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The famous “Love” mural was removed from the twenty-fourth place and the lake

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This was what many considered a symbol of hope for Day 24 and the Lake, but now the “Love” mural at the former Preston Music Center is gone. It’s the same mural that launched Arion Bird Williams as an artist. “Now that I’m done with this project, you can go out and market yourself. So I started from there,” Williams said. It propelled him to become a nationally recognized mural painter, so he says he sees it gone, deep. “It was like losing a family member or losing a child or, you know, it was something that I always referred to no matter where I was around the world, I took out this picture, and I showed people that work I was so proud of,” Williams said. A piece created by visual artist Cey Adams with the help of local talent in 2015. “It took a whole community of people to put their energy into it, and that energy is still there. And it was a positive energy,” he said. Drawing one word on the former Preston Love Jazz and Arts Center, it captured the future hope of northern Omaha while honoring the past. “This artistic community is really their biggest piece that you know of from Preston’s love so far, art,” said Williams. It’s what makes North Omaha, North Omaha is what makes Omaha.” Along with the red and yellow paint, Williams said it’s about preserving a legacy. “As a muralist, what you leave behind murals is a thing and a part of your being,” Williams said. Lukasz, assistant director of town planning, said in a statement that “the famous ‘Love’ mural had to be removed. “The building had material damage,” Lukacs said. “The water affected the mortar between the bricks where the mural was painted,” he said. If it had not been treated, Lukacs said, “it would have affected the integrity of the wall itself.” Originally built in 1910, it is now the future site of the North Omaha Academy of Music and Arts. “The buildings on our 24th Street, many of which don’t exist, are for the same reasons that could have compromised this building,” CEO Dana Murray said. He said Noma doesn’t actually own the building yet, so it wasn’t up to them, but eventually the building needed to be salvaged. “This is a city property,” Murray said. “I think some people think Noma is actually in the building. We’re not really in the building.” He admits he could have communicated better because the mural was removed, but said it is now a blank canvas for the future. “I think it can be interesting to let the community say what ideas you have,” Murray said. “And we choose something that best represents the community and the organization.” Preparing for the next generation of artists, Murray said, “Music, art and dance culture. It’s the core of what most blacks are about, just culturally, we grow up with that.”

This was what many considered a symbol of hope for Day 24 and the Lake, but now the “Love” mural at the former Preston Music Center is gone.

It’s the same mural that launched Arion Bird Williams as an artist.

“Now that I’m done with this project, you can go out and market yourself. So I started from there,” Williams said.

It propelled him to become a nationally recognized mural painter, so he says he sees it gone, deep.

“It was like losing a family member or losing a child or, you know, it was something that I always referred to no matter where I was around the world, I took out this picture, and I showed people that work I was so proud of,” Williams said.

A piece created by visual artist Cey Adams with the help of local talent in 2015.

“It took a whole community of people to put their energy into it, and that energy is still there. And it was positive energy,” he said.

One word painted on the former Preston Love Jazz and Arts Center, it captured the future hope of northern Omaha while honoring the past.

“This art community is really the biggest piece of them you know is from Preston so far, art is what makes North Omaha, North Omaha is what makes Omaha,” Williams said.

Besides the red and yellow paint, Williams said it’s all about preserving a legacy.

“As a muralist,” he said, “what murals you leave behind is a thing and a part of your being.”

“The famous ‘Love’ mural had to be removed,” William Lukacs, assistant director of town planning, said in a statement.

“The building had material damage,” Lukacs said. “The water affected the mortar between the bricks where the mural was painted,” he said.

If it had not been treated, Lukacs said, “it would have affected the integrity of the wall itself.”

Originally built in 1910, it is now the future site of the North Omaha Academy of Music and Arts.

“The buildings on our 24th Street, many of which don’t exist, are for the same reasons that could have compromised this building,” CEO Dana Murray said.

He said Noma doesn’t actually own the building yet, so it wasn’t up to them, but eventually the building needed to be salvaged.

“This is a city property,” Murray said. “I think some people think Noma is actually in the building. We’re not really in the building.”

He admits he could have communicated better because the mural was removed, but said it is now a blank canvas for the future.

“I think it can be interesting to let the community say what ideas you have,” Murray said. “And we choose something that best represents the community and the organization.”

Preparing for the next generation of artists, Murray said, “Music, art and dance culture. It’s the core of what most blacks are about, just culturally, we grow up with that.”

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