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.


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.