CHI Health Good Samaritan recently welcomed artist Jeff Montag to its Walkway Gallery. The Kearney resident’s colorful acrylic and oil paintings feature a variety of scenes and subject-local and abroad.
"A painting is physically a composite of color and form, but what compels me as an artist is my desire to bring the viewers into that story I am creating on canvas," says Montag in his artist statement.
In addition to his original canvases, Montag is also offering for sale framed and unframed prints from his Old Town Kearny series: Christ the King Chapel, The World Theatre and The Lighthouse at Harmon Park.
The gallery has provided a respite and distraction to those walking the hospital’s halls since 2008. During the pandemic, when social distancing and visitor restrictions are in place, the gallery can be viewed online through February.
Artist’s Statement by Jeff Montag
I have always enjoyed art, either in creating it or talking to others about it. It can speak for itself, though, and tell a story. A painting is a response to the experience of being alive. To me, the difference between a non-objective abstract and a painting of known objects is the same as the difference between music without lyrics and music with lyrics. They are both inspired from emotions and a desire to communicate. In terms of subjects, I paint anything that evokes an emotion, anything that speaks to me. I see sensuality in the shapes of a flower or an automobile. I see romance in a barn, a diner, a carnival, a road or a face.
Over the years I have asked myself or been asked, "Why are you compelled to do this?" It begs some real contemplation and a fuller response. An artist is always in the state of becoming. In terms of communication, my art has the potential to tap dance or to be genuine magic. Just as a songwriter seeks to communicate emotions and thoughts to the listener, I try to capture the viewer into a moment of time, a fleeting instance of emotion or the poignancy of a cherished memory. A painting is physically a composite of color and form, but what compels me as an artist is my desire to bring the viewers into that story I am creating on canvas.
Biography by Jeff Montag
I am originally from Moline, Illinois and have resided in Kearney, Nebraska with my wife and family the last 25 years. Most of my career has been spent in healthcare; however, the last few years I have worked as a career management Coach, assisting individuals to return to gainful employment following separation from their company.
I received a minor in Art from the University of Illinois and have continued exploring and refining my art technique for the last several years. I specialize in oil paintings and occasionally work in acrylics and watercolors. My love and passion consist of working to bring out the personality of the individual portraits that I create. I also like to capture moments in time, eliciting a feeling, emotion, grin. They can sometimes tell a story within the painting. I have also taken time to work on several series’ which include The Old Town Kearny series, Civil War, Aspens in Colorado, Cranes, Florals and Portraits to name a few.
More about the CHI Health Good Samaritan Walkway Gallery
The Walkway Gallery is a dedicated corridor connecting the main hospital to the West Tower at Good Samaritan. This gallery gives regional artists more than 200 feet of display space with lighting and security systems to professionally highlight their artistic works. It was developed as part of Good Samaritan's Planetree philosophy of patient-centered healing.
The Art Steering Committee follows a competitive selection process using documented research criteria for art that supports healing in a hospital environment to choose the artists featured in the gallery. A new artist will display his or her works every four months. To submit art for consideration, please contact the Foundation at (308) 865-2700.