Blue Cat Gallery features Elizabeth Boutin


Rachel Knox

The Blue Cat Art Gallery

MJ Waterhouse, News Writer

The Blue Cat Gallery now features artwork by an Omaha-area artist who’s medium of choice is mixed media, Elizabeth Boutin. Mix media painter, Elizabeth Boutin, is showing work from her Journal Series, as well as art from her new series Effects of PTSD.

Boutin is originally from Idaho. Her journey as a military spouse has taken her all around the world, until her husband’s retirement from the Air Force in 2014. Since then, their family has settled in the community of Bellevue, NE. Boutin graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a BA in Art History, and a BFA in oil painting.

In her biography, she “expresses important issues to her through art and brings an awareness on such subject matters; these include Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the military, and the meaning of our natural environment,” Boutin said.

Ramstein Air Base in Germany was one of the many places that Boutin and her family were stationed. From 2003-2006 they lived in Germany, and in 2005 Boutin was an American Red Cross Volunteer for Landstuhl Regional Medical Center where she tended to wounded service members who came in from combat zones in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. “I was exposed to both their external and internal wounds. Writing in a journal helped me cope with my experiences at the hospital; this was my first encounter with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,” Boutin said.

On Nov. 5th, 2010, PTSD became closer to Boutin than ever before when a Army friend of hers took their own life.

The series Effects of PTSD “investigates the struggles of service members with PTSD and the reality of suicide,” said Boutin. The Journal Series is a body of work taken directly from Boutin’s journal that she kept in 2005 when she was in Germany.

At the end of her artists statement it says, “It has been difficult, and still slightly uncomfortable for me to openly share my encounters and express my feelings publicly, but I’m getting better each time I create a new piece. I guess one could call it art therapy,” Boutin said.

This exhibit opened Friday, Sept. 3rd, and will remain on display through Saturday, October 30th. The gallery is open on Fridays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Blue Cat Gallery owner, Carolyn Albracht, said “There will be an opening reception, free and open to the public, on Friday Sept. 10th, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.”