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.
Light Prints explores the natural intersection of prints and photography as a means to record “outside” information onto paper. Light-sensitive coatings onto paper are exposed with objects or transparencies blocking ultraviolet light leaving a silhouette image that seems to “capture” the moment and the ghost of the object. These artists have used this historic process to record collected objects, the shift of time, and the nostalgia of memorabilia. Cyanotypes are known for the rich Prussian blue of the iron-based inorganic colorant, the first synthetic pigment, and used for blueprints, and in Japanese woodblock prints, suggesting mystery and transience.
Cross is Professor of Art at Doane University in Crete, Nebraska. She received her MFA in Visual Studies from
Norfolk State University and her BFA from Old Dominion University. She focuses on the visual intrigue of shape
and the memory of its movements in mixed media compositions incorporating found
objects as a narrative agent, gathered in the Canadian Maritime while in
Vuong is an adjunct lecturer at UNL and Nebraska Wesleyan University. He earned his MFA from Tyler School of Art
Temple University, studying in Rome and Philadelphia. He received his BFA in Studio Art and a BA
in French Modern Language from UNL. His
works are an accumulation of parts, marks, particles and repetitions, until an
image emerges. In this way a record is
held, through incremental interventions, as a way to make sense of the world.
Rokke is co-owner of Tsuru Boutique in Lincoln. She earned her MFA in Photography from
Harford Art School, and her BFA at UNL.
She has also taught at Metro Community College Omaha, Southeast
Community College Lincoln, Dana College, Lux Art Center and UNL. Personal experiences and items from
generations past have recurring roles in her art, and pose questions about
identity, importance, desire, and worthiness of a memory.
Taryn is a senior art student at University of Cincinnati, and had research funding for her residency in August. At Constellation Studios she created 8 etchings, made handmade paper for the title page, with a letterpress printed text, and put all together in a hand-bound book, all in 2 1/2 weeks of intense concentration. Great project! Here are a few highlights.
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.
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.
Two artists from Tokyo Japan have been in residence here during November. Kazuko Araki and Kaoru Morita are sharing a great experience for concentration on their printmaking and enjoying cultural exchange. This is their first visit to the USA, and they are seeing Nebraska go through all the drama of fall to winter changes, while enjoying the open prairie landscape, football crowds, and studio activities of exhibitions and workshops. We are enjoying our language efforts and translations about life and printmaking! Special thanks to the Center for the Science of Human Endeavor in Tokyo for continuing to facilitating this exchange opportunity for Japanese artists!
Kaoru is working in Mokuhanga (Japanese watercolor woodblock) with soft colors printed by hand, one each day for a color record of atmosphere and influences. She specializes in shallow carving into the woodblock, so that beautiful nuances of tone are printed. Her drawing is here of a still life from some of the handblown glass pieces of Kenny Walton, and her woodblock print from this image is just getting underway.
Kazuko has created two editions of collagraph prints, from multiple cardboard plates, that have textures and drypoint scratches that hold the ink, printed in registration for a constructivist landscape for mountain goats. She is inventive with her platemaking and the beautiful printed layers. These two artist friends have studied printmaking together at the Musashino Art School in Tokyo.
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”.
Barbara Tetenbaum is a visual artist interested in the act of reading. She uses the mediums of books, prints, installation, and animation to explore this subject matter. She founded her artist book imprint, Triangular Press, in 1979. Barb is the recipient of two Fulbright Fellowships, career and project awards from the Oregon Arts Commission, Ford Family Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation and the Regional Arts and Culture Council. She is currently Professor and Head of the Book + Print at the Oregon College of Art and Craft. She holds a B.S. (Fine Art) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
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.