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Nebraska artist invites pictures in front of wing paintings

July 28, 2018

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) — Since the Global Angel Wings Project began in Los Angeles in 2012, colorful wings have fluttered all around the world.

Karen Neppl, the owner of Studio K Art Gallery, started a local version of the project, calling it Wings Across the Heartland.

She has painted nine sets of colorful wings on the outside of Grand Island buildings, most of them in the downtown area. She plans to paint 11 more by the end of the year.

“It is my gift to Grand Island,” Neppl said.

The Grand Island Independent reports that the wings are shoulder height, so people can easily take selfies with their backs against the wall, making it seem as if they have wings. That’s what makes the project interactive.

Many of the paintings are in alleys downtown.

She hopes that people who take pictures send a tweet to #wingsacrosstheheartland. Neppl has 450 pictures of people who have already done so.

She is gratified when people thank her for being the wind beneath their wings.

It “just fills my heart” when people embrace her paintings, Neppl said. She regards Wings Across the Heartland as a community art project.

Last week, she painted wings adorned with “cat eyes” on the north side of Wayne’s Cyclery.

After that, Neppl added a second pair to the exterior of Johnny’s Lock and Key Shop. The week before, she painted dragonfly wings on the building. The new wings are curled.

The back of Master Stylists was bestowed with a pair of butterfly wings.

Two of her works are in the Downtown Center parking lot. They are bat wings and rainbow-colored wings.

On the back of Prairie Pride, Neppl painted the names of the company’s beers.

She painted “firewings” on the outside of Hydro Tech.

Neppl brought a painting of crane wings to a Hear Grand Island concert a few weeks ago. Next month, they’ll be on display at the Nebraska State Fair.

Colette Miller created the Global Angels Wings project six years ago in Los Angeles.

Neppl is looking for more places to paint wings in Grand Island.

She likes to limit her works to the outside of buildings, so the public can enjoy them. If a business asks her to paint wings inside a building, she’ll charge money for it.

She hopes to make a map showing the locations.

Neppl is a member of the Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway group. She’d like to see wings dotting the route from Grand Island to Alliance.

She would paint those wings herself.

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Information from: The Grand Island Independent, http://www.theindependent.com

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