Creative Maker: Margaret Berry

By Mary Jane Winquest

Margaret BerryA self-described natural-born artist, Margaret Berry of Lincoln has a penchant for creative-making – from cooking, gardening, travelling to creating and teaching art. She grew up on a farm near Wahoo with limited access to art classes, but has immersed herself in artistry.

Well-known for her encaustic paintings, Margaret works with beeswax-based paint which can be sculpted, textured and combined with collage materials. She has just been named The Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel’s first “Artist In Residence.”

Back in the mid-70s, she had her first contact with NET when the late Beatrice “Mike” Seacrest and Meg Lauerman, nee Merchant, asked her to demonstrate batik on their NET Television show “The Grand Generation.”

She later served on the NET Foundation Board and considers her membership a top priority. “As soon as my member magazine arrives, I mark all the programs I want to watch and listen to,” she said.

“NET is unquestionably valued across the state,” Margaret said of the public media network. A fan of both NET Television and NET Radio, she also hailed NET’s progress to offer content via the web and on mobile devices.

“I do take advantage of the various ways to get NET programs on demand. If I’ve missed a show, I catch it later on my iPad.” She often watches Globe Trekker at night on NET Create (NET3) to see exotic places and cuisine and listens to the radio show This American Life which is themed around stories and essays and airs Saturdays at 3 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m. on NET Radio.

Margaret also likes to support the commercial-free programs that NET produces. “I feel bombarded by all of the marketing and commercials, so I turn to NET for programs rich in culture, without the commercials.” “I’m also amazed how often my interests and NET programs intersect — NET is a connector.” She had just read a book of Ervin Krause’s short stories when she learned that NET Television’s Nebraska Stories was profiling the Nebraska writer in a “Lost Writers of the Plains” story. All eight “Lost Writers of the Plains” are profiled at netNebraska.org/lostwriters.

Margaret and her husband John Stevens Berry, a criminal defense attorney, have four grown children and have lived in Lincoln for more than 45 years. Although focused on experiential art, her studies included a sociology degree from Creighton University and a master’s degree in human development and family from University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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