UNO alumna creates beauty on a different canvas

Maggie Weber poses with supporters in front of her most recent mural in Benson. Photo courtesy of Sarah Miller Photography.

Megan Fabry

For most people, a wall is just a dull part of the background of life, not even worth taking a second glance. For Maggie Weber, it is yet another opportunity to create beauty in the world.

Maggie Weber is a University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) alumna who has been painting for as long as she can remember. When she was young, her mother would sit her down at the kitchen table every evening to teach her new techniques for her paintings. It was here she began her passion.

She began painting murals around Omaha to help create positive art in the community. Each mural is created using exterior acrylic and takes extensive planning before the brush can touch the wall.

“When painting murals, everything is planned out ahead of time,” Weber said. “It is important to make a mock-up to scale to make sure all of the imagery is proportional when it is transferred to the final surface. For public art in general, it is absolutely necessary to keep the community in the forefront of planning all of the content.”

While some clients approach her for her talent with murals, there are other times where she scouts walls for public murals. When this happens, she considers visibility, traffic, patterns and the condition of the physical wall before making her decision.

Weber said the spirit of the community in which it is placed influenced her public work and her personal style tends to lean towards art nouveau, pop art and surrealism. Beyond art, she enjoys organic gardening and organizing community events.

Murals cannot be created in a day, however. Foster said she has worked on projects spanning from one week to several months. She has gained attention for her talents and is well-known in Omaha’s art community. To create awareness of her murals, she utilizes social media, word-of-mouth and visibility.

Collaboration plays an important role when it comes to planning, creating and finishing a mural. Foster often teams up with other Omaha artists to make a perfect piece of art that embodies the spirit of each community.

For her most recent project, she worked with three other artists to create a mural for the west end of the Benson business district.

“Collaboration is key when creating large-scale public work,” Weber said. “It takes many perspectives to make an effective piece of public art.”

As an artist, Weber actively advocates for other artists to be compensated fairly for their work. She has also mentored teens through the Joslyn Art Museum’s Kent Bellows Mentoring Program and returns to her hometown of Shenandoah, Iowa to teach at Wabash Art Camp, which she attended for many years in her youth.

Weber has works of art spread all around Omaha and plans to continue sharing her talents for the residents of Omaha to enjoy.