KANEKO brings unique exhibition to the art scene


Megan Fabry

Photo by Megan Fabry/the Gateway

KANEKO’s summer exhibition Re•Purpose has given members of the Omaha community a reason to flock to their location in downtown.

KANEKO is a non-profit organization that highlights the work of both local and national artists. They strive to show visitors that the creative process appears in all aspects of life, not just art. KANEKO encourages onlookers to realize their creativity and invoke their creative potential.

Samuel Bertino, a UNO alum and the Community Engagement Manager at KANEKO, has been working with the organization for the past three years. He manages their membership program, marketing and communications and plans the annual fundraiser.

“KANEKO puts together some incredible exhibitions and programs, and my favorite thing about what we do is interacting with our patrons,” Bertino said. “Lots of our patrons have an artistic or creative background, and it is refreshing to hear their thoughts and opinions on what we have in the space. These conversations are a crucial part of our mission: allowing every person who walks through our doors to explore the creative process.”

Re•Purpose features works by six artists who incorporate recycled or otherwise reinvented materials. It is an examination of human ingenuity that inspires introspection and conscious reinvention.

“When you realize that every single piece of artwork part of the Re•Purpose exhibition is made of waste, recycled materials and found objects, what you’re looking at becomes so much more,” Bertino said. “You start to think about the human impact on the environment from waste, single use products and unwanted materials. You think of everyday household items and electronics that we just throw out when they break or we no longer need them. You think of the Earth being our only home, climate change and the future of our planet. This exhibition is truly powerful.”

There are typically three different exhibitions a year with each exhibition open to the public for three to five months. After each exhibit is over, the team has a month to completely transform the space for a new exhibition.

All exhibitions are free to attend, and ticketed programs and events are low-cost and often with student discounts.

KANEKO’s upcoming exhibition Influence will open Oct. 1.