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Rebecca Van Ornam's sketch for the Nebraska Mural
Rebecca Van Ornam's sketch for the Nebraska Mural

Here is our progress to date (as of  Sept. 15th)

We have more up to date information on our Nebraska Mural Facebook page!

Here are Photos of our community meetings, community paint day and progress over the summer:

Some of our press coverage:

Omaha World Herald announced our Nebraska Mural Community Paint Day here.  

KMTV news covered our Nebraska Mural community paint day HERE.

The Nebraska Mural Concept

Over the past four summers, The South Omaha Mural Project has worked to memorialize the unique history of South Omaha through creating large public art works on buildings in historic neighborhoods.  Our murals involve hundreds of people from each neighborhood we work in. We hold many community meetings in which interested neighbors can learn about the project, share memories, help design, and even paint on the murals. The projects are a great way to bring neighborhoods together to build fellowship and lasting community pride.

We are now creating a mural for the Sesquicentennial Anniversary of Nebraska. We have been chosen to be an official project of the Nebraska Statehood Board. This mural give us a chance to explore and depict the relationship South Omaha had with the rest of Nebraska. Our historian Gary Kastrick, has spent many years collecting interviews with his South O high school students about the frequent visits Nebraska farmers made to South Omaha. Their trips would primarily be for bringing in their livestock, but would turn into a mini vacation, as they visited the flourishing South O business district to go shopping, see a film, or get a new haircut. Many Nebraskans depended on the South Omaha stockyards and economy to provide for their families. Just so, many South Omahans depended on the flow of livestock from farmers to make a living for their families. Although much has changed since the hay day of the stockyards, the people in the city still rely on our farmers for food and the city is still a great place for our rural neighbors to visit.  This long held relationship between the city and the country is a great story to illustrate on the wall of a prominent grocery store in South Omaha, such as the Super Mercado Nuestra Familia.

Our Experiences So Far

We had great meetings where we shared family photos and diaries about early Nebraska farming experiences, dust bowl survival stories, and community building.  We heard also about the feeling of South Omaha toward the ranchers that visited.  It was fun to create a sketch together about these themes.  As we have been painting the mural we have been visited by many community members and we had a great community paint day where many people came out to join us in painting on the wall.

We will be announcing a completion celebration of the mural near the end of September where we will have live entertainment and snacks and an opportunity to tell you more about the mural.

Principal Artists:

Lead Artist Rebecca Van Ornam, and supporting artists: Richard Harrison, Mike Giron and Hugo Zamorano are leading the project.

Apprentice Program

 Our apprentice muralists have learned how to create a public community-based mural from start to finish. They are expected to attend community design workshops, participate in the sketching and designing process, and help paint the mural on the wall.

 We love growing our team of muralists by adding individuals that are goal oriented and collaborative. Here are our chosen artists for this mural project:


 Alondra Gonzalez,

currently a Junior at Omaha North High has worked with us on a mural for a day care already.  She sent us this painting of a tiger she did as one of her portfolio images.


Rigoberto Barajas-Rivera,

who graduated recently from Northwest High School and did work with us on the Magic City Mural.  This is a painting he did.


The first week of July we visited towns across Nebraska to collect stories and memories about what makes the state special in general and especially about the way people in the small towns visited South Omaha for trading livestock and all the novelties of visiting a larger city.  In this photo we set up a tent by the mural Rebecca painted in Murdock on their museum.  You can learn more about that here.   The time traveling the state really reminded us how special the folks in Nebraska are.  We painted some of the kids faces and talked to a lot of friends!

Please call Rebecca Van Ornam with any questions (402)490-1400

Keep up to date with our project and revised schedules at our Nebraska Mural Facebook Page

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