Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day 23: Omaha

Day 23: Omaha

I'm your knight in shining armor. I'm here to save you from Linkin Park.
Rufus Wainwright

Pics: Kaneko’s at Hilton, one slot canyon shot for old-time’s sake, outside Therman Statom’s studio, good apple muffins at Statom studio, lots of Kaneko pieces, brainwash outside Dixie Quicks eats (note Folsom St reference), inside the bathroom at DQ, hanging utility box (who else brings you these great pics of utility boxes….NOBODY!), more Kaneko pieces, at Kaneko’s house including Jun’s Goro Suzuki chair (with Goro teapot pic from Japan) and bathroom control (shades of Japan!).

Not up early, the wine pairing and one hour time difference does in THB, he misses the alarm and misses the elliptical. Breakfast at the hotel, as many strawberries as THB wants for his rice krispies/granola combo (whatever happened to shredded wheat?), DB has yogurt on her cereal. Included in tour.

First we head to Therman Statom’s studio, in a very bland former small plate glass manufacturer (maybe?). Can’t tell it is the base for an major artist from the outside. Therm does mostly glass collages, “ladders” and “houses” with objects inside. Very well know and collected. Therm was a Kaneko student at RISD many a year ago, also taught a CCAC. He has tons of “raw” material around, neatly stored away: pieces of scrap glass collected from his glassblower friends, leftover sheets from Pittsburgh Plate Glass, sandblasted pieces ready for inclusion in assemblages, works in progress, paintings, tools, stacks and stacks of things covered up. And, he is a good talker, and tells much and many entertaining stories. His wife, Jette (“Yetta”) Vogt, is a jewelry artist working in glass, originally from Denmark, and has her work out; it’s good and members of the tour snap up some pieces.

From there it is a short ride to Jun Kaneko’s studio, office, warehouses, and foundation (we have yet to leave a 10 block area near the hotel). Jun’s a dynamo in this town (or more accurately, his wife Ree, a native, is a driving force in giving back to the community, and together they are quite a team). When we get to the warehouse, THB is orgasmic: there are many great pieces here, some of them awaiting shipment out to buyers. Ahhhhhhhhhh…better than a national park, even better than a baseball park!

Lunch at Dixie Quicks, a local spot down the street. Obviously they know Jun and Ree well. We order off the regular menu, plenty of items to choose from. Takes a while to get the orders done, then quite a while for all the meals to arrive, we are the rat through the python in a small place. THB has chicken club with home fries (NOT french fries), DB has chicken salad, and THB tries one of the desserts: plum tart. Pretty decent all around, included in the tour.

Then walk a bit of the “old market” town portion of Omaha, and THB heads back to the hotel as recreational shopping is now underway. Down to the fitness center: TEN DOLLARS!!!! However, the pool is free. THB gets worried in the middle of the second lap that he might drown, and a third lap brings up fear of drowning (is this the same of fear of dying? Fear of heights?). So, Mr. Cheap Bastard pays the $10 to ride the elliptical, hard and long. Make the damn thing sweat.

And, this awesome Hilton (so far in less than 24 hours we have had 3 keys fail to open the door), charges TEN DOLLARS to use their internet connections (have you figured out this is a corporate, no competition spot?). The room is actually quite nice, even if it is a half mile from the elevators (remember the key failures? Punishing…or good exercise), and the hotel does have a lot of Jun’s work. They comp us some appetizers in the hotel restaurant we’re never going to eat in, so THB tries to return the comps and get either free internet or fitness; SUCCESS! Free internet (we’ll know for sure when we check out).

Dinner is in Jun and Ree’s loft, they are hosting our group. THIS IS A LOFT: what we live in is a silverstream mini-trailer. HUGE; 30+ foot high ceilings, longgggg tables (on castors!). A Goro Suzuki chair (see pic) like the ones we saw in Goro’s studio in Japan, plus collections of sake cups and bowls, a Bob Brady table (swapped with Jun for a dango years ago). Huge fans up in the ceiling where additional windows add light. Dinner is catered, great salads, tortellini, apple crunch with whipped cream for dessert, wine and drinks. A free Kaneko book as a party favorite. Another great example of what you get when you take one of these tours.


  1. I would never have thought Omaha would be such a great art scene? I love the Kaneko pieces. It looks like you are walking among great boulders in a cement canyon national park! My best to you both. mack

  2. And Lincoln with the Duncan's collection even more shocking, there are gems everywhere if someone can just lead you to them!