Art students honor Lincoln's trailblazing women

Students from the Arts & Humanities Focus Program and Lincoln High School recently partnered with a community organization on a public art project to honor many of the women who have made significant contributions to the community, particularly the Everett, South of Downtown and South Salt Creek neighborhoods.

The project, called “See Her Here,” was done in conjunction with the South of Downtown Community Development Organization. Kat Wiese from the organization asked for nominations of women to be honored, then presented the nominees to students in February. From there, students researched the women to be honored and chose one as the subject for their individual art pieces, which were featured in the community during an artwalk on March 12.

In the coming months, many of these posters will also be wheatpasted on sides of buildings across Lincoln. (Wheatpaste is a gel or liquid adhesive made from wheat flour or starch and water.) 

The project has provided multiple learning opportunities, said Arts & Humanities teacher Maggie Elsener.

“Community engagement plays a vital role in becoming an active citizen and understanding what connections can be made through learning about these women has led to further work and ideas in the classroom,” she said. “Students in a poetry class are creating poems about the nominated women and students in the photography class are creating works that are inspired by the student poetry."

Here’s what a few Arts & Humanities students said about why they chose the women they did:

Sami Brayton: "I really wanted to create a portrait of Renee San Souci because seeing another powerful indigenous woman in my community really inspires me. I've grown up being the only person of color and indigenous person I know and being able to see someone like me is very amazing. My other choice was Joann Maxey. As a child I saw her impact first hand. I went to Maxey Elementary School (named after her of course) and almost everywhere I go she is known by everyone."

Shereen Ahmed: "Louise Pound is my top choice for creating a work because she is an important woman in history who showed other women that they can be what they want regardless of their gender."

Alkhansa Ali: "I chose Anna Burhardt because she had parents that were slaves and since she lived during a period where schools were segregated, and she was able to become really successful and I admire her for that."

Published: March 29, 2021, Updated: March 29, 2021