I don’t claim to be a photographer. In fact, I’ve never even owned my own camera, but that doesn’t stop me from taking photos from time to time. I’ve learned a lot about photography since starting at Oxide thanks to Joe, Drew and various internet resources. So learning what I had, back in June I was able to take photos of Fertile Ground, a brand new 32,500 square-foot public art mural located on the Energy Systems Company building at 13th and Webster Street right here Omaha. I was also able to meet the mural’s artist Meg Saligman, who has been recognized as one of the ten most influential muralists in the nation (by Public Art Review).

Fertile Ground mural photo by OxideFertile Ground mural photo by Oxide
Josh SchweigerOxide intern Josh Schwieger, as seen from 200 feet in the air.

The mural is simply breathtaking and could not be photographed in full from the ground. Since the budget didn’t allow for a helicopter photo shoot, a few of the mural artists (James Shuster & Efrain Herrera) were kind enough to take me up on their boom lift. Now, I’m not afraid of heights, but speeding around on a wobbly 200 foot ladder isn’t the safest I’ve ever felt. To be fair, James made me feel pretty safe, but Efrain was a little less cautious. Besides the increased speed, I had to encourage him not to park directly on the train tracks. In the photo above you can see just how high we were. That’s our intern Josh heading to the street to direct traffic. In the end, the danger paid off, allowing for a great perspective of the mural.

We’re currently working with the Peter Kiewit Foundation to develop a brochure (available before year’s end), that will describe some of the mural’s extensive and incredible symbolism.

View the project page for Fertile Ground Mural.