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Painting the legacy of NebraskaTell North Platte what you think
 
Photo by Todd Williams
Vulcan Pond
Courtesy Photo­Image
Todd Williams
Photo by Todd Williams
"Familiar Scene" near Williams' childhood home in Merrick County.
Photo by Todd Williams
Courting Flute

Born and raised in Nebraska, artist Todd Williams has been inspired by the awesome sunsets of his childhood.

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Williams has embarked on a project to leverage that inspiration into works of art for each of Nebraska’s 93 counties in time for the state’s 150th anniversary in 2017.

He will be in North Platte Wednesday, doing research, painting and drumming up support for a major work that will depict Lincoln County.

“What I am looking for is individuals, corporations, or foundations interested in sponsoring a county or several counties in Nebraska for the project,” he said.

Williams has done similar series in Vienna and Prague and in Europe, according to a report in the Lincoln Journal-Star newspaper.

“My dream has always been to do a collection from my home state of Nebraska,” he told the Journal-Star. “That’s how the project I started in 2012 began.”

Fifteen of the paintings are finished, some of which are pictured with this report.

Williams grew up in Central City, where he became convinced that God had gifted him to become a fine artist, so he enrolled in classes at Central Community College in Columbus. He graduated with an associates’ degree and then attended the Kansas City Art Institute and earned a bachelor of fine arts degree.

He worked full-time for 10 years as a senior artist/designer for Hallmark Cards until 2002.  

He now lives and works in Arkansas and Nebraska, with trips to Europe.

“It is my vision to give recognition and awareness of my great state and bring its beauty to life on canvas,” he said. “My goal is to paint one or more masterful paintings of each county in Nebraska. I desire to show not only the historical legacy but also the diversity and simplicity of the landscape and landmarks.”

He said sponsors will have ownership of paintings once the painting is complete, and be able to display it where they choose.

Some have decided to donate them to the county seat, which of course would be tax deductible.

Paintings will be part of a traveling exhibition in 2017 for the state’s Sesquicentennial Celebration, but remain with the sponsor before and after that year.  

Sponsorships for the paintings have ranged from $3,500-$7,500, depending on size, he said.

Under the influence of the great turn of the century American Impressionists, some of the paintings will be created “en plein air” and others in the studio, he said.

The finished collection will be displayed in each county and also via an exhibition that will travel throughout the state to such galleries as the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, the Great Plains Art Museum in Lincoln, the Museum Of Nebraska Art in Kearney, Bone Creek Museum in David City and the Norfolk Art Center in Norfolk.

The first exhibition will be a special gala for the counties, state, corporations or individuals that have sponsored or contributed to the project.

“My heart's desire for this project is to reawaken an appreciation for the arts and preserving the unique beauty and heritage that Nebraska has to offer,” Williams said. “I want to reveal Nebraska through the eyes of an artist.”

More information about Williams’ work can be found at: www.ToddWilliamsFineArt.com

Information about the state’s 150th celebration can be found at: http://nebraska150.org


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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 6/25/2014
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