We had such a great time of community building fellowship last night at the unveiling of our mural. Getting together with people who shared their heart felt stories for the Mexican mural as well as folks excited to move forward on the Polish and Irish murals. We are definitely experiencing a different feeling about how America can be a place where different kinds of people can build bridges of strong relationships then some communities in our country. It’s very heartwarming. Thanks again to the artists: Hugo Zamorano, Mike Giron, Gerardo Vazquez, Jair Rodriguez, Ian Rodriguez, Sedra Caseneda, Rhianna Giron, Quin Slovek, and Richard Harrison as well as dozens of others for all their hard work. Mural on!
Thanks for the great food from El Alamo, funds for the food came from David Catalan and El Mercado Inc. and the South Omaha Business Association but El Alamo went above and beyond! Tell them thanks by dining there soon!
The mural that was celebrated Sunday on the El Mercado building (4907 s. 25th st.) is a beautiful result of “the people’s art.” It was the result of many people of the Mexican American community of South Omaha coming together to share what matters to them: who they are, what they stand for and how do they want to be remembered. We had eight community meetings. Four of them for sharing stories and ideas and four of them for shaping them into a design. We were invited into people’s homes to look at scrap book after scrap book of newspaper clippings and old photos. We were treated to great home cooked food and had great conversations. We heard a lot about children and how the older generation was focused mostly on making it possible for their little ones to have a better life. We also heard about resistance to people of Mexican ancestry. How during the past many were not encouraged to pursue college careers or to worship in their own language. How even soldiers of Mexican ancestry were not welcomed into veterans groups after serving their country. We listened in groups of all ages as grandparents told what working in the packing plants was like and how Mexican immigrants worked against the odds to create places of worship, food pantries, health programs and social gathering places. Quite a lot of individuals stood out as having sacrificed their time and resources to make South Omaha a better place to live.
We had a call for artists from the Mexican community to have paid leadership roles in the mural and we had 9 talented artists apply. We planned to hire two of them but because there were so many talented individuals apply we hired six of them. The South Omaha Business Association chose Hugo Zamorano as lead, and Gerardo Vazquez as apprentice. Richard Harrison, who usually plays a leading role in our other murals stepped aside from much of the paintwork on this project to allow us to hire Ian and Jair Rodriguez, Aaron Olivo and Daniel Castaneda. The team gathered daily for a week to sketch together and then present the sketch to the community for their approval. We then had a couple of projection nights. We had families join us and people of all ages tracing the images with chalk on the walls. Then we had paint days during the Cinco De Mayo celebration. That allowed us to have a great connection to the community as we connected with the Mexican music and festivities of that amazing event.
It has taken two months to take the time to work and rework the images in the mural to have the best possible effects. We have enjoyed having many come by to encourage us on our work. We are looking forward to the celebration and having a chance to talk once more about the amazing people and places we tried to depict in the mural! Once we are done with the Mexican Mural we are not resting. Tuesday the 14th and Thursday the 16th are projection nights for the Polish Mural that will be painted on Dinker’s Bar at 2368 S. 29th st. And we will have a community paint day on Saturday the 16th from 4-8 pm. We hope to see a lot of South Omaha join us for these experiences in the next week!
We want to thank the South Omaha Business Association for partnering with us on the Mexican Mural and the South Omaha Neighborhood Alliance for partnering with us on the Polish Mural. Funding for both murals has come through the Nebraska Arts Council. The Mexican Mural received additional funding through the City of Omaha Historical Grant, and the Omaha Mayor’s Grant as well as the South Omaha Medical Association and El Mercado Inc. The Polish Mural received funds from the Polish Home inc. and others.
Our Progress up to 6/27. We are getting very close. One of the pictures is us hosting the Step Up kids on 7/31 (our second time meeting a group of kids at the mural thursday for a tour.) The last image is a description of the symbols on the corner block.
Our Progress half way through when we had a We had a community paint day with 3 South Omaha boxing clubs (Victory boxing, D.G.s Boxing Club and Pops Boxing Club.) The youth did a great job! The clubs give a lot of support to them in so many ways, we really appreciate what they do!
Read and see our latest posts about our Projection night and our community paint days for the Mexican Mural here.
Here is Hugo Zamarano’s latest color sketch. Hugo is the lead artist. You can read about him here.
with research from The Mexican American Historical Society of the Midlands
and Religions and Community: Mexican Americans of South Omaha (1900-1980) Maria Arbalaez, Ph.D.
Our artist team includes: Hugo Zamorano (lead artist) Mike Giron and Richard Harrison as supporting artists, and Gerardo Vasquez, Jair Rodriguez, Sedras (or Daniel) Castaneda, and Aaron Olivo as apprentices. You can learn more about each one here.
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desplácese hacia abajo para la versión Española (scroll down for the Spanish version)
is a proposed series of four murals sharing the stories of people of Mexican, Salvadoran, Guatemalan, and Honduran heritage living in South Omaha. The murals will be located on walls that border the Plaza de la Raza, at the heart of South Omaha’s Cinco De Mayo celebration. Our 2016 phase of the project will be on the “El Mercado” building at 4907 South 25th Street. It will be about Mexican Immigrants and their role in South Omaha’s unique culture!
The murals we do about the Hispanic heritage of South Omaha will be part of The South Omaha Mural Project, an ongoing plan to paint ten or more community-based murals depicting the culture, history, and ethnic heritage of groups which settled in South Omaha neighborhoods. Already completed murals include the “Magic City” at 24th & N streets and the Lithuanian-themed,”Sieninis Paveikslas,” on the Lithuanain Bakery at 5217 S 33rd Ave. Talks have begun with the Polish and Irish communities of South Omaha to paint their community murals soon!
The Mexican Mural will share the stories of people of Mexican heritage living in South Omaha. It will have a team of four artists. The lead artist position will be filled by an open call to South Omaha artists of Mexican descent .Two South Omaha Mural Project team members will assist the lead artist with valuable experience of process, materials, and community engagement within the context of the larger mural project. An apprentice artist will also be chosen, so as to pass on the skills of this work to a new generation of artists, provide an employment opportunity and new avenues of self expression for at-risk youth. More apprentices may be employed, depending on funding.
The mural will be designed through a process of four community meetings and four focus meetings, which will include discussion and artistic exercises concerning the identity, culture, and heritage of the Hispanic community of South Omaha. Once the design is completed, it will be reviewed by a board of representatives from SOBA. After design approvals, the artists will prepare the walls for community paint days, to take place during the Cinco de Mayo festival. Thousands of visitors to the festival will get to witness and participate in the creation of public art through artist-lead organized painting. In the next five weeks, the four artist teams will work full time to complete their mural before the dedication ceremony, a large celebration in Mid-June with live music and food will commemorate the work of the artists and community members.
The Mexican Mural will impact the community through public engagement in the arts, empowering residents to share their voice. This group expression will translate into vibrant public art pieces that will educate visitors about people of Mexican heritage living in South Omaha. These works will build bridges of cultural understanding between Hispanic and Non-Hispanic residents and promote tolerance and appreciation. They will also provide a beautiful backdrop to the Plaza de la Raza, a gathering place for many South Omaha events, including Cinco de Mayo This artwork will bring vitality to the heart of the economic district.
The South Omaha Medical Association (SOMA) initiated the idea of murals in the Plaza de la Raza by reaching out to artists Richard Harrison and Michael Giron. SOMA made connections with local building owners and is finding local funding sources. South Omaha Business Association (SOBA) is the project’s fiscal agent. A panel of SOBA members, who have invested time and money into South Omaha, will be part of the jury to select the lead artists, apprentices, and approve final designs. Applications for lead artists and apprentices will consist of five portfolio samples, resume, and short essay questions concerning their experience and interest in the project. The chosen artists will be paired up with South Omaha Mural Project team members.
A detailed schedule of community meetings will be developed with the Kroc Center. Bilingual flyers will be distributed amongst collaborating organizations, local businesses, residences, and online. Artists will also make presentations at South High and Spring Lake Elementary, and invite students to participate in community meetings. We will also collaborate with Arts for All and the South Omaha Library to incorporate The Mexican Mural into their “Where Books and Art Meet” workshop series. This will provide a setting for children from the area to feel welcome and engaged in the project
We hope you join us on this adventure!
Nos gustaría dar las gracias a Nebraska Arts Council y City of Omaha Historical Fund por apoyarnos en esta aventura! Los murales que hacemos sobre la herencia Hispana del Sur de Omaha formarán parte de South Omaha Mural Project, un plan que sigue para pintar diez o más murales comunitarios que se basan en representan la cultura, historia y patrimonio étnico de los grupos que se asentaron en los barrios del Sur de Omaha. Los Murales ya completados incluyen la “Magic City” en las calles 24 y N y el Lituano temático, “Sieninis Paveikslas,” en la panadería Lituana en 5217 S 33rd Ave. Las Conversaciones han comenzado con las comunidades Polacas e Irlandesas del Sur de Omaha para pintar sus murales comunitarios en poco tiempo!
El Mural Mexicano compartirá historias de las personas de herencia Mexicana viviendo en el Sur de Omaha. Contará con un equipo de cuatro artistas. La posicione de artistas en liderazgo se llenarán por una convocatoria abierta para artistas del Sur de Omaha de descendencia Mexicana. Dos miembros del equipo del Proyecto de el Mural del Sur de Omaha asistirán al artista en liderazgo con la valiosa experiencia de proceso, materiales y participación de la comunidad en el contexto del proyecto del mural más grande. Un artista aprendiz también se escogerá, con el fin de transmitir los conocimientos de este trabajo a una nueva generación de artistas, proporcionar una oportunidad de empleo, y nuevas vías de expresiones propias para jóvenes en riesgo. Más aprendices podrían ser empleados dependiendo de los fondos.
El mural se diseñará a través de un proceso de cuatro reuniones con la comunidad y cuatro reuniones de enfoque, que incluirán discusión y ejercicios artísticos relacionados a la identidad, la cultura y el patrimonio de la comunidad hispana del Sur de Omaha. Una vez terminado, el diseño se revisará por un consejo de representantes de SOBA. Después de la aprobación del diseño, los artistas preparan las paredes para los días que la comunidad pintara, para llevarse a cabo durante el festival del Cinco de Mayo. Miles de visitantes al festival podrán presenciar y participar en la creación de cuatro obras del arte público a través de la pintura organizada por artistas en liderazgo. En las siguientes cinco semanas, los equipos de cuatro artistas trabajarán tiempo completo para terminar sus murales antes de la ceremonia de dedicación, una gran celebración a mediados de junio con música en vivo y comida que conmemora el trabajo de los artistas y miembros de la comunidad.
El Mural Mexicano impactara la comunidad a través de la participación pública en las artes, potenciando los residentes a compartir su voz. Esta expresión de grupo se traducirá en vibrantes obras de artes públicas que educarán los visitantes sobre personas de herencia Mexicana viviendo en el Sur de Omaha. Estas obras construirán puentes de entendimiento cultural entre los residentes Hispanos y No-Hispanos y promoverán la tolerancia y el aprecio. También brindaran un hermoso telón para el fondo a la Plaza de la Raza, un lugar de reunión para muchos eventos del Sur de Omaha, incluyendo Cinco de Mayo. Esta obra arte traerá vitalidad al corazón del distrito económico.
South Omaha Medical Association (SOMA) inició la idea de los murales en la Plaza de la Raza contactando a los artistas Richard Harrison y Michael Girón. SOMA hizo conexiones con los propietarios de los edificios locales y está buscando fuentes de financiación locales. South Omaha Business Association (SOBA) es el agente fiscal del proyecto. Un panel de miembros de SOBA, que han invertido tiempo y dinero en el Sur de Omaha, serán parte del jurado para seleccionar los artistas con liderazgo, aprendices, y aprobar los diseños finales. Aplicaciones de artistas con liderazgo y aprendices constará de cinco muestras de portafolio, currículum vitae, y una narración breve acerca de su experiencia e interés en el proyecto. Los artistas escogidos formaran pareja con miembros del Proyecto de el Mural del Sur de Omaha.
Se desarrollará un calendario detallado de reuniones de la comunidad con el centro de Kroc. Folletos bilingües serán distribuidos entre las entidades colaboradoras, negocios locales, residencias y por internet. Artistas también harán presentaciones en South High y Spring Lake Elementary, e invitaran a los estudiantes a participar en reuniones de comunidad. También colaboramos con Arts for All (Artes para Todos) y la biblioteca del Sur de Omaha para incorporar el Mural Mexicano en su taller de la serie “Donde los Libros y el Arte se Encuentran” Esto proporcionará un entorno para que los niños de la zona se sientan bienvenidos y comprometidos en el proyecto.
We are excited about our new opportunity and we hope you join us on this adventure!
Estamos emocionados de esta nueva oportunidad y esperamos que te unas a nosotros en esta aventura!