Through exhibitions, permanent collection acquisitions, and programming, Joslyn is working to elevate and amplify perspectives that historically have been underrepresented in the galleries. The Museum recognizes the potential of interpretation to highlight the diverse histories, beliefs, and practices embodied in works of art. With OMAHA SPEAKS, we look to broaden the conventional interpretation of objects in our permanent collection by introducing commentary from leaders in our community.

Barber is an Omaha-based artist whose interdisciplinary practice articulates various testimonies within and surrounding Black America. Recognitions include: 2020 Biennial Artist Research Fellowship at Sam Fox Island Press, Washington University, St. Louis; selected for the publication New American Paintings; and nominated for the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Award.

William-Adolphe Bouguereau (French, 1825–1905), Return of Spring, 1886, oil on canvas, Gift of Francis T. B. Martin, 1951.889

Beaufield Berry-Fisher is a playwright, podcaster, content creator, activist, and (most importantly) a mother. Her work has been seen on stages across the United States, including Red Summer (2019) at the BLUEBARN Theatre in Omaha. While living through the pandemic, Berry-Fisher started the Village Co-Op, an alternative to traditional and remote schooling that allows families to survive and children to flourish in their early (and odd) first years in school. Her newest podcast "Say Her Name" premiered January 10th, 2021.

Jennifer Steinkamp (American, born 1958), Judy Crook, 2, 2012, single-channel digital video projection, Museum purchase, bequest of Rose Marie Baumgarten, 2013.10

Zanna George, aka Mistress Mynx, is here in this time and space by way of Nigeria, Ireland, and Nebraska, friends, families, joys, sorrows, and cats. She is blessed to be living and learning her crafts as a healer, an artist, a musician, and a student of life and self. She is neither behind nor ahead, but precisely where she is meant to be, doing what she is meant to do.

Mickalene Thomas (American, born 1971), Din, une très belle négresse 1, 2012, rhinestones, acrylic, oil, and enamel on wood panel,  Museum purchase, gift of The Sherwood Foundation, 2019.6

Dawaune Lamont Hayes is a multidisciplinary artist working at the intersections of movement, journalism, and social justice. As a Black Queer creator from Omaha, Nebraska, Dawaune recognizes their identities are inherently political and utilizes their artistic expression as a means of historical reconciliation and regenerative futurism.

John George Brown (American, born England, 1831–1913), The Card Trick, c. 1880s, oil on canvas, Gift of the estate of Mrs. Sarah Joslyn, 1944.14

Dr. Sofia Jawed-Wessel is an Associate Professor at University of Nebraska at Omaha whose work centers broad philosophical, cultural, and political implications of existing in a gendered and sexist world.

Helen Frankenthaler (American, 1928–2011), Monoscape, 1969, acrylic on canvas, Museum purchase with funds from National Endowment for the Arts Museum Purchase Plan Grant and matching funds from Joslyn Women’s Association, 1978.74

Diana Martinez is the Artistic Director of Film Streams, Omaha’s only non-profit arthouse organization. She received her Ph.D. in film and media studies from the University of Oregon, where she studied the intersections of race, gender, stardom, and authorship. She has also written on these subjects for Slate, The Atlantic, and Indiewire, among others.

Angelica Kauffmann (Swiss, 1741–1807), A Portrait of Mary Tisdal Reading, c. 1771–72, oil on canvas, Museum purchase with funds from The Jack Drew Art Endowment Fund for 18th- and 19th-Century Art, 2016.9

Dr. Ferial Pearson (Mama Beast) is a mother, activist, author, educator, speaker, poet, comedienne, cook, and citizen of the world. As a Kenyan Indian Muslim immigrant queer disabled woman of color, she is passionate about Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and Kindness. She has received national and local awards for her work, authored two books, and spoken at TEDx Omaha. Her goal is to make sure you know that you are loved and that you are enough.

Jean-Léon Gérôme (French, 1824–1904), The Muezzin, 1865, oil on canvas, Bequest of Francis T. B. Martin, 1995.37

Erin Poor (Citizen of Cherokee Nation) is an independent art historian, curator, organizer, and public educator based in Lincoln, Nebraska. She has held positions in museums, performing arts organizations, and cultural heritage institutions across Turtle Island. Much of Erin’s work focuses on dialogue facilitation in classrooms, galleries, studios, theaters, and virtual spaces. Before the pandemic, she cohosted queer-centered dance parties in Lincoln as DJ Riche Niche. Erin is a clinical mental health counselor in training, hoping to be of service to her communities.

After Karl Bodmer (Swiss, 1809–1893), Snags (Sunken Trees) on the Missouri, 1841, hand-colored aquatint, Gift of the Enron Art Foundation, 1986, 1986.49.542.6

Sarah Rowe (Member of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, Lakota Nation) is a visual artist utilizing methods of painting, textiles, performance, and Native American ceremony in unconventional ways. Rowe’s work is participatory, a call to action, and reimagines traditional Indigenous symbology to fit the narrative of today’s global landscape. Rowe's imagined landscapes are bold and vibrant, containing a shape-shifting bestiary of tales both familiar and strange. Rowe received her BA from Webster University, studying in St. Louis, Missouri, and Vienna, Austria. She is of Lakota and Ponca descent.

Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, 1606–1669), Portrait of Dirck van Os, c. 1658, oil on canvas, Museum purchase, 1942.30

Felicia Webster, artistically known as WithloveFelicia, is a multi-dimensional creative, award winning poet, arts educator, self-love activist, and TedX Speaker who is committed to using the arts to “edutain,” promote social change, and invoke self-love and personal transformation through affirmation and authentic reflection.

Kehinde Wiley (American, born 1977), Three Girls in a Wood, 2018, oil on linen, Museum purchase, gift of The Sherwood Foundation, 2018.11