Mural & Large Scale
Public, Private, Commercial
I kind of fell into it...
... and it don't stop!
In 1992, when my painting mentor,
Jim Richard, recommended me to paint at Royal Artists, Inc., a Mardi Gras parade float manufacturer in New Orleans, I had no idea that murals would make up so much of my portfolio.
I have been fortunate to work on many projects with my friends, Richard Harrison and Rebecca VanOrnam, of A Midsummer's Mural, and street artist Hugo Zamorano, especially on the South Omaha Mural Project, with our good friend and local historian, Gary Kastrick.
All together, we have painted over twenty public murals since 2011.
We do public/community, private and commercial projects; from realistic representations to pure abstraction.
The Leavenworth Corridor
Midtown Omaha is ripe for murals as it transforms from the remains of its former heyday into a revived, still local economy. See the Triangulation video below for more about why we do these murals and see some of the other artists making this happen. Currently, there are about a dozen murals along this stretch of Leavenworth and heading downtown. We have done six of them. They're on and mostly for local businesses, non-profits, veterans, Art.
the Triangulation mural
Russ, Jeff, Me, Dave
Russ, Larry, Jeff, Me, Marty
13 days of work
kickstarter for triangulation
This is the first public art project on which Richard Harrison and I worked together. We were contacted by Sarah Tracey, who founded StartLab to engage artists in local art projects, while she worked with Urban Village, for which we've done a few projects. Joining with the Ford Birthsite Neighborhood Assoc., we received two Omaha Mayor's Grants and funding from the Nebraska Arts Council. Visiting Artist Linda Garcia guided Jackson Elementary students in creating papel picado designs, which were integrated into the mural. Avanza was the name of the latin supermarket on which the mural depicts produce often found in such markets. READ news story.
we drew from fresh produce found in the latin market.
I felt a need to promote pure design as a useful member of the mural gallery developing in the city. This project was funded through crowd-sourcing on Kickstarter, which paid for labor of first-time muralists.
Special thanks to Dave, Russ, Larry, Jeff, Noah, Rhianna and Nicole!
Leavenworth Arts District – See Video below from the Triangulation Project. The idea is to promote both the small businesses in this area of Omaha and also the artists beautifying it.
4314 Leavenworth St.
Other Leavenworth & Midtown Murals
Antique Float at Jim's Seek and Save
2013 NSX at Exclusive Honda
Freedom! at VFW
Urban Village on Farnam St.
Cut-outs & Installations
I painted Mardi Gras parade floats for Royal Artists, Inc., in New Orleans, which brought me to large scale painting - and to the use of cut-outs. I worked there in my early twenties, from 1992-1994. We would attach cut-out, painted images to the floats using wire so that they would jiggle down the street and animate the main scenes.
This led me to create my first jigsaw-cut piece, "Notary", in 1994, which was followed by four hand-cut, wooden, free-standing, folding screens in graduate school. Nowadays, large installations start with cuts from a CNC router into durable signboards of varying thicknesses or by laser, cut into clear acrylic after printing on its surface, for luminous effects on smaller pieces. Panels can be abutted vertically and horizontally to create screen walls, gates, banisters or relief installations. One goal is large-scale, plasma-cut, steel installations. The aesthetic carries into my studio stencil work and even into traditional mural compositions.
This painting is a replica of the first cut-out artwork I did at the age of 24 in 1994. At that time, I cut them by hand.
In 2014, around 80 volunteers of various levels of ability helped paint 16 4x8” cut panels.
Detail, Alumalite cutout & painted
This freestanding, folding screen is 7' tall. I am interested in all kinds of atmospheric surfaces and non-local color palettes.
Center 5 panels of 16, each 4x8', which line atop a 64’ long retaining wall.
Early, hand-cut folding screen. 1995
Pre-install of East side, about seed saving cycle.
Mounted on container unit
Each piece was painted on parachute cloth by various groups, then cut out and pasted onto the wall. Sponsored by WhyArts?
This cropped image from a workshop screen print would look fantastic at large scale, whether in paint or 3/4'” plasma cut steel, coated in white enamel.
2014. We used 26 cut, 4x8’ panels of floor underlayment as spray stencils. Young graffiti artists from the area joined us to create the first official mural of the South Omaha Mural Project. It is painted on the site of the historically first building of South Omaha.
Used the La Primavera screen as a key stencil layer.
Bride, Groom and Man breaking Chair are all cut alumalite
Graduate School. 1997. 12' tall.
Benson Plant Rescue
A special community project for a great organization! Over 80 people helped paint the first set at the Benson Theater Project. It was the first to feature the cutouts, which I returned to after 20 years. There are now 32 panels, each 4×8′ tall, installed as two free-standing, 164′ long shade screens at Benson Plant Rescue, 7224 Maple St. Omaha. Mayor’s Grant recipient (phase 1).