Gratitude through art

Local figures gift art to honor Lincoln

Joe Hofmann

Friedrich Nietzsche once said,“The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.” If this is the case then the city of Lincoln is full of gratitude. Everyone may define what art is differently, but one thing Lincoln is not short on is art.

One exciting aspect about the art in Lincoln is that it isn’t just confined to art shows or inside buildings. Some of the best art is found simply by wandering around town and looking for it. Below are some of my favorite pieces of Lincoln art.

The first is called Groundwater Colossus, created by James Tyler. This sculpture is a fifteen foot tall ceramic head that currently resides in Union Plaza park. This giant brick head consists of close to 300 bricks and red-clay shaped together to form this “Colossus” of a monument. You can find this giant sculpture on the corner of P and North 21st St.

If you’re into woodland creatures, than the Mountain Monarch is a sculpture you’ll most definitely enjoy. This statue is of a bronze elk, located in Pioneer’s Park, was created in 2001 by Rich Haines. The elk statue was actually a gift to the citizens of the city of Lincoln from Lenoard J. Stransky and Angeleen E. Stransky. Mr. Stranksy was a prominent Lincoln grocer and property owner that wanted to add to the natural beauty of pioneer’s park.

If you’ve been to the Haymarket, you may have seen a piece named Watchful Citizen. The name of this piece perfectly fits its description because it looks J. Wellington Wimpy, the hamburger guy from the cartoon Popeye the Sailor Man, sitting on a bench. This sculpture is unique because unlike most pieces of art, you can actually take a picture of it and sit next to him. Created by Elizabeth Stanley Wallace in 1994, the title comes from a line written on the main entrance on the Nebraska Capitol Building which says “The Salvation of the State is the Watchfulness of Citizen.”

Hopefully this article has inspired you to go out and venture around our city in search of art that’s worth feeling grateful for.

Joe is a senior studying nursing and pre-allied health.