FREMONT, Neb. — A 24-foot-wide mural by a nationally known artist draws on themes of classic cars and friendly service to promote an auto business in Fremont.
The vividly colored mural is mounted on the side of Siemer Auto Center and depicts a scene from a 1960s-era gas station. It shows a smiling station attendant tipping his hat to passing motorists and another worker cheerfully giving directions to a customer. The title: “Friendly Service at Siemer Auto Center.”
Owner Jason Siemer told the Fremont Tribune the artwork perfectly fits his center’s “old school theme.”
“I thought it would be a cool little thing to add to the store to just kind of make it more of a landmark and make it look neat,” Siemer said.
His stepfather became a friend of artist John Cerney before Cerney became nationally recognized for his cut-out murals placed in California fields, Siemer said. The two men worked together in the lettuce industry near Cerney’s hometown of Salinas, California, in the 1970s.
Cerney began his art career working in Southern California’s television industry. He eventually persuaded farmers near Salinas to let him paint murals on their barns.
To make his work more realistic and three-dimensional, Cerney began cutting figures out of the murals and placing them in the landscape. In one, a farmer paid Cerney for creating and painting 18-foot laborers in the fields along a highway.
The Fremont artwork is closer to a traditional mural, Cerney said. He drove past it a couple of times to get a sense of its impact.
“It almost looks like a drive-in movie screen,” Cerney said. “My colors are so bright that it probably throws you off a little bit.”