More on New BLK: Matt Linder, Shawn & Shane Bainbridge

Amidst downtown Omaha’s streets of corporate businesses lie somewhat-hidden art hubs that not only strive to promote local and in-residence artists, but also look to generate thought, conversation and debate within the creative community. While art facilities like KANEKO are known for turning heads as an innovative open space for the mind…



Last week, Silicon Prairie News sat down with New BLK team members Shane Bainbridge, Matt Linder and Shawn Bainbridge to hear their thoughts on Omaha’s creative community and what they hope to accomplish with their ad agency.

Amidst downtown Omaha’s streets of corporate businesses lie somewhat-hidden art hubs that not only strive to promote local and in-residence artists, but also look to generate thought, conversation and debate within the creative community.

While art facilities like KANEKO are known for turning heads as an innovative open space for the mind, organizations such as the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts serve as a residence for traveling artists and other exhibitions.

One local ad agency, New BLK, is taking a similar yet different approach to highlight the creative community. Owners Eric Gautschi, Jon Hustead, Matt Linder, and brothers Shawn and Shane Bainbridge – all former members of OBI Creative – are looking to bridge the gap between the fine-art and commercial-art worlds with the opening of their creative “think tank,” located in the Old Krug Brewing Co. building at 1213 Jones Street.

“There’s a lot of components that are out there that just haven’t really found themselves yet,” Linder said in an interview with Silicon Prairie News last week. “We’re showing that they can co-exist.”

Since opening this summer, the five-man team has transformed their 2,500 square foot location into both a working space for their day-to-day services, as well as an art gallery. “It’s just a celebration of a lot of different ideas,” Shawn Bainbridge said.

While working to host a new exhibition on a monthly basis, New BLK is also hoping to partner with surrounding galleries to create an Omaha First Friday Gallery Walk.

First Friday Gallery Walks are held around the nation and offer self-guided tours of local art galleries, art studios, museums, alternative art venues and other scenes on the first Friday of every month. “For some reason, Omaha’s First Friday area really isn’t that strong,” Linder said.

Left: Shawn Bainbridge works in New BLK’s gallery space. Photo by Andrea Ciurej.

Still working to promote their cause, the agency is currently working on developing the next stage of their website – a section devoted to ideas. “We’re going to use that to kind of trickle out the genesis of ideas and the new place of ideas,” Shane Bainbridge said.

To read our profile piece on New BLK, see: New BLK works to redefine local art community through connectivity.

To see photos from New BLK’s latest gallery show, Respectacle, visit: facebook.com/album.

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