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Th art is fine, b ther originality i p eless

_

The,artist stands in the galleryon a May after- beguilng in a slim black dress and flat ' linen shoes, looking at 51 more like the model she once "'-'CiS than a woman old

'I1()lIO.,h to be a grandmother. . e's explai;llng her work -

the technique

'::lehind a fine linoleum cut, a series of watercol

rs, aD;

piece titled "BaroqueApple."

A nngmg cell phone interrupts her thoughts. ..\ patron answers, handing the plastic rectangle ill the woman in black.

She i t g i n g e r l y , s t a r i n g a t t h e n e o n n u m ! T o m a n a l i e n p l a n e t , bers as if.they were

then hefting the receiverto ner mouth in walkie

CINDY LANGE-KUBICK

Lincoln Life

talkie fashion.

"Hel-lo?" the Omaha resident calls, tentative ly, before turning the phone 90 degrees to her ear. "Hello?"

If you go

been thinking about me?" she says, her VOIce an exclamation point. "You've been thinkingabout me?"

Welcome to Lynn Piper's World. Its star:.A 5-foot-5-inch, IOO-pound cross be tween Audrey Hepburn, Peter Pan and Henri Matisse. Apart-time waitress, full-time artist and one-of-a-kindhuman being. I

"She's amazing,"saysher sister, MaryK Sulli

van, a teacher

Miami. "She is amazing."

The older SISter remembers a toddler who didn't sit up or speak until she was 3, a young woman who began painting miniature land scapes on smooth. stones and an adult utterly stripped of the societal garb - the niceties and the masks- the rest of us wear.

She is herself and nothing else, says Sullivan

"She can't be any other way."

.

People who meet the idiosyncratic artist

search forwords to describe her - innocent na ive, unaffected, honest, eccentric - of them quite capturing the essence of a woman

w h o s u p p 0 ! t 5 . h e r s e l f v e a l p a r m e s a n a n d t o a s t e d r a v i o l i a t C a r u g l i a ' s V e n i c e I n n o n w e e k

ends.

What: Lynn Piper paintings

When: Friday to June 30, opening re ception, 7 p.m, to 9 p.m, Friday

Where : Serendipity Gallery, 701 PSt.

She's

25 yearswaitingtables there, 18 of

sity

struggling through CreightonUniver a learning disability, taping lectures,

transcribing

at night, graduating summa

cum lau.deWIth a fine arts degreein 1998.

She IS a woman who paints to bring joy to others and to herself, a sprite who callsit alla gift and a blessingand the only thing she ever really wanted, a woman who truly wouldn't know arti ficefrom a plate of artichokes.

"1 reallytry to be myself," she says, earnestly,

honestly, breathless, girlishly - ably.

utterly believ

"She sees things dif erently than we do," ex plains Sullivan. "She latches onto beauty in a way we don't"

She is "totally unique" - a woman of "bul

WILLlAM LAUE /Lincoln Journal Star

artist LynnPiJler shows some of her work !hat WIll be on exhibit at Serendipity Gallery dur mgJune.

letproof convictions," says her big brother Tom

Piper of Boston

'

But she's no one's fool. "It's been Lynn's history to be underesti mated," says the brother. "You call her naive at your own isk - she is naive when it comes to the world, but she is not naive when it comes to this incrediblegift she has."

is painting, photography, sculpture. An exhibitof her work opens Fridayat 7 p.m. at Serendipity Galery, 701 PSt, in Lincoln, and runs through June 30.

"Both of us were just completely taken the second we saw it," said Vonni Sparks, who runs

Serendipity owner Linda Cotter. It wasimmediate, automatic."

See ART, Page 48

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