Carver Bank Progress and Collaboration with UNL

As Autumn rapidly approaches, so does the impending opening of the Carver Bank art center in Omaha’s Near North Side. In the meantime though, we still have a lot of the build-out and finishes to work on!

Antwain, one of the workforce development employees from Impact One, nails strapping to a stud wall
Antwain, one of the workforce development employees from Impact One, nails strapping to a stud wall
A Bemis Center intern cleans our salvaged gymnasium flooring of gunk and nails, readying it for installation in the Carver exhibition space
A Bemis Center intern cleans our salvaged gymnasium flooring of gunk and nails, readying it for installation in the Carver exhibition space
Sean, Hesse, and Jessica mull over the many tasks yet to complete in the Carver exhibition space, where the salvaged gym flooring is installed
Sean, Hesse, and Jessica mull over the many tasks yet to complete in the Carver exhibition space, where the salvaged gym flooring is installed

Back in August, we finally brought a Program Coordinator on board to help us finish up the build out of the space, as well as jump start our public programming efforts. Jessica Scheuerman, an Omaha native returning from time spent living in D.C., has quickly gone to work coordinating the needs of the future building occupants, including the sandwich shop operated by Big Mama’s.

a sketch of Big Mama's sandwich counter in the storefront space of Carver
a sketch of Big Mama’s sandwich counter in the storefront space of Carver

Jessica is doing some amazing things so far, and we look forward to hearing more from her on this blog!

This Fall, we’re also partnering with architect Jeff Day and his undergraduate architecture and landscape architecture students from University of Nebraska Lincoln as part of his FACT Lab. FACT (Fabrication and Construction Team) Lab functions as an extension of Jeff’s architecture practice Min|Day, but is a collaboration with students to design and fabricate projects in partnership with non-profit clients. For Carver, the team is looking at improving the spaces around the exterior of Carver Bank.

In earlier September, FACT Lab met with Theaster to tour the bank and the adjacent Near North Side of Omaha and get a general feel for the project.

Theaster and FACT students behind Carver Bank. Image courtesy of FACT
Theaster and FACT students behind Carver Bank. Image courtesy of FACT

A few weeks later, the team returned to Omaha for a late night design charrette at the Bemis to come up with as many ideas as possible.

UNO team
UNO team
UNO group 1
UNO group 1
UNO group 2
UNO group 2
UNO group 3
UNO group 3

After a very quick hour of brainstorming and drawing in four smaller groups, each group presented their findings to everyone else. Some general consensus was made that there needs to be outdoor space for patrons and building occupants alike to eat food, relax, and socialize. There also should be space for small outdoor performances and events.

UNO presenting
UNO presenting

The FACT team has converged several more times to refine the scope of their designs, and will be working with us this weekend and next week, October 13, 15 & 16 as part of a the University of Omaha Nebraska’s annual Three Days of Service event, in which students on Fall break volunteer their time with non-profits all over the city. We hope to have lots of projects available for students to help us out with as we push to get the Bank open and operational for later this year.

For more images of Carver, check out a set on flickr here.

 

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