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Lights adorning a tree stand out against the night, trees are seen in blacks and grays, and houses become at times mere outlines in the painting of Leigh Tarantino.

The works by the Rhode Island artist are quietly captivating, attracting the eye with their subtle contrasts and, at times, glittery surfaces. Exquisitely painted, Tarantino’s work captures the quiet of winter -- which we’ve already had a chance to experience -- with stripped-down beauty.

Tarantino’s paintings are part of “Temporal Visits,” an exhibition on view through Nov. 30 at Darger HQ that includes a video and drawings from Montreal’s Ben Clarkson and a video by Steve Snell of Hastings.

Snell makes what he calls adventure art, in the case of the video, “Chilkoot Legends,” venturing to the Alaska-to-Canada Chilkoot Trail to record the striking vistas of mountains and trees and the stories of visitors to the trail that was the access to the Yukon gold fields of the 1890s. “Chilkoot Legends” feels like an artistic turn on Ken Burns, which is no small feat.

Clarkson’s video is a fast-moving collage of imagery drawn from popular culture and, I’m guessing, the Web. With its depictions of animals being killed intercut with partially obscured porn, it can be tough to watch in places. But it’s one very effective, impossible-not-to-watch-all-the-way-through piece.

Clarkson’s drawings are impressive pieces of work as well. But the gem of part of the show is “Northern River,” a digital print that appears to be landscaped-based, that was nominated for the international Lumen prize in digital art. Collectors note: The “Northern River” on view at Darger HQ is one of just two prints of the piece. It is priced at a very reasonable $500.

Darger HQ is on the second floor of the Parrish Project at 14th and O streets above Duffy's Tavern  It is open from noon to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. It will be closed Thursday for Thanksgiving.

Clarinda Carnegie Art Museum now open

The Clarinda Carnegie Art Museum is now open for visitors. Created by Robert and Karen Duncan in the 1908 Carnegie library in their hometown of Clarinda, Iowa, the museum shows works from the Duncans’ acclaimed collection of contemporary art.

Several of the pieces on view in the museum’s opening show are from Lincoln artists, including a video by Charley Friedman, paintings by Robert Weaver, Judy Burton and Nadine McHenry, and a graphite drawing by Francisco Souto. They share space with national and international artists, including a striking Cindy Sherman photograph.

I’ll have much more on the Clarinda Carnegie Art Museum soon. For now, suffice it to say, it’s well worth the two-hour drive to Clarinda. The museum at 300 N. 16th St. in Clarinda, is open Sundays and Wednesdays from 1  to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

“Whistler’s Mother” coming to America

If you want to see James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s “Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1,” far better known as “Portrait of the Artist’s Mother” without going to Paris, head for Pasadena, California.

The iconic work, one of the world’s most famous paintings, will be at the Norton Simon Museum from March 27 to June 22, thanks to an exchange with the Musee d’ Orsay, which owns the piece by the American who painted it in England.

Six Musee d’ Orsay pieces, including paintings by Cezanne and Manet, are part of the exchange.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7244 or On Twitter @LJSWolgamott.


Entertainment reporter/columnist

L. Kent Wolgamott is an entertainment reporter and columnist.

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