Hawaiian shirts among Omaha’s Kaneko Gallery’s ‘Fiber’ show

Hawaiian shirts at Kaneko
Who thought a Hawaiian shirt is a work of art? The people at the Kaneko Gallery in downtown Omaha, that’s who.

More than 200 Hawaiian shirts are on display as part of the gallery’s “Fiber” exhibit. The exhibit runs through April 25th. “Fiber” looks at using fiber and textiles in art.

Hawaiian shirt as part of the 'Fiber' exhibit at Kaneko

Florabunda explores the history of the shirt and some of the great designers, who have impacted the fabric design.

Four designers are featured in the exhibit, with a history of their involvement and their designs.

The display on the first floor takes up a large bay. The shirts hang in small groupings. Shirts are brightly colored with lots of designs – pineapples, leis, flowers galore!

Our daughters are headed to Hawaii next month, along with their mom. It’s part of the youngest’s goal of visiting all 50 states before her 30th birthday. The goal will be met this summer. So, it’s possible they may get or a lot of Hawaiian shirts. I suspect Mallory would grab a pineapple-designed one.

Hawaiian shirt w/pineapples at Kaneko

I learned there are even long-sleeved Hawaiian shirts. I guess you may need one for those days the temperature drops to below 70 degrees. LOL.

Long sleeved Hawaiian shirts at Kaneko

The exhibit has drawings that Jun Kaneko – the gallery’s owner – as a backdrop on the walls.


The “Fiber” exhibit includes a variety of artwork.

“Fiber Legends” highlights pieces from three artists. Nick Cave, Jon Eric Riis and Sheila Hicks each takes a different approach to art using fiber.

Fiber legends at Kaneko

Cave has a few unique pieces on display. They are considered “soundsuits” – part sculpture and part costume. The untitled pieces are just cool to look at. They all are designed using colorful pieces, such as buttons, metal and clothing.

Soundsuits at Kaneko

One piece has beads in various designs on its back. Very interesting to see.

Beaded piece at Kaneko

Riis uses fiber as part of his hand-woven tapestries. They are beautiful pieces. You want to reach out and touch them, but you knowtter (plus I was afraid an alarm would sound and I’d be banned from the Kaneko).

Woven tapestry at Kaneko

Hicks’ pieces are on loan from the Museum of Nebraska Art at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. She has had pieces on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Art Institute in Chicago. The Hastings, NE, native uses a variety of styles in her art. Her work may include loom or non-loomed techniques.

Loom piece at Kaneko

“Global Threads” highlight a quartet of artists.

Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada’s exhibit shares the use of fibers in a variety of kimonos. The ones on display run a gamut of years and styles.

Kimonos on display at Kaneko

Jessica Hemmings makes use of textiles in her pieces. She looks at interrelationships between art, design, craft and contemporary culture.

Contemporary Culture in 'Fiber' exhibit at Kaneko

Nebraskan Susan Knight focuses on water ecology issues through her work.

Nebraska artist works on water ecology at Kaneko

The fourth artist on display is Mary Zicafoose. Her woven pieces blend cultural icons with a modern look.

The Quilted Conscience Project highlights a project of hand made quilt patterns by Sudanese-American girls, who live in Grand Island.

Quilted Conscience Project at Kaneko

The last section of the “Fiber” display we looked at was the American Tapestry Biennial. We liked a display that looked like birch trees, made from cotton.

American Tapestry Biennial at Kaneko

The “Fiber” exhibit runs through April 25th.

In addition, the gallery is hosting the special exhibit “Fabric of Survival,” which tells one woman’s story of survival in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II. We told the story of the exhibit, which runs until March 15th, in the post https://thewalkingtourists.com/fabric-survival-tells-holocaust-story-omahas-kaneko-gallery/.

For more information on Kaneko and its exhibits, please visit www.thekaneko.org.