The eastbound commute along Interstate 80 will be a lot less scenic today.
Work is underway to remove 26 banners stretched across a row of grain elevators just north of the Interstate. The “Stored Potential” banners were a project of the nonprofit Emerging Terrain, which no longer operates in Omaha.
As of Monday afternoon, all but eight of the banners had been removed. Workers from Davis Erection expected to finish the job this morning.
The announcement last month that the banners would come down brought a passionate response from their many fans, including talk of grass-roots fundraising campaigns to save them.
Many of those fans reached out to Emerging Terrain founder Anne Trumble, who conveyed the various costs and responsibilities tied to the banners, including the ongoing permitting process allowing for their display and contract negotiations with the owner of the elevators.
Trumble, who now lives in Los Angeles, stressed in recent weeks that the “Stored Potential” project was always meant to be temporary. She said the banners are all spoken for by the artists who designed them, and some of the artists already have other plans for their use.
Trumble also noted that the banners were about more than art. Instead, they were meant to initiate conversations about land use, food, agriculture and transportation.
The themes on display led to Emerging Terrain’s larger planning initiatives, including its “Shifting Thresholds” study on the metropolitan area’s suburban-rural edge and the group’s Belt Line proposal to redevelop an abandoned rail line into a new transit corridor spanning north Omaha to Bellevue.
By Casey Logan / World-Herald staff writer