Incoming students that are seeking to connect with the local arts scene should be certain to make the KANEKO art gallery one of their first stops. The KANEKO,which operates closely with the University of Nebraska at Omaha on several fronts, is a non–profit organization dedicated to encouraging and exploring creativity.
Until Oct. 14, the KANEKO gallery will be hosting the KINETIC exhibit. The art collection focuses on movement in art and features a variety of different artists expressing this through different mediums. John Buck, the exhibit’s featured artist, brings his wooden sculptures to life with moving parts.These animated sculptures set the tone for the entire gallery.
Buck’s work is very intricate with small, detailed etchings being hidden on nearly all his sculptures. While his art leaves open much room for interpretation,it does clearly address certain issues—particularly social and economic injustice. Depictions of wealth, corruption and exploitation are all common among Buck’s moving statues.
“He says it doesn’t mean any-thing to him, but could definitely mean something to an onlooker,”said Hannah Randolph, a gallery attendant of the KANEKO, about Buck’s earlier, less complex woodart pieces. While the first floor of the KANEKO is primarily occupied by Buck’s art pieces, the upper floors are currently housing projects by other artists and the University of Nebraska at Omaha Department of Biomechanics.
One of most attention-grabbing projects on the upper floor is the large flowers with stems made of PVC pipe. The flowers that are tall enough to loom over guests are also motion-activated, causing them to open and “bloom” in an audience’s presence. Lights twinkle within them creating fantasy and a magical appearance.
“They were originally made for Burning Man,” Randolph said.“So, they can pretty much withstand any environment.”
The UNO Department of Biomechanics provides the KINETIC exhibit’s hands-on section. With several different projects set up within their section, the department of biomechanics aims to educate and entertain gallery guests.
One such technology available at the department of biomechanics exhibit is virtual reality. With a couple headsets free for the public to use, the exhibit gives insight into the relation between art, science and innovation.
“People seem to really like art when they can get their hands on it,” Randolph said.
The KANEKO gallery is always changing with new and exciting exhibits rolling into the Omaha area. For students trying to navigate the expansive world of art this is a great first stop.
Admission into the KANEKO art gallery is free to the public with an option to join a paid membership for exclusive first looks at new exhibits. The hours of operation are from noon to 8p.m. on Tuesday through Friday,11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and the gallery is closed on Sunday and Monday.