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   from the issue of October 26, 2006

Geske profiled in documentary at the Ross

"My Friend, Norman: The Man From Aberdeen," a feature length documentary about the impact Norman Geske has had on the artistic and cultural heritage of Nebraska, premieres Oct. 28 at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center.

Lincoln filmmaker Laurie Richards worked for over three years to write, film, direct and produce the film, a tribute to Geske, director emeritus of the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery.

Cosponsored by the Friends of the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center and the Nebraska Art Association, the world premiere of "My Friend, Norman: The Man From Aberdeen" is 7 p.m. Oct. 28. Reservations can be made online at or by calling 472-9100. Admission is $20. The screening will be followed by a question and answer session with the film's makers and a reception with appetizers and a cash bar.

"My Friend, Norman" captures the essence of Geske's efforts and legacy as "Nebraska's Father of the Arts."

"My Friend, Norman" begins with Geske's arrival in Lincoln in August 1950 and continues to the present day.

The film illuminates Geske's leadership in the building of the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and includes audio excerpts of architect Philip Johnson's dedication speech in May 1963. Also included are scenes of the American Wing at the 1968 Venice Biennale, curated by Geske, which turned the art world upside down. And featured in the film is Nebraska's 1976 bicentennial celebration of our nation's birth illustrating Geske's involvement in creating and guiding the controversial Interstate 80 Sculpture Project.

Geske has always been interested in film as an art form and "My Friend, Norman" reveals his influence on the development of the state-of-the-art Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center.

The film covers Geske's early days and influence on the Walker Art Center at Minneapolis to his efforts at establishing the Museum of Nebraska Art at Kearney.

U.S. Poet Laureate (2004-2006) Ted Kooser, painter Keith Jacobshagen, Ross Media Arts Center Director Danny Lee Ladely, and Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery Director Jan Driesbach are interviewed in order to discover just who is the "Man from Aberdeen."

Assistant editor and video artist, John Andrews adds his creative talents with animated transitions that set the tone for each segment of Geske's life.

Executive producers are Dan Worth and Jennifer Martin. Associate producers are Marcia and Harley Bergmeyer and Joyce Holtmeier.

The soundtrack includes the bright and refreshing music of Café Accordion Orchestra, featuring Lincoln's native son, Dan Newton. Original music from local musician Steve Hanson is performed on guitar and mandolin. Piano compositions are heard from Ruth Wallerstedt and Jack Oliva.

Also showing at the Ross are "Factotum" and "Viva Pedro," both from Oct. 27 to Nov. 9.

For more information on showings at the Ross, go online to or call 472-5353.



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Geske profiled in documentary at the Ross
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