Italain Mural

We are in the beginning stages of creating a mural for the Italians and Sicilians of Omaha! We have had 4 community meetings so far where we have shared the history of the community. 

Recordings of our Community Meetings

Next Step: we are having Design Meetings for the Italian Mural at The Sons and Daughters Of Italy Hall-
Here are our meeting times:

Tuesday April 5th at 7:00 pm
Wednesday April 13th at 7:00
Tuesday April 19th at 7:00 pm
Sunday May 15th at 3:00 pm

During these meetings the artists chosen to work on the mural and anyone from the community who enjoys talking about design is welcome to come talk about how we will choose a style and composition for the mural!

Artists from the neighborhood working on this include: Jeremy Caniglia
Lita Caniglia
Frank Costanzo
Mary Ensz
Dave Manriquez
John Pecoraro
Marianne Smejkal
and our new apprentices, Sophia Dilorenzo,
Lexi Combs and Sicily Manganaro! 

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.

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


Nebraska Arts Council

South Omaha Historical Fund

South Omaha Neighborhood Alliance

Douglas County Visitors Improvement Fund

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