A&H students inspired by award-winning artist during UNL tour

Lincoln Public Schools Arts and Humanities (A&H) Focus Program students stepped onto the University of Nebraska - Lincoln’s main campus on Sept. 16 for a full day of exploring the Fine and Performing Arts college. 

In addition to touring the campus’s Sheldon Art Museum, students could choose between printmaking and photography workshops led by UNL faculty. 

“I always wanted to get more into photography. Especially seeing different kinds of cameras and learning about how it works. I think I may actually really want to do that,” Cris said. Cris is a junior at A&H.

“It’s really important that kids are both exposed to the arts and they have the opportunity to be on a college campus,”  A&H Art Teacher Michelle Hrbek said. “We know when they have experiences with post-secondary education it helps them start thinking about their future and what they want to do.” 

The program’s seniors had a one-on-one session with former LPS grad and award-winning visual artist Trent Claus in the afternoon. Claus led the seniors through his exhibition at UNL called “Building a Narrative: Production Art and Pop Culture.” The display features production art that Claus has collected over the years. 

“This is the sort of artwork that inspired me. I mean these are the artists and the artwork that made me want to work in movies and inspired me to major in art,” Claus told students. 

Claus has worked on major film and TV productions for Marvel and Disney, including “Captain America: The First Avenger” and the “Mandalorian.” He said he wanted to pay it forward and encourage the next generation of Lincoln artists during his session.

“I’m from LPS and I’m from Lincoln. I was in their shoes once. I would have loved to talk to anybody that not only was a professional artist, but had worked in movies or something like that. Now that I am that guy, it feels right to do that for someone else,” Claus added.

“I hope they gained a greater appreciation for the arts, the people that make art and for the idea that they can be artists themselves on a professional level here at the university or beyond,” Hrbek said.

Take a look at some highlights from the visit below.

Want to learn more about LPS Focus Programs? Visit our Focus Program Website


Published: September 21, 2022, Updated: September 22, 2022

LPS Grad and Award-Winning Visual Artist Trent Claus guides Arts and Humanities students through his UNL art gallery.