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Ascension , 2009

by Jake Balcom


Mediums: Steel

Location: Mid-Town; 6005 Underwood Avenue

Owner: City of Omaha

Additional Information: The sculpture was commissioned by the Dundee/Memorial Park Association with a gift from an anonymous donor. The artist chose the name Ascension because it felt like the sculpture was still evolving and it would keep growing larger and larger, rising to a monumental state.

Stile di Famiglia (Family Style) , 2010

by Jake Balcom


Mediums: Stainless Steel

Location: Downtown; 1115 S. 7th St.

Owner: The Towns of Little Italy Homeowners Association

Additional Information: The sculpture was funded by a donation from Bluestone Development and their developer partner, the Caniglia Family. It was commissioned by The Homeowners Association of the Towns of Little Italy through a design competition. Residents initiated a call for entries, based upon a vision to commemorate the unique history of the neighborhood, one of the city's oldest. Residents selected the artist, Jake Balcom, from among entries and worked in committee to select a site and refine an appropriate sculpture. Balcom came up with an installation that is distinctly Italian. In fact, several Italian family restaurants (such as Caniglia's) formerly defined the social life of the neighborhood. Balcom has represented the feel for The Towns' neighborhood at 7th and Pierce, which seemed very fun, friendly, and close to each other, much like a family. Balcom kept coming back to the idea of a big Italian family sitting around a table eating dinner, everyone talking about their life or how their week went, laughing and enjoying the company. ”With this in mind I went down to one of our local Italian restaurants for some research/inspiration and as I was eating my favorite pasta dish there I looked down and caught myself twirling my pasta around my fork and instantly knew that this would make a fun and dynamic sculpture that would represent both the Italian heritage and the playfulness of the neighborhood as well as pay homage to the Italian restaurant that used to occupy the lot. As for the name, I finally decided on 'Stile di Famiglia' or 'Family Style' which is in reference to a restaurant serving style where food is served to guests in the same way you would at a big family dinner. I feel it represents the vibe of both the neighborhood and sculpture wonderfully and gives a nice nod to the Italian heritage in both the language and meaning”. In 2011, homeowners funded illumination of the piece.

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