An Art Adventure

Exploring the art exhibits of Omaha

Haley Elder, Entertainment Editor

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In Omaha, when someone mentions an art exhibit, thoughts immediately lead to the Joslyn Art Museum. While the Joslyn is beautiful and entertaining, there are many other art exhibits that deserve attention as well.

Just between the blocks of the Old Market lie a few of Omaha’s atypical art exhibits. One of the most chaotic being Hot Shops.

Located off of 13th and Nicholas, you cannot miss the three story tall, bright orange brick building surrounded by bizarre and misshapen sculptures.

One unique aspect of Hot Shops is that it is composed of art studios, showrooms and workshop areas. Hot Shops Art Center doubles as both an art studio and an art school. They offer a variety of workshops such as glassblowing, bead-making, and printmaking.

Much like the Joslyn, Hot Shops is able to house multiple galleries at once. However, what sets them aside is that the artists are all local and usually their studios can also be found in Hot Shops.
Just upon entry, I saw three galleries from different artists. In one of the galleries, the artist used puzzle pieces to create texture in her paintings and sculptures.

As I made my way through the first level, I found myself in a peculiar section known as the Crystal Forge. There, I watched two men and one woman heat, sculpt, and cut as they molded a glowing lump into a glass vase.

After watching in awe, I decided to scope out the rest of the Crystal Forge. There I found the pieces they had up for sale. They had glass pendants, charms, and key chains ranging from $15 to $50. On the other side, they had lamps, ornaments, and bulbs that reached up to as much as $300.
If you are looking to spend the day in a comforting and beautiful environment, make your way down to Hot Shops and get lost in the chaos. On weekdays they are open 9am-6pm, and on weekends they are 11am-5pm.

Down the street from Hot Shops was the White Crane Gallery, located in the Old Market Passageway, a much smaller art exhibit serving quite a different purpose.

Hidden underneath a children’s playroom, you will find a quaint gallery with artwork up for grabs. At first glance, the small area does not seem like much. But after taking a closer look at what this space had to offer I was very impressed. In the narrow space between the two white walls laid a plethora of unique handmade crafts.

There is not any specific theme that the gallery portrays, for the works that were displayed did not complement each other. They had wide stretched, painted canvases right next to handmade ceramic coffee mugs. The gallery also offers an array of glass blown items such as ornaments, balls and other trinkets. The offerings of the White Crane Gallery ranged from anywhere less than $5 reaching up to over $300 for the larger scale pieces.

Next time you are in the mood to explore the art world, stop and take a look at the less-known art shops Omaha has to offer.

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