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.
This exhibition presents the work of outstanding printmakers that use small printed forms for intimate visual engagement and graphic invention. The quality of their vision is expressed through an attentive nature and handwork. Additional small prints from the Constellation Studios collection will be on view.
Seven contemporary artists present works in print media and new technological approaches that examine the continuing necessity for the print in contemporary culture, with an aesthetic need for the printed mark with intent, and how impact is made. Printmakers have continuously been the adapters of new technologies since the 15th Century, and are at the forefront of “inter-print” adaptations today, with the use of digital technologies for printing, for carving and platemaking, for photo-mechanical integrations, as well as photo imagery inclusions. Significantly, prints today respond to the look of our technological age, that grants aesthetic weight to data gathering, chart and graph lines, the visual overload and dynamism of designed ad/image production, glowing screen colors and light as the impression. These artists question how to see and examine the world around us, through visual cues and memory.
Asher places graphic charged words to provoke our reading eye and mindfulness as a means to shape culture. Garber seeks to express the confusion and clarity of information, with structures that suggest the cochlea, the eardrum, and instruments of sound. Pietrantoni combines laser burning and corrosion onto paper to speak of nature’s cycles of decay, destruction and loss. Gipson creates sensual surfaces across digital prints as bodies fall or leap, with despair and hope giving us anxious encounters with human nature. Riviera references the sense of truth and respect in map imagery, as digital deletion with laser engraving enacts the exchange of viruses and natural resources that are relevant to the history of colonization. Robertson questions how imagination, geometry and structure relate to our physical and cultural environment, as rapid changes create loss of landmarks as touchstones for our history and continuity, while technology is a promise for a better world. Waterkotte uses print and graphic production to intersect the archetypal using backlighting to double the layering, seeking to detect messages or visions that come from mysticism, beliefs and familiar but individual occult.
Curated by Karen Kunc, Cather Professor of Art, UNL.
This exhibition coincides with the Mid America College Art Association Conference hosted by the UNL School of Art, Art History & Design, October 4-6, 2018. The conference theme is “Techne Expanding: New Tensions, Tools, Terrain”.
Project Volumina presents a print installation of compelling new work by artist Karen Kunc, created while on Faculty Development Leave in spring 2018. She was inspired by viewing collections and treasures from museums and libraries to create a new “image bank” of resources. Specifically, she studied rare books, manuscripts and incunabula (early printed books before 1501 in Europe) from the Dibner Library of the Smithsonian Institution, and the Library of Congress while in Washington DC. References are drawn between historical processes and technologies, scientific illustration, printed conventions of spatial illusions, systems of charting, mapping, mathematics, alchemy and astronomy. She discovered these ideas from topic selection, chance encounters, page turning, following threads of connections and visual stimulus. Her new prints are created in a mixed media approach from woodblocks, etching plates, hand coloring, pochoir stencils, while trusting the unpredictable for experiential responses. Volumina revisits a theme Kunc has addressed in the past, and here again, her printed pages suggest quantities and quantities…..of printed knowledge or lore, history forgotten yet preserved, and inevitable change through time.
Artists play with printmaking solutions that feature graphic patterning, complex play of image making, effects of optical or layered color mixing, all created through carving and printing of woodblocks. There is raw yet elegant mastery in their works and references to nature, science and social commentary.
Inspiring are new prints from Anne Burton (Lincoln), Betsy Best (Seattle) and Jean Gumpper (Colorado Springs), and significant suites of prints from the past by Keiko Hara (Walla Walla) and Brian Curling (Radebeul, Germany), brought to view from the flat files in the Constellation Studios collection.
Semographics III Monoprinting Collaboration, is an exhibition that presents the work of 12 printmakers who joined in a weeklong experiment to print together as a team, using silkscreen (the fine art terminology is “serigraphy”, hence Semographics)) and relief printmaking. The collaboration event took place in March 2017 onsite at the Atlanta Printmakers Studio and the Savannah College of Art & Design – Atlanta, and was a featured event at the annual Southern Graphics Council International Conference. The resulting prints are a cross-disciplinary challenge – even a stylistic and technical mixed media “mash up” – with each unique print showing iterations, beautiful moments and graphic themes.
The group conducted a collaborative protocol involving a ‘Neutral Zone’, where all of the ‘in progress’ impressions were ‘up for grabs’ for anyone to embellish; and the ‘Safe Zone’, where any impressions deemed as ‘finished’ or aesthetically resolved were kept. Allowing the process to develop, over 150 prints were made with layers from different artists, hand applications of color and drawing, and aesthetic touches and special printing effects. Each work represents collective solutions to enhance and “solve” imagery from what other artists had done. Ultimately, the print series is a critical examination of choices, each artist’s practice, of technical demands, and stamina.
This Semographics III portfolio of 50 selected works is traveling for exhibitions nationally, including the presentation at Constellation Studios. The project was organized by Professor Timothy High, University of Texas Austin, with co-chair Stephanie Hunder, Concordia University, St. Paul, MN. The other participants are: Kathryn Maxwell, Arizona State University, Tempe; Sandra Fernandez, New Jersey; Brian Johnson, Texas State University, San Marco; David Newman, Brookhaven College, Dallas, ; Karen Kunc, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Lenore Thomas, University of Pittsburg PA; Amanda Knowles, North Seattle College, WA; Eric Avery, Pennsylvania; John Hitchcock, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Sofia Maria Paz, University of Texas Austin.
This invitational exhibition brings together the unusual forms and inventions that flourish in the outpourings of etchings, drawings, collages of Rochelle Toner, and similarly, in the etchings, screen prints, cut and sewn works of Lauren Kussro. Both create imaginative worlds and forms that seem to grow from streams of impulse and inspiration, from nature, beauty, abundance, and evolutionary change. Toner’s abstractions grow from her mature visual voice, honed throughout a productive career as an educator and artist in Philadelphia. Kussro, working in Houston, is an emerging artist and a new force that explodes the print form and questions the “how and where” printing can happen. Both artists exhibit a graphic instinct and naturally address “why to print” that bridges generations.
Rockie Toner is Professor Emeritus Tyler School of Art/Temple University. She earned her MFA from University of Illinois, Urbana, and BA from University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls. She has exhibited extensively, including A Survey of Contemporary Prints, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC; Colorprint USA, Museu of Texas Tech University, Lubbock; Arte Della Stapa, Grafiche Originali, il Quadrato Di Omega, Rome, Italy. She received the 2010 Printmaker Emertius Award, recognizing her art and career from the Southern Graphics Council International, the largest organization of print artists in the world.
Images by Toner: left: Pegit, drawing. right: Seed Exchange, etching
Lauren Kussro is Assistant Professor at University of Houston Clear Lake. She received her MFA from University of Tennessee, and BFA from Indiana University-Herron School of Art and Design, Indianapolis.
Recent exhibitions include: Solo show The Reef, at 500x Gallery, Dallas; Metamorphosis, IU Kokomo Art Gallery, Indiana; Atlanta Print Biennial, Kai Llin Art, Atlanta, GA.
View a spectrum of etching techniques and mixed media prints by Karen Kunc. Deeply bitten aquatints from her grad school thesis, compare to embossed color line etchings and woodcuts on waxed papers, and to recent mezzotints and small etchings. All such intaglio techniques capture textures and information “below the surface” of the plate, where the ink is trapped when the plate surface is wiped, and then ink is transferred to paper under pressure through the press. Each work fits into Kunc’s overarching interest to how lines and gestures are translated and transformed through various printed qualities. Here her innovative approaches combine her experience with all print media, her development of personalized vocabulary of color, and challenge scale and detail.
Picture here are (top)Blue Gem, etching & woodcut on waxed paper, 2003;
(lower) Treatyse, artist book of etching, polymer relief, letterpress on handmade watermarked paper, 2017.
Constellation Studios presents Our Skyline, a creative project and exhibition, of hand carved linoleum block prints by over 28 community artists and 20 UNL students. The prints were created in respond to the historic linoleum block print by noted Nebraska art teacher Gladys Lux created in the 1930’s of the Lincoln skyline with the state capitol building under construction. This print is featured in the exhibition on loan from the Lux family. This creative project is an Official Event of the Nebraska Sesquicentennial, and celebrates 150 years of statehood.
Our Skyline participants were inspired with a myriad of art and design approaches: views of our state capitol, downtown, distant viewpoints of Lincoln, urban construction, iconic Nebraska landmarks, rural settings and structures, our open skies, nature silhouettes of trees, grasses, the prairie, and conceptual ideas. Participants took part in two printing sessions to carve and print with assistants to run blocks and paper through the presses during the sessions. For many this was their first time creating a print, with “printing magic” transforming their mark-making into a striking graphic statement.
Nora Abdel Monem, Christie Asuoha, Joel Anderson, Anissa Bensen, Abby Birkel, Jeri Brainard , Kristin Brooks, Anne Burton, Keith Buswell, Austin Carstens, Dana Clements , Haley Collins, Sally Cox, Erin Cross, Samantha Evans, Lynette Fast, David Fowler, Amy Groff, Abigail Groth, Justin Groth, Amanda Guenther, Mary Guenther, Emily Heater, Madeline Hinrichs, Michele Hrbek, Kristina Insingo, Brynna James, Carolyn Johnson, Megan Kemptar, Hannah Klemme, Karen Kunc, Rise Lange, Yoojeong Lee, Mariah Livingston, Lisa Mills, Brookely Nitsch, Gail Ogden, Lindsey Pinkerton, Diane Reece, Emily Reiman, Jessica Reiter, Jackie Rogers, Rachel Saniuk, Yria Santos-Torres, Kate Speicher, Kristin Vorderstrasse, Emma Ward Jamaica Wilson