Lincoln artists Carrie Strope, Heather Swartz and Aimee Goerg-Smith, in cooperation with Architectural Glassarts, volunteer their time to offer in-person lessons and mosaic assembly kits, which can be purchased by area residents to discover and create small mosaics while raising funds to help save the Pershing Center Mural, an iconic work of historic Nebraska history, located on Centennial Mall just blocks north of the Nebraska State Capitol.
Architectural Glassarts donates the glass and mirror pieces used in the courtyards.
Pershing’s mosaic mural, displayed on the west side of the soon-to-be-demolished and obsolete downtown Lincoln Events Center, tells the story of various forms of cultural entertainment that were prominent in the mid-1950s and remain popular in this day. . The mural was designed by Bill Hammond and Nebraska artist Leonard Thiessen, both represented at the Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA) in Kearney, and made up of more than 700,000 one-inch square tiles, manufactured by the Cambridge Tile Company in Cambridge, Ohio.
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To save this piece of Americana and preserve some of our local history, the Committee to Save Pershing’s Mural and the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation are raising funds, led by local arts advocate and arts educator Liz Shea-McCoy.
Since launching the Save the Pershing Mural fundraising campaign on March 1, the committee and fiscal sponsor Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation have raised nearly $600,000. The funds come in part from more than 350 individual donations totaling more than $46,000, as well as monetary commitments from entities such as the Acklie Charitable Foundation, Ameritas, Richard P. Kimmel and Laurine Kimmel Charitable Fund, and the Krieger Foundation . The total represents more than half the million dollars needed to meet the May 20 deadline set by the City of Lincoln to safely remove the mural from Pershing’s facade, in July and August, before the building is be dismantled in September.
Mosaic ornament kits and courses are $10, with 80% of the proceeds going to the mural’s fundraising effort. The remainder of the funds will cover the cost of materials not donated. The kits will be available at Architectural Glassarts on Thursdays from 6-8 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-noon, as well as at in-person events for a cash donation. To complete the kit, participants must provide a clean, recycled jar lid.
In-person events are scheduled for Saturday, April 30, from 1 to 3 p.m.; Sunday May 1, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Saturday May 7, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.; and Sunday, May 8 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Direct your questions to Carrie Strope at 707-225-1361 or [email protected]
Tax-deductible donations to save the Pershing Mural can be made online at www.nshsf.org/projects/pershing-mural/ or by mailing a check to the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation, 128 N. 13th St., Suite 1010, Lincoln, NE 68508, noting Pershing Mural Preservation Project on the memo line of the check.