Under our city’s crusts of concrete, asphalt, and rows and stacks of structures, lie many stories. The land beneath our feet is a borrowed foundation on which we construct the stories of our time and also create a reservoir for them. “Passing By,” the banner submission by Omaha artist Kimberly Glass, uses latitude and longitude interwoven with dynamic horizontal lines; the former marks the particular point on the Earth’s surface where the grain elevator structure sits, and the lines imply the speed and movement past the structure that defines our interaction with it. “Passing By” references our city’s infrastructure and growth, and how we inhabitants and builders of place gather miles of progress under ourselves. As we “pass by” we are reminded that we are built upon Nebraska’s own history and identity rooted in its rich soil.
“Passing By” stems in part from Kimberly’s appreciation for the experience of Nebraska’s early people and pioneers and how their lives were deeply intertwined with the land. She enjoys authors such as Willa Cather, John Muir and poet Mary Oliver, whose works explore the relationship between man and the natural world. She found direct inspiration for her banner design when first visiting the grain elevator – taking poetic pleasure in its immense physical presence and sense of history through place. Kimberly’s first intention was to mark that place as an invitation to travelers to take notice of near-forgotten places and what they represent. The latitude and longitude can be used with a GPS to direct an interested person to the elevator – once a ‘place’, then forgotten, now through this project again a ‘place’.
Kimberly Glass is a self-taught painter living in Omaha. Her recent works are abstractions incorporating a wide variety of imagery, from neon landscapes and cartoon figures to constructions based on both organic and geometric forms. Much of the metaphor in her personal poetry is inspired by her experiences of place, phenomena, and glory in nature. Her artistic inclinations have influence in her early joys of intimacy with nature and landscape as a child in Northern California.