September 10, 2017


I know – that last post was a very, very long one.  But the good news, this is very, very short.  Actually, I forgot to put it  in the last post.  But that’s ok, because now it can get the attention I think it really deserves. Yes, for all of you pasta lovers out there, may I present – Stile di Famiglia, or what I like to call,   THE FORK .

We found the fork in a neighborhood of Omaha, Nebraska.  It is a sculpture by Jake Balcom, that was finished in 2010.  It is a beautiful Stainless Steel utensil with dimensions of 13’x7’x8′.  It is owned by The Towns of Little Italy Homeowner’s Association.The sculpture was funded by a donation from Bluestone Development, a hip real estate development company, and their developer partner, the Caniglia Family. The Caniglia Family owned and operated an Italian restaurant for 60 years and when they decided to close, they wanted the property transformed into a benefit for the neighborhood that treated them so well. After sitting down with the family, an agreement was reached to create a City Neighborhood Townhouse Project. Through the development, it was learned that there is an Omaha Mayor and a Little Italy Mayor, and that there were/are  underground tunnels dating back to the bootleg prohibition era.  It was also learned that  Little Italy can be divided between white sauce and red sauce (depending on what side of 20th street you lived.)

It was the residents of that townhouse project,  The Homeowners Association of the Towns of Little Italy,  that commissioned a sculpture through a design competition.  The residents  called  for entries, based on a vision to commemorate the unique history of the neighborhood, one of the city’s oldest. Residents selected the artist, Jake Balcom, from among the entries.   Once Balcom was chosen, the committee worked to select a site and make sure the  sculpture was appropriate and met their goals. Balcom came up with an installation that is distinctly Italian,  and that represents the feel for the town’s neighborhood at 7th and Pierce.  This area seemed  fun, friendly, and where the people are close to each other, much like a family. Balcom kept coming back to the idea of a big Italian family sitting around a table eating dinner, everyone talking about their life or how their week went, laughing and enjoying the company. ”With this in mind I went down to one of our local Italian restaurants for some research/inspiration and as I was eating my favorite pasta dish there, I looked down and caught myself twirling my pasta around my fork and instantly knew that this would make a fun and dynamic sculpture that would represent both the Italian heritage,  the playfulness of the neighborhood, as well as pay homage to the Italian restaurant that used to occupy the lot”. As for the name, ‘Stile di Famiglia’ or ‘Family Style’ was chosen,  which is in reference to a restaurant serving style, where food is served to guests in the same way you would at a big family dinner.
I love this sculpture.  It may be because I’m Italian.  Or maybe because I love pasta.  Either way, this artwork just makes me happy!


Mangia Everyone  !!!






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