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Lincoln community to help create 9/11 artwork

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Kevin Heinzmann pilots a hot air balloon above the countryside after taking off to the north from Lincoln.

LINCOLN — The Lincoln Heritage Museum will launch a special exhibit on Sept. 11 commemorating the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The centerpiece of the display will be a new artwork created by community members.

Lincoln Heritage Museum 9/11 artwork

The starting point for community members to add to includes the Twin Towers and the Statue of Liberty, made by Lincoln Arts Institute owner Jason Hoffman. The artwork is 6 feet tall and 32 inches wide. 

Museum Director Olivia Partlow said the museum often does a smaller display featuring a few of its artifacts from 9/11 each year, leaving it up for about a month.

“I had known for a while, probably a year or so, I wanted to do something bigger for the 20th anniversary,” she said.

This year the exhibit will be up from Sept. 11 through December, Partlow said. Admission to the museum is free on Sept. 11. There will also be free admission from Sept. 20 to Sept. 25, during what the museum is calling a Week of Celebration, a replacement for its fundraising gala.

The painting will be done in collaboration with Jason Hoffman of the Lincoln Arts Institute. 

Community members had a chance to contribute to the painting over the weekend during Balloons Over 66. Hoffman started the painting with an outline of the Twin Towers and the Statue of Liberty. From there, the direction was up to the people who stopped by and contributed.

“How the painting is going to evolve, I don’t really know, that’s the fun,” Hoffman said.

People can contribute with various mediums, he said, including paint and felt markers. Besides being focused on 9/11, there is not a more specific topic, allowing people to bring whatever connection they have to that day to the piece.

“There’s something that sticks out to each of us from that day,” he said.

The artwork will be 6 feet tall by 32 inches wide, Hoffman said.

In the early 2000s, the museum was able to obtain several pieces of history from New York at the time of 9/11. A staple of past 9/11 anniversary exhibits has been a piece of steel beam from the Twin Towers.

The display will also include an American Airlines uniform worn by a flight attendant in New York City the morning of the attacks, a card signed by then-Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife to the family of one of the victims, and what may be the only bound copy of a speech given by then-New York Gov. George Pataki on Sept. 13, 2001.

For Partlow, part of the specialness of the art project is that it will be a lasting artifact for the museum about the community’s reaction to 9/11.

“The idea is that the museum and the college will have this piece forever,” she said.

Contact Connor Wood at (309)820-3240. Follow Connor on Twitter: @connorkwood


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