha - What does UNO senior Bart Vargas have in common with a bird?  Perhaps more than one might think.  They both make nests, for starters.  The nest Vargas made, however, took over three years to collect materials for, is ten feet wide and three feet tall and is made out of keyboards, cables and miscellaneous other discarded computer parts.

"I work mostly with trash in my art," said Bart Vargas.  "I take things society doesn't want and try to make something of value."

The Nest has been on display in UNO's Criss Memorial Library since late May, and in December, the sculpture will move to an exhibit downtown.  The exhibit, called "One Man's Trash," will be held in the basement of the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, located at 12th and Leavenworth Streets, featuring Vargas' work.

The Nest is composed of a wooden frame surrounded by cables and wires.  Once the cables are removed, the wooden frame can be dismantled into 12 pieces, making it possible for a single person to move. 

The first time Vargas put the sculpture together, he had help from seven people attaching the computer parts to the wooden frame.

The "egg" part of the sculpture was composed of pieces from computer keyboards, taking him three months to glue all the keys onto the sphere.  The nest surrounding the egg came later and took two weeks to build.

"It all started with a friend giving me keyboards and saying ‘What can you do with these?' and kinda went from there," said Vargas.

Vargas, a sculpture major in the College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media, grew up in Bellevue and hopes to enter a career as a teacher, but not before pursuing a Master's of Fine Arts (MFA) degree from either Minnesota or Iowa.  Deciding between sculpting and painting as a major wasn't easy for Vargas.  He has made more paintings than sculptures since he's been at UNO he said.

"I'm a maker," said Vargas.  "I'm more of an artist than a marketer." 

Marketer or not, Vargas has met success in both selling and displaying his art.  Not only did he recently sell a sphere covered with keys from a keyboard (similar to the egg) for $3,000, but UNO approached Vargas with the idea of displaying his nest at the newly remodeled library.

"I'm really proud about it and really grateful," said Vargas.  "Everyone here seems really happy it's been here.  I'm happy its been here."

For more information, call (402) 554-3502.

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