New FC mural

FC art teachers collaborate to complete mural

By Hallie Jones

Sacred Heart art students helped to complete the mural featuring a variety of books, located on the south side of the Falls City Library and Arts Center.

Junior Connor Nelson works on painting the mural during a SH art class.

Falls City Public School art teacher Chris Bennett and Sacred Heart art teacher Christina Wertenberger played a pivotal role in the planning, preparation, design and creation of the new mural.















On Sunday, October 15, a Falls City committee decided to have a “Sunday Funday” that included businesses open in the afternoon, live music and the painting of a mural on the south side of the Falls City Library and Arts Center. This celebration was for being recognized as a Creative District.

Falls City is a town filled with creativity and history. The business and shopping district on Stone Street contains a variety of historic buildings, murals, restaurants and a historically modern hotel. Now a business boulevard, the street used to be a stop on the Underground Railroad.

In 2019 Falls City was proclaimed a “City of Art.” When the city council recognized Falls City as a “City of Art,” they wanted to credit the city for collecting and presenting visual arts for over 100 years. It is known that a variety of artists, musicians, writers, and philanthropists have come from Falls City. Over the past 120 years, art has been donated and purchased to be viewed in the Stalder Gallery, located in the Falls City Library and Arts Center.

About two years ago, a committee consisting of Amber Holle, Christina Wertenberger, Anthony Nussbaum, Rita Seid, Jessica Fisher, Sara Eickhoff, Ivy Campbell, and Susan Sipple began the process of making Falls City a creative district. The committee began brainstorming ideas and working with the community through feedback sessions directed by Charity Adams, an outside consultant. They identified several strengths and weaknesses within the town and created a 5 and a 10-year plan to improve and create a more artistic community.

The library director, Allie McCann, suggested creating the mural on the south side of the library on the retaining wall. Wertenberger, Sacred Heart art teacher, asked the Falls City Public High School art teacher, Chris Bennett, if she would like to help her design and implement the project. The two began the process of designing the books on the mural and then met up to make the final adjustments to the design before proceeding with the painting of the mural. Wertenberger and Bennett devised a plan that would allow people of all ages to come and help with the creation of the mural. They spent hours drawing the plans and illustrating them on the retaining wall. “I love that our community came together to begin the books on that Sunday, and I was happy to collaborate with Mrs. Bennett to create a colorful, impactful mural for our Falls City Library and Arts Center,” Wertenberger said.

Wertenberger took some of her smaller art classes to the library to help with the drawing of the design. The students painted and helped complete the mural. “This was a fun experience for me to see the students dive in and take ownership on painting the books of the mural,” Wertenberger said.

Soon the city hopes to create more murals for the community and to the creative district of Falls City. “It was fun to have my art class work on the mural; I painted the letters for the Nebraska book,” junior Destry Groth said. “I love doing detail work, and it is a cool thing to drive by every day and know that I did that.”