Collection: Van Gogh's Understudy Collection

Van Gogh's Understudy: A Modern Ode to Timeless Artistry by Rowena Cage (They/Them) is a vibrant and innovative art collection, debuting February 1st for Black History Month at the Hot Shops Art Center. This series of printed digital artworks reimagines Vincent Van Gogh's iconic style through a modern lens, celebrating Black women as the sole subject matter. In 19th-century European art, Black women were typically depicted as subjects in roles of servitude, often with sexualized undertones, and commonly adorned in attire that evoked notions of distant, 'exotic' lands and colonial realms. Rowena is sharing a different story of who the Black woman truly was at that time. For each piece of artwork Rowena has written a short personal bio story depicting the everyday Black woman of that era. 

Inspired by Cage's awe of 'Starry Night' and Van Gogh's tumultuous yet inspiring life, this collection explores what Rowena imagined it might have been like to be Van Gogh's understudy. Rowena uses the word understudy in an untraditional sense here, imagining themselves being able to personally experience and explore his creative process first hand get to know the Van Gogh behind the artist and how that would shape their work. Each piece is a vibrant blend of Cage's unique vision and the spirit of van Gogh's expressive brushstrokes, creating a mesmerizing dance of color, emotion, and cultural significance. It is a tribute to Van Gogh's legacy, infused with Rowena's unique perspective and artistic flair. Each piece is a conversation between past and present, a harmonious blend of Van Gogh's expressive brushwork and Rowena's bold, innovative approach. This series is not just a collection of art; it's a powerful statement on representation, identity, and the enduring impact of artistic expression.

Experience a collection of work that has been two years in the making!

Four exclusive limited edition works from the Van Gogh's Understudy series will be on display and for sale at Nebraska Furniture Mart for their annual Celebration of Black Culture event.

Twelve additional works will be displayed and available for sale at the Hot Shops Art Center to celebrate Black culture this Black History Month.   


February 1 - February 29

Hot Shops Art Center Gallery Hours
Monday - Friday 10am - 6pm
Saturday - Sunday 10am - 5pm
Nebraska Furniture Mart Hours
Saturday - Sunday 10am - 5pm
(Display is located in the Furniture building, next to See's Candy)

Friday, February 23, 6pm
Hot Shops Art Center
1301 Nicholas St Omaha, NE 68102
(At the Hot Shops Art Center event space)


Click here to register for the Artist Talk.
Funded in part, with the generous support of H. L .T, Brian and Barbara Nolan and other anonymous sources.