Nebraska will be getting new license plates next January under a state law that requires a new design every 6 years and Governor Pete Ricketts and First Lady Suzanne Shore unveiled the new one Tuesday at the State Capitol.
The current plate design is the statue of The Sower that’s atop the Capitol dome while the new design is based on one of the mosaics embedded in the floor of the Capitol just inside the north entrance.
As Capitol Administrator Bob Ripley told the audience the “Genius of Creative Energy” by Hildreth Meière is the first picture you see when you walk into the Capitol.
Omaha graphic artist Drew Davies developed the design and says Genius of Creative Energy “is like the crown jewel of all the pieces” of art in the State Capitol.
Governor Ricketts admitted it’s not a traditional design, but called it “kind of a cool thing” that it will depict something different and showcase the kind of artwork found all over the Capitol
The governor also explained he selected his wife to lead the redesign effort because she had a “passion” for the project – and because she picks out the colors in their home.
Shore told the gathering she consulted with several designers over 18 months to find a design that represented the entire state and embodied the “spirit” of Nebraska. The “Genius of Creative Energy” won out over about a dozen other proposals.
The new plate is similar to the current plate in that the design is in very subdued colors, generally in light shades of blue-gray on white with blue letters and numbers.
The current plate drew criticism when it was released because the design and colors didn’t pop out, and Shore said she was ready for a negative reaction this time.
The first of the new plates will be issued in January with about 3 million needed for 2023 with an eventual total of about 9 million to be made. By state law, prison inmates must produce the license plates.