New Leavenworth Mural Honors Veterans

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August 6th, 2013

Omaha, NE — A new mural by Richard Harrison has been painted on the VFW building on Leavenworth Street to celebrate the National Night Out.

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National Night Out is a nationwide event to promote community partnerships, crime prevention, and neighborhood camaraderie. The Leavenworth Neighborhood Association’s celebration this year will include a dedication of the recently completed “Freedom Mural” at VFW Post 247, 33rd and Leavenworth Street. Artists, veterans, guests, and neighbors will gather at 6:00 p.m. for smoked pork sandwiches, baked beans, music, entertainment for children, and a short dedication of the mural to veterans of Post 247. The August 6 celebration will bring the community together to not only promote safety but to recognize our country’s freedoms and thank those who have sacrificed to protect them.

vfw wallThe 20 by 60 foot mural of a boy on a tire swing with the word ‘freedom’ strewn across the wall, was the vision of Omaha artist Richard Harrison.

“I had thought about the idea of putting a boy on a tire swing on a wall,” Harrison said. “I thought it would be interesting and dynamic and then I thought about that wall. I thought about how he could be on a tree and that could be a symbol for freedom and it grew from there. But at first it was just a vision of a boy on a tire swing. I think it’s the feeling that you are going just high and up in the sky and released from the bound of gravity.”

After creating the design for the mural, Harrison secured funds from the Leavenworth Neighborhood Association, the Mutual of Omaha Association, the Nebraska Arts Council, and members of St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church, who had a pancake breakfast with artists flipping pancakes for the community. This mural is only the beginning of several project Harrison has planned for the Omaha area. The goal of each, is bring communities closer together.

“We also are hoping to do murals about the history of Benson, we have a wall we’d like to do that on. We’d like to do a history of South Omaha in the 24th street area. We’d like to do a history of Missouri Valley. We’ve talked to all of these people and have some possible walls,” said Harrison. “We love the idea of community murals, getting people together, learning about them, having them brainstorm what are important stories and community activities. The things that make their community their community, coming together and building bridges in that way.”

Harrison thanked all of the artists that helped in the creation of the mural, especially the students of the Kent Bellows Studio on Leavenworth street.

The National Night Out event celebrating the Leavenworth Neighborhood is Tuesday August 6th at 6pm at the VFW Post 247 on 33rd and Leavenworth Street. For more information on the mural, visit amidsummersmural.com

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