‘Heartland Handmade’ Tells Stories of Nebraska Artists, Artisans, Craftspeople

For Immediate Release

‘Heartland Handmade’ Tells Stories of Nebraska Artists, Artisans, Craftspeople

LINCOLN, Neb. (Aug. 1, 2022) –­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Everything made by hand tells a story.

In a new Nebraska Public Media special, Nebraska artists, artisans and craftspeople share their journeys, revealing their inspiration, unique talents and vibrant passion for the creative process.

“Heartland Handmade” premieres at 7 p.m. CT, Monday, Aug. 15, on Nebraska Public Media and Facebook Live.

From handcrafting a custom pair of boots using 100-year-old techniques to building one-of-a-kind guitars, the hour-long program features the inspiration, passion and creativity of seven heartland makers. These include:

Sculptures by Sally – In her father’s shop on the family farm near Heartwell, Sally Jurgensmier welds metal sculptures inspired by found objects and her visions of the world.

Neon Jungle – First drawn to the “brilliant colors and warm glow” of neon 30 years ago, Omaha glass-bender Karen Chaka fabricates new signs and brings fresh life to vintage ones.

Silver of Oz – In Elkhorn, Turkish-born silversmith and jewelry designer Levent Oz draws on influences from Ottoman court jewelry, the modern European style and other traditions.

Peace on Po – Kelsey Trausch of Burwell creates earth-driven, nurturing skincare for men and women, calling her cosmetics, beauty and self-care products “hippie vibes for modern folks.”

Sandhills Boot Company – Kyle Rosfeld
Sandhills Boot Company – Kyle Rosfeld

Sandhills Boot Company – In Cody, Kyle Rosfeld handcrafts western boots using 100-year-old techniques, traditions and attention to every detail so every customer walks out with a perfect fit.

Humming Bird Guitars – Jesse Thomas
Humming Bird Guitars – Jesse Thomas

Humming Bird Guitars – Jesse Thomas builds one-of-a-kind, handmade stringed instruments, including classic cigar box guitars, bringing his imaginative creations to life in his Randolph shop.

Katharen Wiese – Lincoln multimedia artist Katharen Wiese explores the intersections of race and identity and seeks to represent the humanity and dignity of Black people. Wiese starts this fall as a Master of Fine Arts student at Yale University.

Lincoln multimedia artist Katharen Wiese
Lincoln multimedia artist Katharen Wiese

The program also features original music segments written and performed by Omaha-based blues musician Héctor Anchondo, a 2022 Blues Music Award nominee and the 2020 International Blues Challenge winner in the solo/duo category. Anchondo plays a guitar made specially for him by Humming Bird Guitars.

“Heartland Handmade” will repeat at 8 p.m. CT, Thursday, Aug. 18 on Nebraska Public Media.

# # #

MEDIA CONTACTS: Sandi Karstens, 402-470-6578

About Nebraska Public Media

Nebraska Public Media has been dedicated to connecting Nebraskans through news, sports, education, and entertainment for nearly 70 years. Providing global news and compelling stories from PBS and NPR, Nebraska Public Media also produces award-winning original content. Its programs and services reach 1 million people each month across the state on television, radio, online and mobile platforms. Visit NebraskaPublicMedia.org for more information.