With 92 entries from across central Nebraska, including 13 youth ages 12 and under, the Thedford Art Guild held their annual art show, relaxing and escaping from the thumb of Covid-19.

“This was the second largest show in all the years we have been doing our open show. The first had more than 100 entries and every space was utilized, as it almost was this year,” said Bridget Licking, president of the Thedford Art Guild.

Roberta Barnes of Halsey, the art instructor at the Broken Bow school, judged the show.

“There were so many great pieces to choose from, it was tough,” Barnes said. “I look not only at the art itself, but at the matting, the presentation, the framing – to me that shows the pride the artist has in that piece. Smudges, scratches on glass, detracts from it.”

As part of her pay for judging, Barnes will receive a month-long show in the Kiewitt room of the Thedford Art Gallery, with the date to be determined. Barnes left her judges’ book, for the artists and visitors to learn about her perspectives on the artworks.

What makes this show the major fundraiser for TAG, are the sponsors who cover the prize monies won. The Thedford Art Guild profusely thanks Harsh Mercantile and Western Nebraska Bank of Purdum (soon to have a branch at Thedford slated to open late fall.) Herb and Lori Hall, CARS (Crossroads of the Sandhills), Security 1st Bank, Neal Lumber and Ewoldt’s Grocery of Thedford. The latter donates every year with gift certificates for the youth prizes. Consolidated Telephone also sponsored.

The gallery had their first bakeless bake sale last month which helped their coffers, but not to the extent of the open show. Licking’s three children – Katen, Grady and Heston — not only were part of the youth art entries but had a lemonade stand in front of the gallery while their mother and other TAG members set up the show on July 6. The heat helped them have a phenomenally successful venture, as they made $160, which will go back to the art guild.                    

2020 Thedford Art Guild’s Open Show winners:

Best of Show – Tresa Haney, Oconto – The Fall, watercolor

Adult Art

1st – Horseshoeing , Pencil by Elizabeth Benson, Newcastle

2. Spaceman, Jess Hill, North Platte

3. Prairie Candelabras , Linda Lacy, Ashby

Adult Photo

1. – Summer Breeze, Connor Burns, Thedford

2. – Trailing Into the Fog, Linda Teahon, Dunning

3. – Mountain Peace, Bridget Licking, Thedford

Adult 3-D 

1. – Trust in Your Crazy Ideas (collection of recycled items), Eve Miller.

2.  – Blueberry Beauty, (fabric and other mixed media) Jan Knispel, North Platte.

3. – Extreme Sunflowers, (red clay bowl) Linda Lacy, Ashby.

Youth -3-D

1. – Katen Licking, 2. – Heston Licking, 3. – Grady Licking.

Youth Art

1 & 2. – Katen Licking.  3.- Riley Hill.


Honorable mentions in adult art went to Mary Smith, Stephanie Carter-Nielsen, Elizabeth Benson, Sue Oiler Dowse and Kyle Hoyt.

Honorable mention in photography went to Terri Licking and Bridget Licking.

The reception for the show was held Friday, July 24 during the Thomas Co. Fair. Also, several pieces will be entered in the Nebraskaland Days Competitive Art Show at the Prairie Art Center in North Platte, which will open Aug. 4.