Quilt-inspired mural of Abe Lincoln to be installed at the Lied Center Sunday | LUX Center for the Arts | Art Gallery, Classes, Summer Camps & Outreach

Quilt-inspired mural of Abe Lincoln to be installed at the Lied Center Sunday


Quilt-inspired mural of Abe Lincoln to be installed at the Lied Center Sunday

Quilt-inspired mural of Abe Lincoln to be installed at the Lied Center Sunday

Friday, May 10, 2024

An all-new mural will be installed at the Lied Center for Performing Arts in Lincoln, Nebraska, celebrating the work of local and international artists as well as the city’s namesake.

Installation of the mural will begin on May 12 at noon on the west side of the Lied Center near the entrance of the Carson Theater. Media members are invited to take pictures and video of the installation process. A formal unveiling of the mural will take place on May 30 as part of Give to Lincoln Day.

Based on “Lincoln” — a striking representational quilt in the publicly held collection of the International Quilt Museum (IQM) — the mural is a stylized, modern-art depiction of former President Abraham Lincoln. Measuring 20 feet tall by 15 feet wide, this mural will be an exciting addition to the city’s rich history of public art.

“Public art enriches the fabric of our city, contributing to Lincoln’s status as the quality-of-life capital of the country,” said Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird. “We invite residents and visitors alike to enjoy this vibrant mural that celebrates Lincoln’s heritage and namesake.” 

The quilt was made by New York-based quilt artist Kimberly Soper in 2016, deriving her quilt’s design from a pop-art portrait created by artist Ihsan Ekaputra. Portraits like Ekaputra’s rendition of Lincoln are known as Wedha’s Pop Art Portraits (WPAP) named for Indonesian artist Wedha Abdul Rasyid who is credited for popularizing the style. 

The piece entered the IQM’s collection in 2019 after winning the People’s Choice and First Place Improvisation awards at the Modern Quilt Guild’s annual QuiltCon two years prior. 

“I first saw Soper’s quilt at a quilting event in Birmingham, England, and was immediately struck by the brilliant color used throughout the piece — I knew it was the perfect quilt for the museum’s collection,” said IQM’s Ardis & Robert James Executive Director Leslie Levy. “We are thrilled to share this incredible art with the city of Lincoln. And we are grateful to artists Ihsan Ekaputra, Kimberly Soper and McKenzie Phelps for their contributions.”  

The mural was created around two years ago by artist and quilter McKenzie Phelps and will be installed by a team from the LUX Center for the Arts (LUX) including Lindsey Clausen and Katelyn Farneth with assistance from Omaha-based artist Watie White. This is the twelfth mural created by the LUX in the past three years.

“The LUX is thrilled to play an active part in promoting murals and public art that attract residents and visitors to Lincoln,” said LUX Executive Director Joe Shaw. 

"The Lied Center is proud to be showcasing one of the biggest and potentially one of the most iconic new pieces of public art for Lincoln, Nebraska. Celebrating one of our nation’s greatest presidents and our city’s namesake is the Lied Center’s honor,” said Bill Stephan, executive director of the Lied Center. “The new work will bring beauty to the 11th Street entrance to campus and the entry to the Carson Theater at the Lied Center. We are excited to not only have world-class performances at the Lied, but also have a world-class mural that was made possible thanks to project partners including the International Quilt Museum, the Lux Center for the Arts, and Visit Lincoln.” 

Quilt Artist: Kim Soper, New York
Image Artist: Ihsan Ekaputra, Singapore
Mural Artist: McKenzie Phelps, Nebraska

A collaborative project of: 

Special thanks to Ayars & Ayars for providing the equipment for the installation and to the Lied Center for their partnership. 


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