The Magic City, otherwise known as South Omaha, is getting a new set of murals about the diverse ethnic groups that came through its gates over the last 136 years. Since the stockyards were established in the late 1800’s, immigrants poured into the area by the thousands to find work. They created unique communities with their own churches, taverns, sports teams, and traditions. Now there will be a set of ten murals that help us to honor those individual communities. The mural team of Mike Girón, Quin Slovek, and Rhianna Girón, working together with A Midsummer’s Mural, have collaborated with the South Omaha Neighborhood Alliance (SONA) and the Polish Home Inc. to create this latest installment in the South Omaha Mural Project. Last month they and other artists painted the mural of South Omaha’s Mexican community on the El Mercado building close to 25th and N street.
The year before that they painted a Lithuanian community mural at The Lithuanian Bakery at 5217 South 33rd Avenue and the year before that the “Magic City Mural” at 24th and N streets. The MCC South Campus bus stop mural was also designed and painted by Mike Giron and other artists in the Midsummer’s Mural Team with help from MCC students. Now they are starting to plan an Irish mural on Donohue’s pub at 33rd and L and a Croatian mural to go along with the upcoming centennial celebrations of Saints Peter and Paul Church. After those projects the next mural discussed has been one about the Jewish community of South Omaha. This team’s mural work, over the last few years has been made possible in part through the Nebraska Arts Council, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, the City of Omaha Historical Fund, the City of Omaha Mayor’s Grant and a lot of support from the South Omaha Business Association.
The Polish community has been very passionate and involved with the mural. Participants attended four community meetings and then a smaller group attended four more design meetings that brought together and shaped their stories into a beautiful mural design. Located off the I-480 Martha Street exit, Dinker’s is a pub nestled in what used to be called Sheely town, one of Omaha’s oldest mostly Polish neighborhoods. South Omaha Historian Gary Kastrick, who grew up in the Polish community around 40th and L, has been passionate in bringing a lot of great stories to the design process. Community members also came out for a projection night to draw the mural on, and a paint day to brush the first colors on the wall. Since then the mural team of Mike, Quin and Rhianna have been working hard to complete the mural. Individuals and families from the community stopped by regularly to see what was happening and visit with the artists.
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we will be getting a map of symbols on this page soon