#tbt-Byway of Art Projects Take Shape

Last July we learned the Center had received an ArtPlace America grant to support creation of a public artwork in 4 neighboring towns in northeast Nebraska. The project includes the help of visiting artist Matthew Mazzotta.

Byway of Art has been developing ever since. We held a  series of outdoor living room conversations in the towns of Lyons, Decatur, Macy, and Oakland. Each one drew people in to re-live their memories and share their desires for each town's future.

A series of listening sessions and community meetings helped develop more specific concepts. And now the ideas are in for each location.

Lyons has a Storefront Theater to look forward to. Decatur's project, Rural Legends, is a storytelling space housed in an old streetcar. The idea came from an historical promotional postcard with a trolley pasted into a photo of downtown Decatur. It came about as a means of encouraging tourism to the town. The image (from some 100 years ago) is courtesy of the private collection of Jane Judt.

The Macy community will host a Roundhouse Gathering Space. This structure resembles a ‘Roundhouse’ or ‘Hogan’ when closed. Open, it forms a circle of TeePees called a ‘Huthiga’ and transforms into an open-air gathering and performance space.

Oakland, the "Swedish capitol of Nebraska," brings the contemporary urban side of Sweden to town with their version of an open-air gathering and performance space. The playful shape references rowhouses from Sweden and can be towed around town as needed.

Discover more about the Byway of Art projects at bywayofart.com. This fall, we’ll celebrate the completed works with a grand tour. Stay tuned!