Local artist Bill Hoover debuts his collection of latest works “Lost and Found and Lost” on Friday.
Hoover’s latest works explore the losses and gains one can experience, symbolized through the use of collages, portraits, paper sculptures and scraps of 30-year-old letters.
The piece that inspired the collection started with Hoover finding a bag of small notebooks near the Siena/Francis House. He believes it was written by someone with schizophrenia.
Hoover was unable to return the lost bag of notebooks to the owner and decided to make a large mural that included his interpretations and meaning out of the piece.
“I ripped up each sheet and glued them next to each other to make this giant tapestry of lost [art],” said Hoover. “I think this person is lost. We are all kind of lost in our own ways. And this is his way of making sense of the world.”
Another piece in his collection was titled, “The Whale.” Hoover said that his sculpture of the whale reminded him of Jonah and the Whale. The paper structure of the whale was made out of letters from worried mothers, including his own mother. Some of these letters were written in Farsi.
“It seemed to fit the whale, just the metaphor of being swallowed by something large like worry or grief,” said Hoover.
In many of the pieces, Hoover uses oil paint, charcoal and graphite to construct his paintings. He sometimes also uses sand to build up texture in his pieces.
Stacia Hoover, wife of Hoover, said that Bill didn’t begin his creative life as a painter. Bill Hoover is a self-taught artist that didn’t have any background in art growing up. He had always wanted to pursue creative writing until he had met his true calling in life.
“It was really nice to see someone’s work incorporated in the Omaha community,” said Olivia Hillyer, College of Arts and Sciences sophomore who attended the show. “His pieces were so versatile, yet something everyone could relate to.”
Stacia Hoover said there is a story behind all of Bill Hoover’s art.
“The portraits you see here represent people that he’s lost,” she said.
Hoover, an Omaha resident, graduated from Creighton in 1993. He has been making art in Nebraska for the past 25 years.
“Lost and Found and Lost” will be showing through Nov.