June 7, 2024

Quilt-inspired mural of President Lincoln unveiled at Lied Center

A new mural of former President Lincoln was installed at the Lied Center for Performing Arts on May 12.

A new mural of former President Lincoln was installed at the Lied Center for Performing Arts.

The International Quilt Museum, alongside the LUX Center for the Arts, Visit Lincoln and the Lied Center for Performing Arts presented a new piece of art to the public — a quilt-inspired mural of former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln’s newest mural was officially unveiled May 30 at the Lied Center.

“(The mural) beautifies the space. It makes it a special place. It’s a great way to welcome people to the campus of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln,” said Bill Stephan, the executive director of the Lied Center. “I couldn’t be more thrilled or prouder to be part of this.”

The installation of the mural is the result of a long-time collaborative project between the museum, LUX and Visit Lincoln. The mural was created in sections by artist McKenzie Phelps nearly two years ago. On May 12, a team of volunteers affiliated with LUX installed the mural on the west facade of the Lied Center, near the entrance to the Carson Theater.

“Our volunteers helped to put up this beautiful mural of a beautiful quilt of a beautiful painting,” said Joe Shaw, LUX executive director. “That’s what makes this so unique.”

The mural is based on an award-winning representational quilt made by New York-based artist Kim Soper. The quilt entered the publicly held collection at the International Quilt Museum in 2019.

“The bright colors, the bold design of the quilt, make it the perfect image,” said Leslie Levy, Ardis and Robert James Executive Director of the museum. “The mural makes it the perfect medium to share with the city of Lincoln.”

Soper’s quilt design was based on a pop-art portrait created by artist Ihsan Ekaputra. Portraits like Ekaputra’s rendition of Lincoln are known as Wedha’s Pop Art Portraits named for Indonesian artist Wedha Abdul Rasyid who is credited for popularizing the style of art.

Special thanks were given to the artists and the organizations involved for bringing this modern-art depiction of the city’s namesake to Lincoln.

“Enjoy this mural; share it with your friends and your family,” Levy said. “Know that this powerful piece of art is emblematic of the ever-supportive nature of the arts community here in Lincoln, Nebraska.”