Street art can be some of the best of modern art. The murals painted on sides of buildings can be real, visceral. It’s just plain beautiful.
Cities have areas dedicated to street art. We’ve visited a couple of them – Kansas City and Rapid City. The art in these cities tell stories, express political and social views or just send a message to admire the view.
Omaha, however, has its beautiful street art scattered around its neighborhoods. It’s not a bad thing. You just need to find where the work is located and check it out. From South Omaha to North Omaha, and even some of the suburbs, street art is available.
The best known piece of street art is likely “Fertile Ground.” Located in NoDo (North Downtown), the mural covering the history of Omaha covers an entire side of a building and then some. It’s one of our favorite views of Omaha. It can be seen from the area near the Bob Kerrey pedestrian bridge, Century Link Arena and TD Ameritrade Park baseball stadium.
Staying in the NoDo area, three new murals greet people as they travel along Cuming Street, from the North Freeway to the airport. The first mural celebrates Omaha’s history as the home of baseball’s College World Series.
The second piece recognizes Omaha’s labor unions and blue collar workers. Unions have played a major role throughout the history of the city’s growth.
Lisa and I debated if the third piece is truly a mural. We agree it was. The entire building is painted as a mural. It celebrates the Sandhill crane and its place in Nebraska. The birds travel through central Nebraska annual on their northerly migration during early spring. More than 500,000 Sandhill cranes visit the state’s flyway during a 6-8 week period beginning in early March.
Traveling a little farther north, North Omaha is home to murals celebrating African-American history and culture in the area. From Martin Luther King to the era of jazz and blues music, murals tell the area’s stories.
Heading to South Omaha, I found plenty of murals recognizing the area’s culture, as well as providing overall beauty.
A building near 10th and Bancroft is home to several murals. I found that most of the artwork teetered on the humorous side.
One side of the building had more serious art designed in panels.
Murals recognizing the Mexican and Latin American influence of the 24th Street area make strong statements. Poncho Villa is honored with a mural.
Other Hispanic stories are told through the art covering buildings in the area. The art is beautiful.
Omaha has plenty of street art available for viewing. You just need to find it. And the search can be half the fun. Enjoy your travels around town.