Celebrating Nebraska history and familial roots are the main themes of the latest exhibit in Homestead National Historical Park’s education center.
Entitled “Nebraska Roots," the exhibit was created by Impact Nebraska artists and uses a variety of media to depict childhood memories, generations of families, taking things for granted, and roots, both metaphorical and literal.
Homestead’s historian, Jon Fairchild, noted that Impact Nebraska’s exhibit on Willa Cather was previously displayed at Homestead a couple of years ago. He said overall, the “Nebraska Roots” exhibit shows different interpretations of what it means to be a Nebraskan.
“We also thought it would be a great tie-in for not just talking about Homestead, which is so important here in Nebraska, but also with our theme for the year talking about finding your homesteading roots here at the park,” Fairchild said.
Park Superintendent Mark Engler said he thinks while some of the pieces reflect on the past, others are more contemporary and bring Nebraska history to the present day.
“What we’re trying to do here is change things up, and give those people that come to see us on a regular basis another reason why they want to come and see us,” Engler said. “And the homesteading story is just really too big to tell at any one time, so having exhibitions that we hold in this room that are constantly changing just gives us a chance to do a wider variety or a wider breadth of activities, which will just help us better tell the story. And in this case, not only our homesteading story, but it’s a chance for us to share the fascinating work of many Nebraska artists.”
“Nebraska Roots” will be displayed at Homestead through the end of June.
“We talk about all 30 homesteading states, not just Nebraska, so our next exhibit is coming from the state museum in Mississippi,” Fairchild said. “It’s about truck farming in Copiah County, through the lens of images of the late 1800s, early 1900s, and homesteads in Mississippi.”
“We’re excited,” Engler said. “We’re pleased that there are groups like this that search us out and want to share their work here. It’s beautiful stuff, and each piece is very different and very unique.”
More information about Impact Nebraska and their exhibits can be found at impactart-ne.org