Nemaha County “Buzzing” Over Public Art Project

AUBURN – Nemaha County Leadership Class No. 6 is putting a buzz into a community-wide art project.

The class is looking for sponsors to commit $2,500 to select artists that will perfect up to 21 fiberglass sculptures that feature the honey bee in public settings.

The class’ Leslie Clark said public art and the honey bee are the right choice for Nemaha County.

Clark: “As we were kind of brainstorming all the different ideas, I just felt that this would be an amazing project because it not only does something for Auburn, but the whole county because you could have tourism. It does things for the businesses. It just promotes history and art countywide.”

She said the community response has been encouraging.

Clark: “Of course, honey is a big industry in Nebraska. It’s good for our ag community. It’s good for us individuals. One of the things too that honey bees show us is that they work together as a community, in a community if you will, they pull together. They build a proud future and, in the process, they can produce something very sweet.”

The Leadership Class also learned how the honey bee became the state’s insect in 1975.

Clark: “A Calvert Elementary teacher down in Auburn named Mrs. Ed Howe was teaching her kids Nebraska history. At that time Nebraska did not have a state insect. The kids were wondering why don’t we have something like that?

They had proposed two different insects, either the honey bee or the lady bug and Mrs. Howe, who sounded like a very wonderful teacher said, ‘well, I’m not going to miss this opportunity,’ starting teaching kids on how does legislation works.”

49 Calvert students attended a session of the Unicameral, where Nemaha County’s role in the naming of the state insect became etched in history.

Clark said the county today has some long-standing bee keepers, as well as many with smaller hives.

An April 12 deadline is scheduled for sponsorship of the 38 x 50 inch sculptures.

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