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Sieninis Paveikslas Lithuanian Mural Project on Facebook

On The Lithuanian Bakery at 5217 South 33rd Avenue

Created by the Lithuanian community of Omaha.  Lead artist Mike Gíron had help from assistants Richard Harrison, Rebecca Van Ornam, Hugo Zamorano, Anne Newman and many community members. Scroll down to see a map of symbols.  Visit this page soon to listen to our podcast series based on interviews with folks who talked to us about their Lithuanian immigration thoughts and memories.

The South Omaha Mural Project's collection of cultural murals is underway and the Lithuanian Mural (the fist mural of the set) is complete!

 

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 135 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 Richard Harrison, Mike Giron, and Rebecca Van Ornam, working together as A Midsummer's Mural, have collaborated with the South Omaha Business Association (SOBA) and Metropolitan Community College (MCC) to create three of the ten murals in the South Omaha Mural Project. Last year they painted the 3,300 square foot mural of South Omaha’s history on MCC South Campus and the “Magic City Mural” at 24th and N streets. The MCC mural was designed and painted with help from MCC students and 24th and N streets employed a team of nine local youth apprentices. Now they are beginning work on each individual ethnic community, starting with a Lithuanian mural on the Lithuanian Bakery at 33rd and Q streets.  Their work, last year and this year 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.

 

The Lithuanian Bakery at 5217 South 33rd Avenue is located in the heart of the neighborhood in which many Lithuanians settled. Because of this, the 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. 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 Richard, Mike, and Rebecca have been working hard to complete the mural.  Individuals and families from the community stoped by regularly to see what was happening and helped with landscape improvements.

 

The Lithuanian community in South Omaha is having more than one community art project to celebrate their roots this summer.  In addition to the Lithuanian Mural Project, they brought a Lithuanian sculptor from Omaha's Sister City Šiauliai, Lithuania to create a large traditional wood carving for Omaha's Lauritzen Gardens. A documentary film maker has accompanied the sculptor and is filmed the art project.

 

Agreements have been taking place with building owners and community leaders to begin the Polish, Hispanic, and Irish mural projects. Other groups that have been considered for the Mural Project are the Croatian, Jewish, Italian, Native American, and Sudanese communities of South Omaha.

A. Gediminus's tower: Gediminus was a Grand Duke and a forefather of Lithuania (14th century)

B. Gediminus’ vision of the iron wolf and Vilnius, the capitol of Lithuania

C. Singing, Dancing and Theater groups formed by the Omaha Lithuanian Community

D. The Vytis: Lithuanian Coat of Arms

E. St. Anthony's Parish and it's leader for many years, Rev. J. Jonaitis

F. Father Juozas Jusevicius, who sponsored countless displaced families to come to Omaha from Lithuania in the years after WWII.

G. The singing groups and folk dance groups that traveled all over to share their talents.

H. Lithuanian Christmas ornaments

I. The Baltic way, when 2 million people joined hands across Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania for independence of the Baltic States from the Soviet Union

J. The Omaha contribution to the Hill of Crosses, and a Native American cross accompanying it

K. Packing Plants

L. Lithuanian Pubs

M. Vey’s Hill Haven: a prominent gathering place for festivities

N. South Omaha homes

O. Traditional woodcarvings

P. The festival of St. John: celebrated every year

Q. Quite wonderful breads and pastries (must go inside to see.)

R. Omaha’s Sister City: Šiauliai, Lithuania

S. Rue: the national flower

T. Eglė the Queen of Serpents: a traditional folk tale, modeled after a sculpture for Lauritzen Gardens by Aurimas Šimkus of Lithuania, made at the same time of the mural

U. Wheat, the yellow of the flag

V. Nature, the green of the flag

W. Those who gave their lives for Lithuania, the red of the flag.

X. Stefanija Mackevicius, who started baking bread and pastries in her basement and began the Lithuanian Bakery

Y. Various South Omaha Workers

Z. Protests: for labor rights and for Lithuanian Independence

1. Immigrant Ships coming to America

2. Map of Baltic States

3. Sports Heros: Johny Goodman star golfer from Omaha and several basketball greats.

4. Oak is the national Tree

5. The Iron Curtain

6. The Stork: the national bird, and other birds are names of different months

7. The nuns who taught at the St. Anthony’s

8. Float in Omaha's centenial parade with soviet soldier, Lithuanians, and the Statue of Libery made The New York Times

9. The Weaver: an allegorical figure of Lithuania