The destruction of public art in Omaha, Nebraska
By Rebecca Stavick
Omaha isn’t much to look at.
At least that was my first impression of Omaha when I moved here a few years ago. But, maybe I was just cranky because I had never driven in a town with so many potholes before, and I was having a hard time envisioning my life in this slightly deteriorating, small Midwestern city. I still live in Omaha, but it’s because I love Nebraskans to death — not because I think Omaha is particularly beautiful.
This week the Omaha World Herald featured a story on Omaha’s most visible public art — our silo art banners — and how they would soon be taken down because the founder of the project left town, and there is no one to claim responsibility for their maintenance, which involves following up on some permits, and paying for their cleaning, costing about $30,000.
I cannot claim to know a single thing about urban design or public art. I didn’t know the people or the organization that set up the silo art project, and I didn’t attend any of their events. After writing this story, I may never speak on this topic again. But there is one thing I do know — as citizens of a less-than-beautiful city, we should be fighting our asses off to save our most visible pieces of public art.