University of Nebraska Medical Center

Colors of the Prairie

Matthew Placzek


Metal, acrylic and LED light

Gift of Sydney Cate

Located in the Yanney Conference Center on the ground level, Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center.

Born in 1964 in Columbus, Nebraska, Matthew Placzek entered the world of sculpting at age 14, creating figures of wildfowl and nature he observed near the Platte River. Currently, he lives and works in Omaha and continues to be influenced by the wildlife of Nebraska. Nature plays an important role in healing the human body, and Placzek’s healing arts and sculpture projects reflect that vital connection. Incorporating elements of nature, such as the prairie grasses of Nebraska, helps him create soothing, thought-provoking works of art that help patients and their families heal physically, spiritually and emotionally. You may know Placzek’s work locally from the “Alaskan Adventure” at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium to his “Imagine” sculpture of children with umbrellas at Children’s Hospital to his “Labor” Monument on the Omaha Riverfront.