KANEKO alters reality one exhibit at a time

Photo courtesy of Kelsey Schofield
Megan Fabry

A string of concrete warehouses in Omaha’s Old Market may look like any other building, but once people step inside, they experience a shift in reality that only KANEKO can provide.

KANEKO is a concept that was created by Jun Kaneko, who wanted to make a space that celebrated the creative spirit and encourages creativity in all of its expressions within the arts, sciences and philosophy.

KANEKO has two exhibitions per year. They are currently showcasing REALITY, which will be on display until Sept. 26. Each exhibition is unique and is curated in-house by the staff.

Kelsey Scofield, the Marketing and Communications Manager for the exhibit, gets the word out around Omaha about KANEKO.

“We rely heavily on the connections and collaborations we have made within the community,” Scofield said. “All of our staff is very passionate about KANEKO and believes in the mission – which makes them excited to talk about our exhibit and spread the word.”

KANEKO’s exhibits are free to all who wish to experience them. Those at KANEKO believe everyone is creative and needs a space to feel welcome and explore their own creativity.

REALITY showcases the work of Misha Gordin, a photographer who captures the drama of human existence through hauntingly surreal concepts. KANEKO has also partnered with the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Inter-professional Experiential Center for Enduring Learning, which incorporates a wide range of simulation and visualization technologies to promote interdisciplinary learning.

This current exhibit includes a giant hologram and several different virtual reality experiences. Each display, however, couldn’t be successful without their employees to guide the process.

Norma Castro-Escobar is the gallery supervisor at KANEKO and a former UNO student. She monitors guests during gallery hours, processes donations and supervises during special events.

“I love all the opportunities to connect with different people from around world, philanthropist, musicians, dancers, authors and working sometimes with international artists,” Castro-Escobar said. “The exhibit that inspired me the most was the Water exhibition that was there from February to April in 2016. The Water exhibition was the most inspiring because it explored issues that impacted water quality and sustainability both within the Midwest and globally.”

Each exhibit KANEKO opens takes extensive planning and consideration before the public can see it. Preparation for each showing begins one to two years in advance. The goal for REALITY is to dissect the notion of truth, history and the presentation of what is “real.”

The final night of REALITY will be Sept. 26, but will remain open until Sept. 28 for their annual fundraising event, the Open Space Soiree. Anyone with an appreciation for art can gather for an evening to explore KANEKO’s mission through visual art and entertainment. All proceeds to the fundraiser will go towards benefiting community programming.

KANEKO will open their next exhibit, Con-struct, Dec. 11 in the Old Market.