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Omaha Magazine

Main Street Studios

Sep 01, 2017 03:39PM ● By Tamsen Butler

This sponsored content appeared in the Fall 2017 edition of Omaha Magazine. To view, click here:

Main Street Studios owner Tyler Curnes saw a need for a vibrant artists’ community in Elkhorn, not only as an area native but also as an artist. He knew the area was ready for a gallery featuring local artists producing stunning art in a variety of media. He was right—the venue is so sought-after that Main Street Studios has a waiting list for artists’ studio space.

The artists who currently have studio space at Main Street Studios represent an eclectic group: an acrylic painter, a bronze sculptor, a silversmith, and a glass artist. The varied media represented is intentional. “The gallery is appealing to walk through and see,” says Curnes, explaining that he selected each artist by first ensuring they “have high energy and quality art.”

High energy is important for Main Street Studios artists, since they all work around a rotating schedule to ensure an artist is always present at the gallery to answer visitor questions or even to demonstrate their work in action. Guests can watch Curnes manipulate glass, turning it into art right before their eyes. “People can see artists work and talk with them about their art since there is always an artist on duty,” says Curnes, adding that there is something special and powerful about meeting an artist before purchasing a piece as it adds to the overall experience.

A monthly meeting of the Main Street Studios artists ensures that everyone has a say in how the gallery is presented. They frequently change the look of the gallery to present a new experience to everyone who walks through the door, even if they are frequent visitors. “We recently redid the entire gallery,” says Curnes—the process took 20 hours.

Creativity can flourish in a place where artists work together. “It’s less like a job and more like a community or a family,” says Curnes. “It’s amazing. It’s a dream come true. The other artists are like a sounding board to critique my work.” He said that it’s easy for artists to experience stagnation in their work when they don’t have input from other artists.

“I can pull something out of the kiln and ask everyone else, ‘What’s missing?’ The other artists help me step out of my comfort zone and become a better artist.” Curnes also says that he and the bronze artist soon plan to co-op some art, collaborating in a way that only happens when a group of artists form a tight-knit group.

There is simply nowhere else like Main Street Studios in the Elkhorn/West Omaha area. It’s a place that is worth a visit by anyone who appreciates art—in particular, art that is locally produced. Speak with the artists and find out about their inspirations and muses, elevating each piece to a more personal level.

Another artist will join the group in September, bringing the total number of artists with work space at Main Street Studios to five. Their spring and winter open houses are excellent opportunities to meet all the artists and view their work. Other events are held throughout the year, or one can simply stop in during regular business hours to chat with an artist and view all the amazing art at Main Street Studios.


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