Bringing the outside in doesn’t sound like a great idea when it’s February and you live in Nebraska. But that’s exactly what John McIntyre and Laura Vranes do as street art collectors. In a few short years the couple has filled their 1970s home, nestled in an unassuming Omaha subdivision, with contemporary and street art. Their collection is amazing, visually overwhelming and so resonant with young would-be art collectors that the Joslyn Art Museum Young Art Patrons (YAP) organized a tour so we could see it for ourselves.
Our OUTSIDE | INSIDE Field Trip exposed 75 YAP members and guests to the McIntyre’s collection. Rather than descend upon the McIntyre’s house all at once, we gathered at Voodoo Taco to hang out for much of the evening, eat and drink. School buses left the restaurant at designated times, shuttling small groups to the McIntyre’s in style. John and Laura welcomed everyone with warm smiles and flashes of giddy excitement.
Laura and John spoke with passion and ease about different pieces in their collection, often throwing in stories about an artist or the political message behind a particular work. It was also evident that the McIntyres do more than collect—they work hard to develop relationships with every artist in their collection. If they have not met someone in-person, they have always reached out to them via telephone or e-mail. John and Laura wanted to start some of us on the path to collecting, and they did this by giving away two original Shepard Fairey prints at the end of the night. The prints were even matted and framed!
It’s experiences like this field trip that help young professionals grow an appreciation for art on a whole new level. Hearing John and Laura speak passionately about the work they own and the artists they’ve met through purchasing work helps bring to life the idea of collecting art. You don’t need a million dollars to start an art collection; all you need is access to art. In addition, this type of event and intimate experience is why many young professionals in our community join YAP and support Joslyn. The Museum offers a variety of membership levels and giving societies to customize a patron’s experience and interests.
Many thanks to John McIntyre and Laura Vranes for a very memorable evening of art, Voodoo Taco for hosting us throughout the evening, and a shout out to Omaha Dental Care for its sponsorship. I am looking forward to the year and all that YAP members will experience.
Donor Relations Manager