Art4Omaha TEAM Project
Construction: Neon encased in aluminum and plexiglass
Artist: Blackburn High School
Location: Exterior of Florence Branch
For decades, the Florence Branch Library has existed as a beacon of light and a hub of energy within North Omaha, building upon the location’s extensive history as a meeting place for Native Americans and American pioneers alike. Indigenous people were drawn to this land near the water, and tribal dancers celebrated their native rituals on the banks of the Missouri River. Early soldiers stationed in America’s Midwest were stationed at Fort Omaha, and Mormons, seeking religious freedom, stopped and made their winter quarters here. Additionally. settlers pushing west marked this spot for easier crossing of the “Mighty Missouri.” Today, the Florence Library serves as a gathering place for a diverse population of all ages and walks of life and includes a senior center, teen program and childcare center. Literature, computers and the exchange of all kinds of information continue to draw people to this North Omaha beacon. For the students, neon emerged as the ultimate medium for expressing this synergy, with teal blue representing the deep ancient waterway of the Missouri River.