Considering the special properties of
humble paper fibers, artists explore cotton, abaca (banana leaf), flax, kozo
and gampi (inner bark fibers) creating works beyond typical handmade
sheets. This exhibition celebrates
the many qualities of various fibers – translucency, fluidity, lightweight, strength,
malleability, as these natural materials transform into delicate veils, fantastic
dimensional structures, pulp drawings and layered constructions. Through the processes of hydration, beating, forming,
and drying these fibers create unusual effects and interactions.
Aleksander (Olek) was here through all of September 2019. Olek comes from Szczytno, Poland, and he is head of printmaking at the Institute of Fine Arts at the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland. While at Constellation Studios he was a guest at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Art, Art History & Design, lecturing on his work, and teaching a mokuhanga workshop to students. He presented his work in a solo exhibition at Constellation Studios. While in residence he carved and printed two large woodblock prints, and created hundreds of sketches of the people and environs of Lincoln. His obsessive stream-of-conscious drawing practice prepares his memory and hand for the translation that happens with carving the block and capturing the spontaneous gesture.
Here are images of his process, and exhibition, and with students.
Light Prints explores the natural intersection of prints and photography as a means to record “outside” information onto paper. Light-sensitive coatings onto paper are exposed with objects or transparencies blocking ultraviolet light leaving a silhouette image that seems to “capture” the moment and the ghost of the object. These artists have used this historic process to record collected objects, the shift of time, and the nostalgia of memorabilia. Cyanotypes are known for the rich Prussian blue of the iron-based inorganic colorant, the first synthetic pigment, and used for blueprints, and in Japanese woodblock prints, suggesting mystery and transience.
Cross is Professor of Art at Doane University in Crete, Nebraska. She received her MFA in Visual Studies from
Norfolk State University and her BFA from Old Dominion University. She focuses on the visual intrigue of shape
and the memory of its movements in mixed media compositions incorporating found
objects as a narrative agent, gathered in the Canadian Maritime while in
Vuong is an adjunct lecturer at UNL and Nebraska Wesleyan University. He earned his MFA from Tyler School of Art
Temple University, studying in Rome and Philadelphia. He received his BFA in Studio Art and a BA
in French Modern Language from UNL. His
works are an accumulation of parts, marks, particles and repetitions, until an
image emerges. In this way a record is
held, through incremental interventions, as a way to make sense of the world.
Rokke is co-owner of Tsuru Boutique in Lincoln. She earned her MFA in Photography from
Harford Art School, and her BFA at UNL.
She has also taught at Metro Community College Omaha, Southeast
Community College Lincoln, Dana College, Lux Art Center and UNL. Personal experiences and items from
generations past have recurring roles in her art, and pose questions about
identity, importance, desire, and worthiness of a memory.
Taryn is a senior art student at University of Cincinnati, and had research funding for her residency in August. At Constellation Studios she created 8 etchings, made handmade paper for the title page, with a letterpress printed text, and put all together in a hand-bound book, all in 2 1/2 weeks of intense concentration. Great project! Here are a few highlights.
An exhibition on the life and works of veteran artist
and teacher Bonnie O’Connell, professor emeritus of University of Nebraska
Omaha School of the Arts will be presented at Constellation Studios, Lincoln,
Nebraska. Curated by Karen Kunc, the retrospective will take
viewers through her artistic journey spanning over forty years.
O’Connell produces work in the
media of book arts, letterpress and relief printmaking, collage and assemblage,
that address the material culture of prints and books, often deconstructing and
celebrating printed ephemera, the book as object, and the charged images of the
past and present.
She taught courses in book arts
(letterpress printing, typography, book design, bookbinding, and papermaking),
alternative media and color theory. She has directed and produced fine press
limited editions of contemporary poetry for Abattoir Editions, the literary
imprint of the Fine Arts Press at UNO. She also maintains The Penumbra Press,
her own private press established in Lisbon, Iowa, with a 40-year history in
literary fine printing.
O’Connell is a celebrated book artist, known for her teaching, wit, and vast knowledge of the fine press book field. Her mentors include: Walter Hamady who introduced her to letterpress through his Perishable Press Ltd. and his legendary teaching at the University of Wisconsin Madison; Kim Merker who founded the Windhover Press at the University of Iowa; and printer-publisher Harry Duncan of the Cummington Press and Abattoir Editions at UNO. She has collaborated with noted writers, poets and artists, including Poet Laureates Rita Dove and Ted Kooser, Norman Dubie, Tess Galleger, Lynn Emanuel, Brenda Hillman, and David St. John, Louise LaFond and Karen Kunc.
These invited artists are attracted to the woodcut process for the extensive carving effort and handwork that goes into the wood itself, that affects the quality of detail in their printed impressions. These artists share skills that are expressive or methodical, intimate, illusionary, layered, for the characteristic graphic impact that we love in the woodcut print.
This annual workshop drew 12 artists from across the USA…coming from San Francisco, Virginia, New York, Illinois, Idaho, South Dakota, Massachusetts, and Nebraska. Intense work and comradarie of the group enabled sharing and a fun spirit, as we got to know each other across the ink and while carving blocks. Beautiful prints were accomplished by all, as we enjoyed the studio set up, and the nice spring atmosphere. Thanks all for a great workshop!
Artist Robyn Langley, from Boca Raton, Florida, was in residence in May – June, creating her etchings on copper and printing series of editions and unique impressions with collage and letterpress. Her images of high fashion dresses are disembodied and iconic, and play with the patterns and details that abstract the human form. In her collage prints she studies pattern and design, and relishes visual contrasts and cross-cultural references. Her soft-ground etchings captured layers of details from pressed feathers and leaves, printed with a letterpress printed poem. She is going on to graduate school in the fall…..good luck Robyn!
invited artists are attracted to the woodcut process for the extensive carving
effort and handwork that goes into the wood itself, that affects the quality of
detail in their printed impressions.
These artists share skills that are expressive or methodical, intimate,
illusionary, layered, for the characteristic graphic impact that we love in the
This invitational show presents the link between graphic cartooning, tattoo design, classic comics, manga, anime, detailed grotesque ornamentation and fantasy drawing styles that are sources for expression and distillation by contemporary print artists today. This popular “low art world” crosses generations and genres, usually outside the fine art world, and artists respond with irony, visual puns, horror vacui compositions, and technical bravura. This exhibition celebrates the spirit of imagination and skepticism, creative play, and topical messages. Works in print media, book forms and drawing will be included.
Images of plants and architecture from botanical gardens investigate sites and histories, highlighting the complicated cultural construction of an idea of “nature”. The digital and hand drawn print processes explore how our interactions with the natural world are mediated through technology, and are thus fragmented and selective. Through her work, the forms are remixed through the filters of printmaking, drawing, digital photography, and collage. This installation includes prints and Hanging Gardens, a large-scale banner with pigment printing on thin Awagami Inbe paper that has been intricately cut, creating interplay between light and shadows within the environment of the gallery.
Taryn McMahon received her BFA from The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, and an MA and MFA from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA. She has received numerous awards for her work including the Southern Graphics Council International Graduate Fellowship and residencies at Anderson Ranch Art Center, Anchor Graphics, Women’s Studio Workshop, and the Lawrence Arts Center. Her work has been featured in recent exhibitions at The Print Center, Philadelphia, PA and Carroll Gallery, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, among others. She is an Assistant Professor of Studio Art at Kent State University.