Current Artist

Artist Statement

Professor Laging taught architecture at UNL 46 years where he retired in 2014.

He had passion for civic involvement that began with his first job as an urban designer in Detroit and as a Peace Corps volunteer in Lima, Peru. He co-authored a study of the area around the Goodhue Nebraska Capitol that outlined Lincoln’s first historic district and was the basis for the Capitol Environs District. As a design consultant he has participated in a great many paid and volunteer urban design activities in Lincoln and across the country. 

Laging served 16 years on the Nebraska State Board of Engineers and Architects and was charter member of the Nebraska Capitol Environs Commission.

He was elevated to fellow in the American Institute of Architects for his service to communities and was awarded the Cunningham gold medal for distinguished service to the Nebraska architecture community.

Laging graduated from Lincoln Southeast High School, UNL and the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Four folios will be shared at the opening suggesting that he was also an active architectural perspectivist in a pre-digital time.

TOM LAGING @ regarding this exhibit or at 402-617-7453 or by mail at 4100 South Street, Lincoln, NE 68506

Tom Laging Sacred Heart
Tom Laging 2

Artist Statement

"I have lived and traveled around the world - from Osaka to London, Chicago to Oslo. There is beauty of place, and of spirit, all around us, though these are often overlooked. In my art, I aim to celebrate both the festive and the quiet moments in our everyday lives.

Origami is the Japanese art of folding paper into representational shapes. My origami and layered paper constructions represent a new and unique approach to this ancient tradition.

My medium is paper, primarily a wide range of handcrafted Japanese washi papers, which I first began collecting when I was a student in Japan. The colors, patterns and textures found in the washi papers themselves, as well as those created through the folding process, are key design elements in my art. Hundreds of artisanal papers form my palette – from tissue-thin, transparent chigiri-e hand-dyed rice papers to wrinkled momigami papers to the vibrant silkscreened yuzen fabric papers.

For the background, I create a watercolor look through layering thin chigiri-e washi papers. I do not use any paint, so my color choices are limited to the papers I have gathered, not unlike the limited choices we have at times in life. After choosing key papers, I invent 3D origami paper sculptures that add shadow, give dimension, and bring my work to life. This is an intricate process – both the folding of individual pieces and carefully gluing each piece in place, one layer at a time. Large, detailed works take months to complete and may include 10 different planes/layers, from the back to the foreground. Although I may incorporate 1,000+ paper sculptures in dozens of patterns and colors, every piece is added with purpose and must enhance the composition.

To me, origami is a metaphor for the potential that lies within each person and each place in our world. One flat piece of paper, a seemingly simple material, through a multifaceted progression of paper-folds, can be transformed into almost anything. It can even be deconstructed – unfolded – in order to begin again.

Even in the hardest seasons, there are opportunities to be grateful. It is my hope that my art inspires viewers to live with intention and appreciate the beauty, people and moments of their lives."

Artist, author, illustrator

Summertime on the River _ Linda Stephen 2020  7MB
Holmes Lake Park in Origami by Artist Linda Stephen Copyright 2019