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.”


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.


Letterpress: Books & Broadsides

March 5 – 28, 2021

First Friday opening, March 5, 6:00 – 8:00pm

This exhibition presents the power of letters impressed into paper to print text for posters, prints, bookworks, and broadsides.   These works are drawn from the Constellation Studios collection and includes poetry, images, and timely assertions, as beautifully crafted objects, or ephemera from events or announcements.   These are captivating for the graphic nature and physical dimension of the printing, hand-produced by a variety of artists and designers.   

For 500 years, from Gutenberg to the 1960’s, movable type of metal and wood held sway, yet printing technologies evolved to offset lithography and digital processes, which are more commercially prevalent now.   This left space for the renaissance of letterpress today, as artists and designers use the “reclaimed” metal and wood type and vintage presses for quality and hands-on directness.  Now this historic printing technology moves into the 21st Century as artists strive to maintain and preserve the cultural legacy of fine press printing while advancing it as a living art form, becoming self-publishers that embody the power of the press, literally. 

The exhibition is curated by Kyle Nobles, assistant at Constellation Studios.


Paper Fiber: Shaped & Formed

January 8 – February 27

January 8 – Second Friday opening

Veda M. Rives Aukerman & Meda R. Rives Smith, Normal, Illinois

Tom Lang, St. Louis, Missouri

Jill Powers, Boulder, Colorado

Constellation Studios joins in the city-wide FiberFest featuring an exhibition of unusual works made from various paper fibers: abaca (banana leaf), kozo bark (related to the mulberry tree), and pigmented cotton.   Artists invent new ways to form the fibers from casting sheets for collage effects, to wet binding translucent layers, and hand beating to expand the fiber for shaping.

Veda & Meda present Magnolia, a BookEnviron installation, sparking an experiential journey to seek an intangible connection to that which is beyond.   Tom’s works are never-before-shown handmade paper collages, for the “jamais vu”, from French, meaning “never seen” phenomenon of experiencing a situation that one recognizes, but that, nonetheless, seems very unfamiliar.  Jill is exhibiting unique artists books with pages of webbed kozo fiber, that carries the message of ecology and changes to the environment.

Veda M. Rives Aukerman and Meda R. Rives Smith are artists and identical twin sisters who pursue interests in printmaking, handmade paper, artists’ books, and BookEnvirons; creating artworks both independently and collaboratively.  Veda is Interim Director of Normal Editions Workshop (NEW) in the Wonsook Kim School of Art at Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois. Meda has been a member of the art faculty at Illinois State University and Heartland Community College in Normal, Illinois; and at Eureka College in Eureka, Illinois.   Both artists have exhibited widely throughout the U.S. and internationally.

Tom Lang is Professor in the Department of Art, Design, and Art History at Webster University. He earned an M.A. in Aesthetics and an MFA in printmaking from Ohio State University. He studied with S.W.Hayter and Krishna Reddy at “Atelier 17” in Paris.  His interest in papermaking came from a workshop with Garner Tullis, which lead to his own long-term study of the history and techniques of hand-papermaking.  His work has been exhibited throughout the U.S. and in Europe.

Jill Powers creates sculptural, and installation art with unusual natural materials. Her primary art material is an inner bark, which she has developed as a contemporary art medium.   Jill teaches in the Visual Art Department at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. A graduate of Tyler School of Art, Jill has shown her work internationally, and her work is in private, corporate, and museum collections. 

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Holiday Show & Sale 2020

Installation views of Karen Kunc prints and Kenny Walton Glass, plus some unusual and beautiful studio items including leather bound books, small boxes, note cards, blank books and artist books. See the “salon style” installation of Karen’s demonstration prints from her years of teaching printmaking courses and workshops….fun and loose experiments in lithography, etching, screenprint, and woodcut.

Contact 403-438-0049 or karen@constellation-studios.net

for information on any item for pricing and availability, as things change quickly.



Installation Views of inBEtween

The inBEtween exhibition is a touring group show, planned to promote unity in response to our divisive time.   Artists in the group are responsible for taking the show in their location, therefore bringing it to a wider audience, and to include local artists and community.   In this way the message can keep reframing itself in a new and relevant context.

This show has been presented in 2019 at the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, Augusta, Georgia, and in 2020 at Studios Inc. Kansas City, Missouri, and Constellation Studios, Lincoln, Nebraska.    Alternative shows and works were shown also in Germany and India.   Exhibitions and venues are being planned through 2021 and 2022.

Artists in the show

From Germany: nomadic sculptor Roger Rigorth’s installation of thin, fragile oars, Barbara Beisinhoff’s prints address air, water, earth, and Sabine Stange’s photographs on perceptual transience.

From America: Tana Kellner’s monoprints on the US Bill of Rights and immigration, Cheryl Goldsleger’s prints of migration maps, Miguel Rivera’s overlapped drawings derived from his Mexican American roots, Leslie Jean Bart’s photographs of Haitian American identity discord through photos of people in water, Karen Kunc’s woodcuts on rural urban migration, Larry Millard’s batons referencing entry permits, and Kristin Casaletto’s prints of community existence.

From India: Ayisa Abraham’s film of the life of a Nepali migrant living in Bangalore, Veer Munshi’s installation on his return to his exiled home in Kashmir, and Tara Sabharwal’s collaged silkscreen prints of refugees on boats encountering the ‘other’.

Local guest artists: Jamie Ho’s photo documentary of her Chinese family history at the threshold of erasure, Francisco Souto’s metaphoric drawings of social collapse in Venezuela, Nancy Friedemann-Sánchez’s folkloric print of colonial artifacts from Columbia, and Oria Simonini’s watercolors of migrant experience from her Guatemalan roots.

Left: Barbara Beisinhoff’s etchings Right: Sabine Stange’s photo series
Left foreground: Roger Rigorth’s carved oars Left background: Tana Kellner’s monoprints Right: Miguel Rivera’s prints
L: Tana Kellner Middle: Miguel Rivera R: Leslie Jean Bart
L: Leslie Jean Bart’s photo series R: Karen Kunc, artist book and prints
L: Karen Kunc R: Nancy Friedemann-Sánchez’s woodcut print
L: Kristin Casaletto’s drawings Middle: Cheryl Goldsleger’s prints R: Ayisa Abraham’s photo series
L: Ayisha Abraham Middle: Tara Sabharwal’s print series R: Veer Munshi’s photo installation
L: Veer Munshi R: Oria Simonini’s watercolor paintings
L: Francisco Souto’s drawing Middle: Larry Millard’s batons R: Jamie Ho’s photographs
Roger Rigorth’s oars floating across the space
L: Cheryl Goldsleger R: Ayisa Abraham

inBEtween

Curated by Tara Sabharwal, NYC

Artists from Germany, India, USA

October 2 – November 20, 2020

First Friday Reception October 2, 6-8pm

Observing distancing & masks required

The present moment is all we ever know.  It is the vital space in between what we have been and where we could be heading.  It is always right there, our opportunity for change.   inBEtween draws attention to our inherently open sense of self, honoring the process of self-examination and transformation.

 – Tara Sabharwal, curator.   In collaboration with David Gann.

This exhibition examines questions around inter-sectionality, displacement and otherness, through the work of artists from Germany, US and India, along with local guest artists.   Curated by NYC based artist Tara Sabharwal, the show is part of an international travelling project with an emphasis on involving community and generating dialog.

In inhabiting different spaces, one encounters conflicting points of view, which work within the political/social/racial group but become suddenly inflammatory outside it.   Often, we are not even aware of this, as we are, after all, an intrinsic part of cultural traditions and languages that have hierarchies, prejudices and privileges built into them.   This show aims to foster dialog by experiencing diverse points of view and sharing our own.

The need for listening to each other is urgent.  Artists live within communities as natural outsiders, forming their own borderless intersections.   Could artists present a fresh approach, through their art, where reason and verbal structures fail?

Artists in the show

From Germany: nomadic sculptor Roger Rigorth’s installation of thin, fragile oars, Barbara Beisinhoff’s artist books on the poetry of Jewish poet and holocaust victim Gertrude Kolmar, and Sabine Stange’s photographs on perceptual transience.

From America: Tana Kellner’s monoprints on the US Bill of Rights and immigration, Cheryl Goldsleger’s prints of migration maps, Miguel Rivera’s overlapped drawings derived from his Mexican American roots, Leslie Jean Bart’s photographs of Haitian American identity discord through photos of people in water, Karen Kunc’s woodcuts on rural urban migration, Larry Millard’s batons referencing entry permits, and Kristin Casaletto’s prints of community existence.

From India: Ayisa Abraham’s film of the life of a Nepali migrant living in Bangalore, Veer Munshi’s installation on his return to his exiled home in Kashmir, and Tara Sabharwal’s collaged silkscreen prints of refugees on boats encountering the ‘other’.

Local guest artists: Jamie Ho’s photo documentary of her Chinese family history at the threshold of erasure, Francisco Souto’s metaphoric drawings of social collapse in Venezuela, Nancy Friedemann-Sánchez’s folkloric print of colonial artifacts from Columbia, and Oria Simonini’s watercolors of migrant experience from her Guatemalan roots.


Surface Impressions: International Print Show

June 5th – August 28th   2020

Juror:  Mark Pascale
Janet and Craig Duchossois Curator of Prints and Drawings, The Art Institute of Chicago

co-organized by Constellation Studios and Lux Art Center

• First Friday August 7, 5 – 8pm

• Upcoming! Steamroller printing of Nine Nebraskans woodblocks, August 15, 1-4pm, Lux Art Center

Surface Impressions intends to connect artists and audiences to the 21st century language of relief printmaking as a viable engagement for today.

The exhibition includes 75 works from 67 national and international artists, with a selection at both Constellation Studios and Lux Art Center galleries.   All the prints use relief-printing processes of woodcut, linoleum block, wood engraving, letterpress, and new technologies including laser cutting.

There is a distinctive graphic nature to prints made from carved surfaces as the energy of carving with gouges and burins is readily apparent.  This action is transformed by pressure and ink onto paper which reveals light “opened up” from the solid surface.  Artists are endlessly inventive with how the surface is changed, as well as with their innovations for printing from blocks, from essential black and white, to multiple layers of color and carving stages, to how the printing happens with presses or by hand.   Relief prints use available materials for protest and actions, exist on large scale for impact, capture impressions of wood growth, and show intimate carved details on the end-grain of wood. 

This inaugural biennial of relief prints here in the center of America showcases artists from around the country and abroad, all selected from an open call for entries.  The works on exhibition focus on the role of the relief print as a means of cultural critique and exploration, of this ancient process but newly invigorated discipline as it is practiced and defined by today’s artists.

https://www.surfaceimpressions.art/exhibition


Josh Winkler: The Big Trees

March 6 – 28, 2020

First Friday Reception March 6, 6:00-8:00pm

Using prints and adventure, Josh Winkler sparks content and connections that address environmental and cultural tragedies of the past and to engage the high stakes of the present.   This exhibition features a remnant of the great redwood trees of Calaveras county created with “endurance-level” hand printing on site.  Winkler has hiked the Chilkoot Trail, infamous during the Klondike Gold Rush at the turn of the century, and was an artist-in-resident in Dawson City in the Yukon, influencing panoramic print series of forest fires, highway travel, and reflections on the “collective path”.  Winkler is Assistant Professor of printmaking at Minnesota State University Mankato.   He received his MFA from the University of Minnesota, and BFA from Ball State University.  



Paper Pulp & Beyond

January 24 – February 28, 2020

Special Reception Thursday, January 23, 7-8pm

Papermaking demos – First Friday Feb 7, 6-8pm

Artists:

Kathy Cartier, Lincoln, NE

Melissa Harshman, Athens, Georgia

Nancy Mintz, Berkeley, CA

Bridget O’Malley, Minneapolis. MN

Amy Sands, Minneapolis. MN

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.