A porcelain vessel named “Crown Jewel” by North Platte artist Wava Best has been selected for the 45th annual National All Media Show at the Octagon Center for the Arts in Ames, Iowa.Wava is past president of the Association of Nebraska Art Clubs and a founding member and current board member of the Creativity Unlimited Arts Council in North Platte, the group that is renovating the 1913 Federal building to become the Prairie Arts Center.
In a May 20 article for the Nebraska Humanities Cultural Endowment, Best said creating, sharing and promoting art is her livelihood.
Her comments below are reprinted with permission.
It started when I was about 4 years old: playing in a rain-soaked driveway, sitting in the mud, making little mud dishes.
Little did I know that many years later I would become a painter, potter and songwriter.
In high school my love for all of the arts never ceased as I was in choir, band, orchestra and played the French horn. Although I didn’t start painting until after I was married and had two small children, the desire was always there. I have taken several college courses and many art workshops, but am basically self-taught.
After enrolling in a college ceramics class, I was hooked. I eventually purchased my own wheel and kiln and started producing wares for sale. Developing my own designs and glazes was always challenging but very rewarding. I also enjoy teaching art, especially to children. They are so creative and they get a great deal of satisfaction and self-esteem from their work.
I have received many awards on the local, state and national level. I also recently illustrated a youth-level novel authored by Barbara Eymann Mohrman, The Dust Covered Days of Dorie Archer. It takes you back in time to the dust bowl days during the 1930s and shares family stories. I believe that any of the art disciplines can enrich everyone’s lives and can give a since of self satisfaction and calm to every day living.
Wava Best is a member of IMPACT, a group of professional Nebraskan artists who exhibit art work on a regional and national level.
She was named “Woman of Achievement in the Cultural Arts” for her work as co-chair of the “Community Unity Tile project,” working with the community of North Platte to design and glaze tiles for five towers that are throughout the city.