Italain Mural

Our work on the Italian Mural is Complete!  After 4 community meetings, 6 design workshops, community paint days and months of paid artist working to refine it, we are finished!  The mural is on Orsi's Bakery and Pizzeria, established in 1916, which is located at 621 Pacific St.
Click here for more photos of our completed mural

Next Step: we will be having a Completion Celebration!

Monday, August 15th
6 PM
Sons of Italy Hall
1238 South 10th Street

Celebrating both old and new friends and the
accomplishments in the neighborhood this summer!
This event is hostsed by
The Dahlman Neighborhood Association,
The Sons and Daughters of Italy, 
The Santa Lucia Festival Committee
and the Italian and Sicilian Mural Team
(part of the South Omaha Mural Project)

Menu: fried chicken, potato salad, baked beans, roll and cookie
Reservations must be received by August 12th
contact Richard Harrison at or

We are grateful to the Sicula Italia Foundation for being the primary Italian organization to start the process of this mural and to the South Omaha Neighborhood Alliance and the Santa Lucia Festival Committee for helping us with grant applications and other support!  for more information about our supporters scroll down.
One of our many meetings at Son's and Daughters of Italy to hear community stories and shape them into a design for a mural.
Here are photos of our projection night on June 18th...
and our community Paint Day on June 25th:
For more photos of community paint day click here.
Abstract Surface

Our Design for the Mural:

We have altered the sign on the fruit stand to say Fresh Fruits and Vegetables.
italian mural map copy.jpg

1 traditional foods

2 wine crate with Finocchiaro Wine text 

3 detail of mural in the Sons of Italy showing a family in a carretto

4 An Italian Singer with sheet music, The Sicilian Heart, by Carmelita De La Guardia

5 An old world shoemaker with tools from local workshops

6 A building at 6th and Pacific which may have been The Bank of Sicily, a bank started by Joseph Salerno, see article below about the way this helped start Little Italy, and to the right of that, Pistone's Hardware store, which was at 617 Pierce.

7 Italians working on tracks

8 Train behind them

9 garden below

10 painted carretto with no passengers

11 Image of street car on 10th with Al Vacanti the driver

12 Alessandro Rotella and grandson Louis in front of horse drawn wagon

13 Order of the Sons of Italy

14 Joseph Troia's fruit and vegetable market

15 Carl Vinciquerra  Olympic Boxer

16 Italian Garden restaurant

17 Piccolo Pete's Restaurant

18 Monaco and Vitale fruit market

19 Cassio's and Spare time Restaurants

20 Trentinos which became Angie's Restaurant

21 Caniglia's Restaurant

22 first Santa Lucia Queen- Fena Caniglia Venditte

23 strattu sauce drying on plywood, typical scene around Little Italy 24 Sons and Daughters of Italy rebuilt after a terrible fire. To the right of the Lion image there are scrolls with the names of grocery stores and other businesses that the community wanted to remember and a list of the artists who worked on the mural.

25 Insignias and medals from local Italian veterans - Sub that sank and Andrew DiMauro survived

26 Muzzy the Ice Man

27 men with drinks at Frank and Phyll's (Frankie's Market Originally) 28 Claudio Orsi on his tail gunning mount/ Orsi's Bakery sign

29 column with text explaining that 6th and Pierce is the heart of Little Italy and 10th and William is the soul of Little Italy and the words Faith, Fortitude, Family and Fun as pillars of the neighborhood

30 neighborhood trees and rooftops

31 Old World Italian Coastline, symbol of where families came from 32 Pumelia flowers, symbol of Sicily (laying below the tree)

33 Roots of ancestral family tree symbol

34 Olive Tree, symbol of peace, family, and a vision Santa Lucia had near Carlentini

35 1890's steamship with immigrants arriving at Ellis Island

36 Lilies, flower of Italy

37 St. Olfio icon in St. Francis Cabrini, older festival tradition in North Omaha

38 St. Annes' Church

39 Grazia Bonafede Caniglia, matron behind Santa Lucia traditions in Omaha

40 St. Patrick's Church

41 sign on banner scroll-"Welcome to Little Italy"

42 St. Francis Cabrini

43 Santa Lucia and Archbishop Malone

44 Christ Child Center, for child care and other activities

45 Holy Family Church, not in Little Italy but home to many Omaha Italians

46 Flags of Sicily, America and Italy in the shape of olive leaves

47 Signage that will show logos of different Italian organizations and mural info.

See below for more information on #6 as it was a shoe repair shop, then a bank and is now a rental home. We are not sure the present structure is the same as the 1897 one but it appears to be.

salerno article.jpg

Here is more about some of the artists:

Jeremy Caniglia studied under Brenda Jones at ISU, Grace Hartigan at the Hoffberger School of Painting, Dionisio Cimarelli at The Art Students League and Odd Nerdrum at the Nerdrum School. He currently teaches at Creighton Prep. He has published articles on what it takes to be an art activist as well as old master techniques on Caravaggio and Rembrandt. He is also a successful painter, with his work being showcased in private collections around the world.

Frank Costanzo can be seen in the Nebraska Arts Council Offices and at the Durham Western Heritage Museum. Past showings include shows at Omaha's Old Market Artist Gallery and Gallery Eppley at the Omaha Airport, and his political posters are carried by the Chisholm-Larsson Gallery in New York.

John Pecararo life-long arts educator, taught middle school and high school art classes in the area for decades and was a mentor for Jeremy as he was growing up! John lives in the neighborhood and is retired and will be able to help as much as is needed. His extensive knowledge of the area and his skills in teaching art will be invaluable.


Lita De La Guardia is a local artist/muralist identifying mediums with rich cultural background in the abstract arts. She teaches art therapy, advocating for mental health healing through creative expressions. She has actively created mural masterpieces on the downtown Sioux City buildings and locally with the South Omaha Mural Project in which her work depicts her artistic talents.  Lita owns and operates Bella Vita Canvas, demonstrating her work as an artist/muralist. 

Marianne Smejkal has given decades of service to Omaha Public Schools in the area of Graphic Arts. Smejkal's art influence was her grandfather Anthony Cianciolo. He was her mentor and a great painter. She would watch him draw and paint. The gene pool of creative energy, vision and talent guided Smejkal’s education from St. Patrick's Grade School to graduation at Paul IV High School in 1977. At an early age she realized art made a difference in people's lives.

Mary Ensz is a Nebraska-based artist and muralist. Mary received her BFA in Studio Art from Creighton University in 2011 and is co-organizer with Nasty Artist Collective, a group of local artists seeking to use the arts to bring about social change. In the community, Mary creates vibrant murals and in her attic studio, she experiments with painting, drawing, and collaging. She layers human forms and Russian nesting doll shapes to connect with identities and truths.

Dave Manriquez Dave spent years working as an art teacher and has been painting for more than 46 years! He has retired from his teaching job and started the business to offer his acrylic mural painting services in the community. In the past, he has painted murals for the Chicano Awareness Center and the Nebraska Arts Council. Additionally, he has won many awards for his art.

Richard Harrison has an MFA from North Carolina School for the Arts, and he has managed 12 murals in South Omaha receiving awards from mayors, governors, and the state legislature. Incorporating 58 paid artists and 650 volunteers over 7 years. He recently completed a 1% for art mural project for the Central Nebraska Veterans Home in Kearny. Richard’s newest grandson, Calvin, has Carlentini roots. Calvin’s father Chris Robiola grew up in Little Italy and Richard is excited to explore the background of his grandson and son in law. You can see the work of our collective energies at the collective artists site: And you can see Richard’s individual work at

Artists include:
Lead Artist Richard Harrison and the following:
Jeremy Caniglia
Frank Costanzo
Lita De La Guardia
Mary Ensz
Amelia Koneck
Dave Manriquez
John Pecoraro
Marianne Smejkal
and our apprentices, Sophia Dilorenzo,
Lexi Combs and Sicily Manganaro, and Lily Svaboda!



Nebraska Arts Council

South Omaha Historical Fund

South Omaha Neighborhood Alliance

Douglas County Visitors Improvement Fund

Omaha Community Foundation

The Omaha Mayor's Neighborhood Grant

Sicula Italia Foundation,

The Santa Lucia Festival Committee

the Sons and Daughters of Italy

Midsummer's Mural Logo.png

© 2020 A Midsummer's Mural / The South Omaha Mural Project