Public Art in Lincoln

Before I went to Lincoln, Nebraska, I was excited. Excited for the SAQA conference and just as excited about staying in a printmaking studio. And I was also a slight bit anxious. I was traveling alone, which I have no problem doing. But often when I travel alone, I am going somewhere familiar or where there is somebody I know.

If I am going somewhere new, it is usually me driving my car which gives me the false sense of having some control. It is unusual for me to fly alone to somewhere new, where I don’t know anybody and to not have a car, as was the case for the trip to Lincoln. I can’t really think of the last time that has happened.

It was my first time to Lincoln and my first time to use Uber. I had downloaded the app before I left Boise. I knew I could get a taxi from the airport, but gave Uber a try instead. I had a nice driver. For the rest of my stay, I relied on my feet and legs to get me where I wanted to go. (Uber saved me when I had to quickly get to the Omaha airport because of a canceled flight in Lincoln.)

I was staying about a mile away from the conference hotel and Lincoln is not too big. While walking around, I discovered public artworks. There were lots of heart shapes as part of Lincoln’s sesquicentennial (150 years) celebration this year, decorated by different artists and placed in various spots around the city.

 

With Heart We Grow by Gabriela Vlad Moscu

Oneness by Nicki Nix and the Metal Art Team at TMCO

 

Pieces of Nebraska by Abby Olson

When I looked at the information plaques on these hearts, I was surprised to see that all of them said, “Presented by: Sadie Dog Fund and Hope College Center a program of Boys Hope Girls Hope.” I earned my art and business degrees from Hope College, which is in Michigan. I wondered what the connection was for them supporting this project in Nebraska.

The hearts weren’t the only public artworks around town and on University of Nebraska campus. I really liked this one below by Claes Oldenburg (of whom I have heard) and Coosje Van Bruggen, entitled Torn Notebook.

 

Torn Notebook by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen

 

Torn Notebook by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen

Another artist I am familiar with, but didn’t realize (or remember) he was based in Omaha, is Jun Kaneko. The Boise Art Museum has a few of his ceramic pieces and hosted an exhibition of his work some years ago. This piece below is Kaneko’s work entitled Ascent.

Ascent by Jun Kaneko

It appears to be made with pieces of glass.

 

Detail of Ascent by Jun Kaneko

And here are a few more pieces. I am sorry I don’t have the artist names and titles for these.

 

 

 

 

There was more public art than I shared here. I think that public art makes cities much more interesting.

 

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