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Omaha Magazine

Ceramics, Music, Graphic Design: July/August Issue is Artful

Jun 25, 2021 04:22PM ● By Tara Spencer
Tara Spencer with dog, Jesus

Managing Editor’s Note: As Omaha’s arts and culture magazine, this July/August edition, which focuses entirely on those subjects, is one of the staff’s favorites. This month’s editor’s letter is written by A+C editor Tara Spencer.

There’s nothing better than hearing the right song at the right moment—whether it’s one that picks people up and gives them energy when they need it, or one that reaffirms that a person is not alone in their feelings. 

Listening to music has always been a way for me to work out my emotions, often resulting in my feeling better about life in general.  Considering the mental and emotional drain this last year has been, it’s little wonder that the annual arts-and-culture-themed issue focuses heavily on beats and melodies. 

In one of the features, musician and regular writer Virginia Kathryn Gallner talks to some well-known artists in Omaha’s music scene about who they think deserves some recognition. This city has a music scene—encompassing everything from jazz to folk-rock to hip hop—that continues to grow and thrive. 

Speaking of recognition, be sure to read the story on the Mezcal Brothers, a group who’s been sharing their rocking, danceable music with the world for more than two decades. That is longer than our accomplished Gen O subject, 13-year-old Winston Schneider, has been alive.

It’s impossible to ignore our city’s vibrant visual artists, and the main feature highlights one of Omaha’s most recognizable people, Jun Kaneko, who continues to strive to find answers. Despite, or perhaps because of, the pandemic and a Parkinson’s diagnosis, the man who helped shape Omaha’s artistic landscape is looking to find the positive side. 

After trying to find a traditional job in graphic design, multimedia artist Adri Montano found her own way of telling her story and those of women of color erased by history. Two local documentarians did not start out wanting to work in that medium. One wanted to share her story to help others learn and cope with trauma. The other began by telling people’s stories in print, but couldn’t find a satisfying way of doing so until he started working in film.

Each story in this issue includes a bit of arts and culture. Restaurant veteran George Liao of Wave Bistro offers a literal, and visual, feast in West Omaha. In Benson, the art at Ika Ramen is as stimulating as the food is comforting. Then there’s the guy who wants you to eat his art—his bread art, that is.  

Each year, we produce several themed issues. As the arts and culture editor, this is one of my favorites, allowing me the opportunity to highlight so many of our city’s talented individuals.

This issue offers a glimpse into the world of those who help Omaha’s artistic scene flourish, whether they are collectors or makers, and we are ever so thankful for their work. 

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2021 issue of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.