Walker GreeneOct 30, 2014 03:15PM ● By David Williams
The 18-year-old, a recent Creighton Prep graduate and son of George and Christine Greene, is studying at the Paris College of Art. Greene augmented his studies the last three years of high school at The Kent Bellows Studio, which earlier this year was acquired by the Joslyn Art Museum and is now known as the Kent Bellows Mentoring Program.
The programs encourage students to explore, observe, think, and create. Three semesters per year, professional artist mentors are matched with about 50 high school students who are provided an opportunity to find personal inspiration, gain technical skills, and build an art portfolio.
“The Kent Bellows Studio brought so many great opportunities to me,” Greene says. “and I learned under some of the city’s most noted artists.” Dan Richters, the award-winning Omaha Fashion Week veteran, was perhaps the strongest influence on the young designer. “He taught me how to use unconventional materials,” Greene says, “and I now base a lot of work off of that idea.”
The designer wasted no time in making his mark in Paris. He quickly landed an internship with the New York fashion house of Carolina Herrera and assisted her team’s efforts at September’s Paris Fashion Week. Interning along the Champs-Élysées is a far cry from his days in a similar gig at the Sweatshop Gallery in Benson.
The artist is also interested in painting and points to Andy Warhol (note the similarly coiffed shock of shockingly blond hair) as one of his major influences.
With four years of French under his belt from his days at Prep, Greene is fully prepared to navigate the City of Light, but bidding adieu to Omaha was not as easy as he imagined. “I’m a triplet,” he says, “so leaving my family is pretty hard. This will be the longest we’ve ever been apart. I’m also going to miss hanging out at Caffeine Dreams,” the coffeehouse that is something of a Mecca for the city’s creative class. “I met so many of my best friends, so many of the people who are most important to me and most influential in my work at Caffeine Dreams and at the Kent Bellows studio.”
While Greene’s career goals center around the catwalk, he doesn’t rule out exploring creative endeavors that could spiral into any number of directions.
“In the arts,” he adds, “feedback—both positive and negative—can be immediate. It’s kind of a weird mix of emotions. It’s both terrifying and exciting. But it’s all so very intoxicating. Absolutely intoxicating.”