Look Closely: Small Portfolios by Rebecca Gilbert, Matthew Wittmer, Sue Coe

Small Portfolios from the Constellation Studios Collection

by  Rebecca Gilbert, Matthew Wittmer, Sue Coe

+ other small selections.

May 6 – 28, 2022

First Friday Reception May 6, 6:00 – 8:00pm

A special opportunity to view a cohesive series of prints by several artists that each offer visual delights and details.  Prints in this presentation format can play with variations on a theme and echo notes that are intended for visual readings.   We are fascinated by the attention, skill, and stream-of-story within these series.

Rebecca Gilbert is making an extensive project on the Dance of Death, updated for our times, yet referential to the Medieval allegory.  Her project in its entirety will consist of a total of 82 prints, all unbound, to be housed in a clamshell box.   41 are Holbein images that she is faithfully creating as wood engravings and printing along with movable type, and 41 are from her own drawings also interpreted as wood engravings. She has been working diligently on the project for about two years and is just a 1/3 of the way through.   She estimates it could be four more years before it’s finished.  A selection is presented here.

Rebecca Gilbert is a Philadelphia-based artist. She earned an MFA in Printmaking + Book Arts from The University of the Arts and a BFA from Marshall University. She was awarded an Independence Foundation Art Fellowship and a Winterthur Maker/Creator Research Fellowship; an Artist Residency at Sparkbox Studio, Ontario; a Surdna Foundation Enrichment Grant to support her exploration of wood engraving at the Augusta Heritage Center.  Gilbert serves on the board of The Wood Engravers’ Network; and teaches at The University of the Arts and the Maryland Institute College of Art.  https://rebeccaprint.com/

Matthew Wittmer created the Run series as a UNL MFA candidate (97-00).  These intaglio prints convey extensive and obscure references to film scenes of……you know……running.   Beautifully drawn with chiaroscuro effects and a sense of a motion capture, our filmic knowledge is tested.

Matthew has been a creative artist and documentarian of sorts since grade school. His work has been published by Roman & Littlefield, University of California Press, and Independent School Magazine. He was raised in southern Missouri and now lives in southern California.  He is currently the librarian for middle and high school students in Sherman Oaks, where he can cultivate a crossroads between outreach and learning. He documents the April 19th Survivors’ Memorial service in Waco, Texas annually.  He has demonstrated wire walking and rigging equipment with Philippe Petit for The Walk, a film on the WTC crossing.  http://www.stormbound.org/

Sue Coe’s small collection is The Tail that Wagged the Dog, a series of etching, aquatint, and linoleum prints from 1990.  Coe is a passionate artist and illustrator who uses her visual voice to speak for animal rights and our relationship with them, as well as social justice issues, all with dark humor, pathos, and graphic intensity.

Sue Coe is considered one of the foremost political artists working today. Born in England, she currently lives in Upstate New York.  Coe is best known for her paintings and drawings of animals in slaughterhouses and factory farms. She posts a print each day that follows the latest news stories.  https://www.graphicwitness.org/coe/enter.htm

A selection of other interesting small works by various artists will be included TBD.

 


Constellation Collaboration with UNL Students: Monoprint & Collage Printstallation

April 1 – April 26, 2022

April 1 First Friday Reception 6:00 – 8:00

This exhibition presents the workshop investigations of invited UNL art students to engage with monoprinting and “gum transfer” techniques for a three-day intensive experience to create a variety of images and materials for a collaborative installation project for the gallery walls. The students include Joselyn Andreason, Kassidy Linaberry, Mya Levitch, Reid Martin, Katherine Morrow, Javier Rivera.  They will respond to new ways of working and the collaboration challenge to push and explore new directions.   This process offers unknowns yet feedback, decision-making and problem solving….asking constantly “what about this!” Organized and coordinated by UNL UCARE and Constellation Studios student intern Joselyn Andreason this outreach project intends to step off the edge of traditional presentations to take us into a new vision of “what could be” using print-based media as a vehicle for installation work.

Read about this trend in contemporary prints:

“Ink/The Lexicon of Tomorrow:  Print-Based Installation” by Sarah Kirk Hanley

https://magazine.art21.org/2011/04/08/ink-the-lexicon-of-tomorrow-print-based-installation/#.YiqoV8ZMEWp


Installation views of March 2022 exhibitions: Maring, Huebert, Sontheimer

Installation views of Little Monsters by Marvel Maring, includes mixed media collages and artist books, with colorful, obsessively filled, and inventive compositions.

 

Installation view of So That I Am Not Exactly Alone by Matthew Sontheimer, series of mixed media drawings paired with process studies contained in a sealed translucent envelope, and vintage postcard inspirations.

 

Installation views of Modular Landscapes: Printing Pivots,  by Ian Huebert, woodblock installation of a vast panorama of irrigation patterns, and other prints.


3 Solo Exhibitions: Marvel Maring, Matthew Sontheimer, Ian Heubert

Constellation Studios presents 3 solo exhibitions in the gallery

February 25 – March 26. 

There will be a First Friday Gallery Walk reception on

March 4, 6 – 8pm, with artist presentations.

 

Little Monsters by Marvel Maring, includes mixed media collages and artist books, with colorful, obsessively filled, and inventive compositions.   Maring’s love-of-books as a maker extends interestingly to her career as a librarian for the Omaha Public Library.   She has her MFA in Book Arts, from the University of Alabama, an MFA in painting & drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and BFA from University of Kansas.  https://www.instagram.com/marvelmaring/

So That I Am Not Exactly Alone by Matthew Sontheimer, is an installation of a series of mixed media drawings that are paired with process studies contained in a sealed translucent envelope.  He plays with the absurdities of language and images through his own invented rules and alphanumerical translations.  A postcard collection provides a curated view into inspirations and the past.  Sontheimer is an associate professor of painting and drawing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  He received a B.F.A. from Stephen F. Austin State University and an M.F.A. from Montana State University, Bozeman. He has exhibited in New Orleans, Houston, Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, Omaha.  https://talleydunn.com/project/matthew-sontheimer/

Modular Landscapes: Printing Pivots,  by Ian Huebert creates a vast panorama of the ubiquitous irrigation patterns, which gives us the bird‘s-eye-view for spatial vertigo.  This woodblock installation is printed by Ian onsite at Constellation Studios, especially for this exhibition.  Huebert is an artist and designer living in Iowa City, Iowa. His studio, The Picture Press, publishes printed editions and artworks, with an emphasis on woodcuts and letterpress printing. Ian has a background in commercial illustration and an MFA from the University of Iowa Center for the Book. www.thepicturepress.com

 

For further information contact:

karen@constellation-studios.net

402-438-0049


Selections of Prints from the Constellation Studios Collection

January 20 – February 20, 2022

Works by:  Philip von Raabe, Christopher Stewart, Melanie Yazzie, Xu Bing, Akira Kurosaki, Pam Longobardi, Adele Henderson, Carol Summers, Lari Gibbons, Maureen Cribbs, Suzie Treinen, Rokeya Sultana, Patricia Hernandez, Kevin Garber, Isaiah Jones, Bob Nugent, Barbara Takenaga.  

Akira Kurosaki, mokuhanga woodcut
Adele Henderson, lithograph
Rokeya Sulltana, pressure print monoprint

Release/Reveal: Karen Kunc Works in Process

October 1 – November 30, 2021

First Friday November 5, 6-8pm

New works by Karen Kunc evoke the inexorable tension of our times and the realization of irrevocable change. Created after the personal loss of the artist’s life partner, these striking images of waiting and potential transition offer a contemplative space.  The pandemic years coincide with this time of grieving, causing isolation, loss, universal sadness, and greater possibility of change for all.  These works-in-progress are the artist’s response to this moment in time and offer a visual metaphor of such transition and a memorial to our loved ones passed.

Kunc’s prints are created through the reduction woodcut process, from multiple blocks that were each printed and carved, then printed and carved again in an evolutionary process.    Using selective inking and transparent-to-opaque ink qualities there are unique aspects of revealing and concealing, that mirrors the metaphoric meanings.

Also showing will be new artist books, with etchings and eco-printing.

Constellation Studios is a “laboratory” site for testing how these new printworks go together, and how to live with art.   Catching sight, passing by, studying over time becomes an immersive awareness, and allows for seeing and knowing what feels right.  Join in this experience – an explosion – of color, new forms, and poignant timing.

For further information:

karen@constellation-studios.net

402-438-0049

www.constellation-studios.net


Manifest: Stephanie Wright

Guest Artist-in-Residence and exhibition

August 6 – September 25, 2021

Opening reception First Friday August 8, 6-8pm

Also First Friday September 3

Constellation Studios is pleased to host Stephanie Wright, as a Guest Artist-in-Residence, a new program to foster local artists for special projects.  Her current body of work focusing on large scale drypoint prints on paper, will open on August 6 for First Friday, expand with new work throughout her residency and end September 25th with the installation and imagery transformed. Stephanie’s prints use animal imagery to activate a narrative of interrelationships and emotions of love, nurturing, rage, jealousy, social anxiety, fear and contemplation.

Stephanie has an uncanny drawing ability to capture such instinctual moods, through a turn of the head, glance of an eye, a furrow or eyelid lift, that wordlessly conveys such a range of emotions.   She builds tensions through groupings, using space and placement to create isolation or movement.   She scratches on plastic sheets with an etching needle  to make a roughly textured image, which catches the printer’s ink when the plate surface is wiped.   The plastic plate is run through the etching press with damped paper to impress the inky image into paper.   In this way she can work directly and on a large scale, creating the enormity of an emotional body manifesting in flesh, hair, fur and faces, twisted in response to its own sentience.   

Stephanie Wright earned her MFA at the University of Nebraska with a focus in Printmaking in the spring of 2017. She grew up in Louisiana and earned her BFA at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2014. She is an instructor and gallery manager at Live Yes Studios, Lincoln.  

The artist states: “Even the animal subjects of my images are in performance for a human audience. Bare impressions on paper are a seemingly essential method of human-to-human communication– particularly when speaking through images of our animal peers to describe some aspect of ourselves, our society, where we fit in nature. The only truth that seems to reveal itself through our depiction of “the animal” is our self-awareness. A conceptualized and calculated portrayal of the “other” more so reflects and informs one’s portrayal of the self. Our symbolic descriptions of the world become a one-sided conversation- a mirror of one’s condition, and a possible beacon to our peers or “the other.” In the search for definition in our surroundings, through the drawing of the “creature,” we give off an unknowing longing, a signal of desire for communion, comfort, solace. An unspoken, less-humored feeling that we must have been lacking for some time in an understanding that is essential to our being but no longer disclosed to us. We cannot be as easily informed about ourselves. The human condition is in no way objective. In my active visual exploration I–like most humans– am in a constant process of learning, realizing and developing myself through the practice of invoking that communion between myself and my most personally perceived portrayal of the “other.”


“an accounting”

Artist in Residence Elizabeth Katt will be working at Constellation Studios this summer to continue her performance/action, “an accounting” begun in 2020.  By hand, she meticulously documents each death due to coronavirus in the United States – one tally for each life lost, according to data from Worldometer and Columbia University. The piece’s significance is apparent as heaps of adding machine tape attest to COVID-19’s toll.   Since starting the piece Katt’s silent labor has used 43 rolls of tape and will be continuing as she aims to document losses to date. Katt says out loud the number of lives lost to COVID-19 per day as it is recorded by her tally marks. It is her way of coming to terms with the inconceivable losses the US has suffered – breaking down the number 615,679 into small, manageable chunks. It drives home the fact that these losses were incremental and cumulative, each day filled with preventable death.

Katt will be at the studio 1-5 each Tuesday and Thursday, June 22 – end of July.

Katt is a current MFA graduate student at the University of Maryland College Park, and she received her BFA from the UNL School of Art, Art History & Design in 2016.

Katt will be at the studio 1-5 each Tuesday and Thursday, June 22 – end of July.


Kitchen Story: Narrative Etchings of Isaiah Jones

June 4 – July 16, 2021

First Friday Reception, June 4, 6-8pm

Constellation Studios presents the new prints of Isaiah Jones, who imagines an ordinary domestic dialogue as an extraordinary sequence of etchings with text-as-image.  In these prints, her hand lettered phrases could be spoken or thought by anyone, with the effect of shouts and whispers, as threads of dialogue repeat and spiral into graphic recombinations, as words are redacted, erased, and layered as if echoing memory and visualizing sentences in space.   The narrative allows for relationships to grow, then deteriorate, emphatic declarations become misunderstandings, exploring and voicing inner expressions of desire and anxiety.  

Jones created her prints through the etching process, which uses acid to bite into a copper plate.   Areas are preserved with acid resistant grounds while open areas are allowed to etch below the surface, which is where the image is developed.   During printing, the plate holds the ink in the etched textured areas, while the unetched areas are wiped clean.   The plate and paper are run through the press under great pressure to cause the transfer of ink to the paper.    Additionally, Jones further worked the plate by using tools to burnish or scrap the image away, leaving a “history” of what was once there, while new areas were also etched into the plate, for a sense of layering and continual evolution.  The print is the record of her actions, allowing the storytelling to “hang in the air”.  Jones’ print series has a sense of urgency as the quantity of impressions alone demonstrates a “give and take” of flowing ideas and importance of communication.

Isaiah Jones is a Lincoln artist and recent graduate of UNL with an MFA degree. Jones was raised in the mountains of western North Carolina, and earned her BFA in Printmaking from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2015.  She has exhibited her work locally and served as the master printer to guest artists in Lincoln, Atlanta and Savannah. Jones utilizes traditional printmaking, language, and storytelling to create individual prints and large-scale installations.


Anne Burton: Prism

April 2 – May 29, 2021

viewing opportunity First Friday May 7, 6-8pm

Gallery Talk May 4, 5:30- 6:30, Instagram LIVE, and at the gallery

Constellation Studios presents a focused exhibition of the woodcut prints of studio member Anne Burton.   Created recently for a major commission for the Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha, these works on paper use a quilt-like form to contain microscopic details of cells, hidden insects and plants of Nebraska, a kaleidoscope of color transitions, while all resonating with joy.  Anne interprets her own cares as a parent into a healing experience, that recognize the complexities and vulnerabilities that we all share.  

She states:

A prism is a form that can both clarify and distort. Light that travels through a prism bends to become visible as colors. The invisible is made visible because of this interaction. The light itself is not different, however the way we see it is transformed. As we all emerge from a time of self-reflection and sorrow, this work reflects on how the shared experience of collective hardship might lead us to change. We seem to have a moment where we have the potential to radically change our relationship to the world and one another.

This body of work began before the pandemic as an exploration of my younger son’s illness and surgery after inhaling a rare form of bacteria while playing in the dirt. That experience made me intensely aware of the fragility of human health and how greatly it can be impacted by a single random event. Through researching domestic ecosystems, I became cognizant of just how much human health can be impacted by the destruction and manipulation of the natural world. On a larger scale, and now seen through the shared experience of a global pandemic, this work is an exploration of how we all live in a delicate balance with the natural world.  My son had his surgery at CHMC three years ago, and time has helped to bend those difficult experiences back towards beauty. 

Originally from Virginia Beach, VA, Anne now lives in Lincoln, NE with her husband and two young sons. She is a full-time faculty member in the Art department at Metropolitan Community College in Omaha and the ARTS program coordinator. She teaches Printmaking, 2D Design and Drawing. She holds a BA in studio art from the University of Richmond and an MFA in Printmaking from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Anne has held residencies at Vermont Studio Center, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts and the Cable Factory in Helsinki, Finland. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently in the Duoro Print Biennial, Portugal, The Boston Printmakers North American Biennial, the Lawrence Arts Center, and the Awagami Miniature Print Exhibition, Japan.