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Zoning Board of Appeals votes on Emerging Terrain’s grain elevator banners Thursday

An essential Omaha public art staple, the continuation of the Emerging Terrain Grain Elevator banners along Interstate 80 near downtown will be voted on June 16 by the Zoning Board of Appeals. The first 13 banners went up last fall, and 12 additional one will be added on the topic of “Transport(ation),” which Emerging Terrain is soliciting designs for now. They were not approved at a sparsely attended meeting in May by the ZBA, but Emerging Terrain Director Anne Renee Trumble is hopeful things will move forward Thursday. According to the Emerging Terrain blog, there was a little concern with lighting and increased foot traffic by nearby residents. However, ET has also received hundreds of letters of support and aid from the Omaha Venture Group. “We have heard you, and very much appreciate the support the community has shown,” writes Trumble. “The banners do have meaning beyond their beautification and it has been fun to hear people discover and discuss them. The intent of this project is to see everyday parts of our city anew with possibility and to initiate conversation.” Emerging Terrain spearheaded the endeavor to repurpose the derelict, yet iconic, historic landscape structures of the mid-century concrete grain elevators. The nonprofit organization solicited designs for thirteen 20-foot by 80-foot images to hang on the exterior of the vacant grain elevators with the theme of “Stored Potential: Land Use, Agriculture, and Food.” The designs selected include “Corn Cob” by Mary Day, the Nebraska iconographic vegetable, “conre(A)te” by Brian Kelly, appearing as a nine-tiered staircase, and “Oglala” by Matthew Farley, reminiscent of center-pivot irrigation circles. These and the 10 other designs continue to delight over 76,000 passersby daily. These original banners will stay for the life of the material, though they will be moved to the northernmost silos, and the new images will go where the current ones are. The call for entries for “Transport(ation)” invites artists to submit images that initiate conversation about “the fused nature of transportation and transport in relation to the grain elevator, the citywide hiking trail it terminates, and the 76,000 vehicles passing it each day on the cross-continental Interstate 80. “ Details can be found at their website. In the meantime, Emerging Terrain is calling for the community’s help with the meeting June 16 at 1 p.m., 1819 Farnam St. The public is also welcome to write a letter of support for the project to Robert Hancock, Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals, at the same address. Soup Revolution is serving lunch starting at 11:30 a.m. near City Hall Plaza where supporters can meet beforehand.

posted at 08:34 pm
on Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

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