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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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.  



Marking the Distance: A Retrospective of Books, Prints, and Assemblages by Bonnie O’Connell

August 2 – September 25, 2019

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.