The public is invited attend the donation of a painting of Lincoln's "Smoke Signal" sculpture to the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department at 4 p.m. Thursday, July 14. Neil Unterseher, a New Orleans artist who graduated from Lincoln High School, will present his painting to Parks and Rec at the Department offices, 2740 "A" Street, where it will be displayed.
Unterseher, 71, received a fine arts degree from the University of Texas. His work has been displayed at Omaha's Joslyn Museum and in galleries, restaurants and festivals in many states. He also is a professional musician, playing banjo and guitar at New Orleans legendary Preservation Hall and other French Quarter venues. He continues to perform with a band that makes annual tours of Japan. He was a member of the Lincoln High State Championship basketball team of 1958 and also played tennis in Nebraska and Midwest tournaments.
The 16-foot "Smoke Signal" sculpture in Pioneers Park depicts Chief Red Cloud and was created by Ellis Burman in 1935. A 2007 renovation of the cast concrete piece was funded through the Lincoln Cares Program and an Access to Artistic Excellence grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.