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.
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.