‘Czech Memories’ opens March 5

Feb 25th, 2010 | By | Category: Arts & Entertainment, February 25, 2010, Issue

The Great Plains Art Museum will present “Czech Memories: Ethnicity and History Preserved in the Built Environment,” an exhibition of black and white photographs by Jean Lewis.

The exhibit runs March 5 through April 18 and features scenes from Wilber and other immigrant communities throughout Nebraska. It coincides with “Czech and Slovak Americans: International Perspectives from the Great Plains,” the 36th Interdisciplinary Symposium sponsored by the Center for Great Plains Studies at UNL.

Lewis has been photographing Nebraska for more than 20 years. Lewis notes that this exhibition brings together two of her more recent obsessions, “the ethnic past and present of Nebraska (and) rural cemeteries.” Stylized architectural elements in gravestones, cemetery gates and storefront shops enforce the strong connection to European roots that residents of these Great Plains communities share. With each photograph, the artist will include her personal notes as well as a history or significance of the place depicted.

Wilber, Neb.
Jean Lewis captured this photograph at the north Highway 103 entrance into Wilber, Neb. Every entrance into Wilber features a different folk art sign. On July 17, 1963, Gov. Frank Morrison proclaimed Wilber “the Czech Capital of Nebraska.” And, on July 10, 1987, President Ronald Reagan named Wilber “the Czech Capital of the United States.”

For more information, go to http://go.unl.edu/9ti or call 472-6220.

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