By Jacinda Graham – Contributor
At the south entrance to Mammel Hall visitors, students and faculty are greeted by one of Jun Kaneko’s massive sculptures.
The piece is a bronze head with tabs projecting out of its sides.
Gina Barrett, a visitor to Mammel Hall, stopped to take a second glance at the bronze head sculpture, eyeing the statue with her right hand on her hip.
“This statue is very unique and quite impressive, and it fits right into Mammel Hall,” she said.
UNO sophomore and business major Milka Nakolo nestled into one of the boxy lounge chairs with her laptop.
“The sculpture is very interesting and definitely different,” she said. “However, after looking at it, I don’t understand its meaning.”
As they pass the sculpture, take the first left and stroll down the long hallway, visitors will see a second sculpture by Kaneko.
This piece resembles an inverted triangle with stripes and is covered with colors.
Carol Rose, a staff assistant in the dean’s office, was on the art committee that was invited to tour Kaneko’s studio before selecting the two sculptures.
UNO purchased the bronze head sculpture, Rose said. The other is on loan from the artist’s studio.
“I encourage people to walk around Mammel Hall and look at the artwork,” she said. “It is gorgeous and beautiful.”
Kaneko was born in Nagoya, Japan, in 1942. He came to the U.S. in 1963 to continue his studies at Chouinard Institute of Art, and established his current studio in Omaha in 1990.
Kaneko creates a variety of artwork including drawings, paintings, ceramics, bronze, glass, textile, performance, experimental and special projects.
His artwork appears in 50 different museum collections nationwide.
The numerous pieces of artwork scattered throughout Mammel Hall complete the building’s decor and give it a unique look.
“Kaneko is a world-renowned artist and it is wonderful UNO gets to have his work on our campus,” Rose said.