Mayor Don Wesely today unveiled a new sculpture called "American Eagle," which has been permanently installed outside the Mayorís Office on the second floor of the County-City Building. The sculpture is the work of Nebraska artist Fred Hoppe and was donated to the County-City Public Art Project by Russell and Louise Brehm of Lincoln.
"The donation of this majestic sculpture of our nationís symbol comes at the perfect time, as the people of our country come together to deal with the recent terrorist attacks," said Mayor Wesely. "This very generous donation by the Brehm family will remind many future generations of the pride we have in our country and the need to protect our freedom."
"Louise and I share the Mayorís commitment to the arts in Lincoln," said Russell Brehm. "We are aware of his efforts to beautify the County-City Building and are pleased to present this eagle to the City of Lincoln. We hope it provides a lasting impression on the many visitors to this fine building."
The life-sized sculpture of a bald eagle stands six feet tall and weighs about 500 pounds. It is valued at about $50,000. Hoppe, who lives near Malcolm, has also completed other eagle sculptures which are in the homes of former President George Bush and General Norman Schwarzkopf.
Hoppeís sculpture was approved for display by the Art Advisory Committee of the County-City Public Building Commission. The advisory committee, chaired by County Attorney Gary Lacey, was established in October 1998 to explore the funding and placement of art in the County-City Government Complex, which includes the County-City Building, the Justice and Law Enforcement Center and the corrections facility.
The first piece approved by the committee, "Jehanne," continues to be on display on the second floor of the County City Building. The sculpture of the head of Joan of Arc is by San Francisco artist Charles Strong and is on loan from Karen and Robert Duncan of Lincoln.
Mayor Wesely also supported the first two Pennies for Lincoln campaigns, coordinated by the Lincoln Arts Council (LAC). The first resulted in the installation of "The Rail Joiner," a sculpture of a young Abraham Lincoln, outside the Justice and Law Enforcement Center. The second campaign, now nearing completion, will fund the installation of "Daydreams," a sculpture of a young girl and her dog, in Cooper Park. The Mayor also works with the LAC to present the Mayorís Arts Awards every year.
"I am very pleased to see our city continuing to increase its public art, which adds to our quality of life," said Mayor Wesely. "With generous donations such as the Brehmís, we are able to bring great art to our citizens at no taxpayer expense."