If you live in Omaha, you’re probably aware of the the resurgence going on in the Blackstone District. Back in 2013, Oxide helped create a name and identity for the the neighborhood. After the district’s conversion of Farnam Street from one-way traffic to two-way, the ongoing mission has become to re-create and nurture a district that is lively, pedestrian-friendly, and provides a unique cultural experience for businesses, residents, and all members of the community.
We were thrilled to help continue this effort by designing three murals placed throughout the district. We sketched up a really wide variety of concepts, including reproductions of ads and logos from the area’s business in the early 1900s. While art for art’s sake would have be fun to have put up, the goal of this project was to grow the awareness and identity of the district itself. Building on the Blackstone brand, we continued with black and white simplicity and referenced the neighborhood’s past to further the nostalgic feel of the logo.
For content, we scoured the internet for any quote or reference to the neighborhood from its last heyday. In the end, it made the most sense to take a tongue-in-cheek approach, recalling the district’s previous importance and pointing towards its new resurgence. After we selected the locations and designed the art, the district hired Sharon Davis of Arbor Street Studios to stencil the work onto the buildings.