Omaha-based artist Ella Weber looks at connections between the everyday mundane, consumerism, sexuality, and spirituality through a suburban Midwestern ethos. As a resident of Nebraska, where the slogan is “The Good Life,” Weber questions what is meant by “good.” Politeness? Morality? Comfort? Success? Does Nebraska offer everyone this so-called good life? And is “good” good enough?

After completing graduate school, Weber got a job slicing meat behind the deli counter at a chain grocery store. The artist merged her creative practice with her time on the clock, turning the deli into a studio. Exploring corporate culture, comfort and convenience, the polite interactions of a service industry job, and the realities artists face to balance their creative practice and their bills, Weber crafts a strange and playful world in which we question social ideals and aspirations.

Photos by Dana Damewood

Ella Weber intentionally maintains minimum wage jobs as a means to fuel her art, both financially and conceptually. In doing so, she utilizes various means to investigate the tension between consumer and viewer, performer and employee, artist and gallery. She earned a BFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and an MFA in printmaking from the University of Kansas. Weber has attended arts residencies at Oxbow School of Art, The Wassaic Project, Anderson Ranch, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and most recently, PrattMWP College of Art and Design in Utica, New York. The artist has exhibited nationally including exhibitions at Haw Contemporary in Kansas City, Suite & Bridges Gallery at the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia, Project Project in Omaha, and the Cube Art Project in Lincoln, among many other venues. She has taught at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Pratt Munson-Williams-Proctor College of Art and Design, and as a mentor in Joslyn Art Museum’s Kent Bellows Mentorship program.
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