All that ever was, Always is

In collaboration with Habitat for Humanity-Omaha, Watie White Studio was granted the use of a series of condemned homes on Emmett Street in North Omaha which had been slated for demolition. Artist Peter Cales and Watie first created functional furniture from the material of the homes: planters, bench seating for about 40 and a 25 foot table, all of which were installed around and between the homes.

Watie then conducted interviews with all of the neighbors, former residents and community members to collect personal stories of the neighborhood, with an emphasis on the stories which happened around the homes themselves. Then, using the storytellers as models and participants, Watie composed paintings based on each of the stories, attached those paintings to plywood which were attached to the inside of every window in each of the houses. Utilizing the built furniture and surrounded by 81 paintings of neighborhood tales, the studio hosted a series of dinner parties bringing together the neighbors, artists and nonprofit community leaders.


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