KANEKO opens newest and longest-running exhibit to date


Megan Fabry

“INFLUENCE” is on display at KANEKO until August 2020. Photo courtesy of KANEKO.

Omaha’s popular art studio KANEKO opened their newest exhibit, “INFLUENCE,” on Oct. 1 in a turn-of-the-century warehouse in the Old Market district.

KANEKO was first established as a nonprofit in 1998, and their first exhibition opened in 2009. INFLUENCE celebrates the 10-year anniversary of programming, exhibitions and educational workshops by looking back at KANEKO’s history.

The work on display features a projection mapping room that will show projections of Jun Kaneko’s production of Mozart’s “Magic Flute;” a gallery display dedicated to one of Kaneko’s earliest studio assistants, John Balistreri; and sketches, costumes and artwork from all three of Kaneko’s opera productions.

“It is our hope that all our guests not only see the magnitude of our founder, Jun Kaneko’s work, but also how important our creative community is in Omaha,” said UNO alumnus and Community Engagement Manager Samuel Bertino. “When you see all of the work that has influenced Jun and all the artists who have been inspired to create because of the artistic environment in Omaha, we hope it allows our patrons to explore their own creative process.”

All the exhibitions are curated in-house, and “INFLUENCE” focuses on artists that inspired Kaneko, as well as artists and pieces of work that were impacted by the work that Ree and Jun Kaneko have done.

KANEKO has been planning the “INFLUENCE” exhibition since before their most recent display, “Re•Purpose,” was even open. It is an exhibition that will evolve several times, making it a different experience for every guest.

Lillian Griffith is a UNO student that has visited past KANEKO exhibits and looks forward to visiting this newest display of art.

“It’s a unique way of looking at art,” Griffith said. “It makes me want to see the world in a different perspective.”

“INFLUENCE” is now open until Aug. 20, 2020, and will be constantly rotating out artwork and changing gallery spaces to feature as many artists in the community as possible.