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The drawings are spread out across six tables in the old courtroom at the historic City Hall in downtown Lincoln.

There’s a silvery web spinning up from Spiderman's gloved hands by artist Ian Anthony Laing. 

An American flag with stars on one hand and stripes on the other, inspired by pop artists of the 1980s, by artist James Cattlitt, is one of the 81 proposals.  

The black-and-white keys of a piano fill in another sculpture. The keys are inspired by the Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder duet “Ebony and Ivory.”

Like a piano keyboard — "Why can’t we all get together and live together in perfect harmony?” said Lincoln artist Max Reis.

Another set of hands shows nightlife in Lincoln’s Haymarket on one side, with a rendition of the same night at Pioneers Park on the back side.

"The two scenes parallel the rural and urban qualities Lincoln has to offer," said artist Brian Arp.

These are ideas from Nebraska artists for Lincoln’s latest public art project — Serving Hands — which celebrates the 50th anniversary of Lincoln's Campus Life.

It is always amazing how artists can take one thing and change it, using their own creative vision, said Liz Shea-McCoy, project manager.

Shea-McCoy has 81 different proposals, selected from 175 ideas submitted earlier in the year. 

What Shea-McCoy needs now are sponsors: individuals or groups or companies willing to spend $5,000 to sponsor one of the Serving Hands sculptures.

That funding pays for the 6-foot fiberglass sculpture and an artist stipend to use for materials.

The artists and Campus Life share in the money raised at an auction of the sculptures, planned for September. 

The Serving Hands project has 10 sponsors so far. Shea-McCoy and Matt Schulte, executive director of Campus Life, are hoping to have at least 50 sponsors by Jan. 15.

Not that she’s really worried, yet.

Lincoln loves its public art projects, said Shea-McCoy, who's worked on five public art projects, including Tour de Lincoln (bikes) and the recent Nebraska by Heart (hearts).

And Lincoln has always been generous.

You can think of this as your own random act of kindness, Shea-McCoy says to potential sponsors.

It's a kindness to the artist, to the charity and to the city that loves public art, she said.

"I think 50 is doable in our community."

The public art project is raising money for Campus Life and educating people about the program, which works with teens on building healthy relationships, making good choices and positively impacting their school and community.

There are many good proposals to choose from. 

"This one is charming, playful," Shea-McCoy said about a set of hands laying on the ground, with a yellow duck floating in the outspread palms, by artist Joel Anderson.

"Fractal," a series of smaller sculptured hands spreading out from the main 6-foot pair of hands, shows the potential of lending a hand and "how, by using our hands to help others, we inspire another pair of hands to do the same," said artist David Manzanares. 

Shea-McCoy said groups can step up as sponsors. For example, a group of friends could pool their resources, all pitch in and sponsor an artist, she said.  

It just takes one person to say, "let’s do that."

Reach the writer at 402-473-7250 or

On Twitter @LJSNancyHicks.



Nancy Hicks reports on Lincoln city government, but she’s been following the leaders of local and state government for more than 40 years.

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