A forest of sculptures will be unveiled in Arbor Day’s Hometown on Saturday, April 20 at 1 p.m. in front of the Otoe County Courthouse in downtown Nebraska City, NE. A result of a grass-roots community movement begun in 2010, the Grand Unveiling of An Enchanted Arboretum debuts seventy-two 3-dimensional stylized trees, designed by professional artists and students, 1st graders up to high school age.
The sculptures were manufactured by Icon Poly of Gibbon, Nebraska and are made of a cast fiber-reinforced urethane in two different sizes. In lead up to the unveiling, entries were submitted by professional artists, most from the Southeast Nebraska region, and twenty-one were selected to be realized on 6’ tall sculptures.
Unique to An Enchanted Arboretum, students district-wide were included in the project. Liz Shea McCoy of Lincoln, NE working with Arts Are Basic, a partner program of Doane College, brought instruction on public art and art making to teachers and classrooms throughout Nebraska City. Over 1,000 students participated, each designing their own one-foot maquette. Of those maquettes, 47 student-designs were chosen to be replicated by the student onto 4’ tall sculptures. In addition, four high-school students have implemented their selected design on 6’ tall sculptures of their own. Participating schools include Lourdes Central Catholic, the Nebraska Center for the Education of Children who are Blind or Visually Impaired, Northside Elementary, Hayward Elementary, Nebraska City Middle School, and Nebraska City High School.
The Otoe County Courthouse is located at 1021 Central Avenue in Nebraska City, NE. In case of bad weather the Nebraska City Middle School at 909 1st Corso has been identified as an alternate location for the event. Following the Grand Unveiling, the sculptures will be displayed at temporary locations outdoors and in businesses for the summer throughout Nebraska City until they are auctioned off at a public event in late September 2013. All 6’ sculptures will be permanently installed around the community with plaques noting individual sponsors.
An Enchanted Arboretum is funded by grants from: The Paul, John, Anton & Doris Wirth Foundation; the Karl H. & Wealtha H. Nelson Family Foundation; the Kropp Charitable Foundation, Inc.; the City of Nebraska City (LB840 Funds); Rotary Club No. 2090; and United Way of Nebraska City.
Details about the project including selected artists and photos can be found at www.enchantedarboretum.org, on the An Enchanted Arboretum Facebook page, or by contacting Project Coordinator Liz Shea-McCoy at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tom Farrell at email@example.com.