The sculptures, manufactured by Icon Poly of Gibbon, Nebraska, are made of a cast fiber-reinforced urethane. In lead up to the unveiling, entries were submitted by professional artists, most from the southeast Nebraska region. Twenty-one were selected to be realized on six-foot tall sculptures.
Unique to An Enchanted Arboretum, students district-wide were included in the public art project. Teaching Artist Liz Shea-McCoy of Lincoln, Nebraska, worked with Doane College’s Arts Are Basic program and brought instruction on public art and art making to teachers and classrooms throughout Nebraska City. More than 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 four-foot tall sculptures. In addition, four high-school students have implemented their selected design on six-foot 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. 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 for five months at temporary locations outdoors and in businesses throughout Nebraska City until they are auctioned off at a public event in late September 2013. All six-foot 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.