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Former Professor to Show ‘A Life’s Work’ at College of Saint Mary

Monday, March 6, 2023

A former University of Nebraska Omaha ceramics professor will present a retrospective of his work at College of Saint Mary’s Hillmer Art Gallery. The exhibit, “A Life’s Work,” will showcase pieces created by Henry Serenco from 1963 to 2010. Serenco taught ceramics at UNO for 40 years, retiring in 2010.

The show will open Thursday, March 16, with a reception from 5-7 p.m. Artwork will be displayed through April 28. Serenco is donating all proceeds from the sale of his artwork to CSM’s art department to expand the ceramic arts offerings at the University.

“It’s incredibly generous and completely unexpected,” said Assistant Art Professor Jeff Spencer, who serves as the director of Hillmer Art Gallery. “Generally, artists sell their work and pay commission. We don’t charge commission because it’s our way of saying thank you for allowing us to display your work. This donation is fabulous. We can do a lot of good.”

Serenco’s work includes both thrown and hand-built pottery with a range of pieces that are functional to more sculptural. “I enjoy the manipulation of the clay and the building process,” Serenco said. “If you’re talking about steel, you’re adding and welding. If you’re talking about stone, you’re taking away from the stone. Clay is unique in that it is an additive and subtractive medium.”

In addition to teaching, Serenco has shown his work nationally and internationally. He has previously shown twice at Hillmer Art Gallery.