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


“an accounting”

Artist in Residence Elizabeth Katt will be working at Constellation Studios this summer to continue her performance/action, “an accounting” begun in 2020.  By hand, she meticulously documents each death due to coronavirus in the United States – one tally for each life lost, according to data from Worldometer and Columbia University. The piece’s significance is apparent as heaps of adding machine tape attest to COVID-19’s toll.   Since starting the piece Katt’s silent labor has used 43 rolls of tape and will be continuing as she aims to document losses to date. Katt says out loud the number of lives lost to COVID-19 per day as it is recorded by her tally marks. It is her way of coming to terms with the inconceivable losses the US has suffered – breaking down the number 615,679 into small, manageable chunks. It drives home the fact that these losses were incremental and cumulative, each day filled with preventable death.

Katt will be at the studio 1-5 each Tuesday and Thursday, June 22 – end of July.

Katt is a current MFA graduate student at the University of Maryland College Park, and she received her BFA from the UNL School of Art, Art History & Design in 2016.

Katt will be at the studio 1-5 each Tuesday and Thursday, June 22 – end of July.


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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Kenny Walton Hand Blown Glass Exhibition

April 8 – 25, 2020

Artist Kenny Walton (1947-2019) was an integral part of the dream of Constellation Studios, as husband and helpmate to owner/director Karen Kunc. He worked hard on their acreage near Avoca, Nebraska, building his studio, working intensely to blow glass, landscaping the gardens and arbors of fruit trees, and cooking exotic meals.

Kenny studied at Ohio State University, and Columbus College of Art & Design.  Through 1990 to 2007, Kenny exhibited his hand-blown glass at juried arts and craft fairs around the country and region, winning many awards.  His work was included in New Glass Review at the Corning Museum of Glass in 1995.  He had solo exhibitions of his glass in Nagoya, Japan, Ohio Craft Museum, and the Haydon Art Center in Lincoln. He received two Nebraska Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowships in 1994 & 1995, and a Mid-America Arts Alliance/National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1995.  He lectured on his glass in Finland, Poland, Hawaii and throughout the Midwest.

“He is very aware of living things and living cycles – the undercurrent of his work. He is steadily and quietly entranced by nature, its intricacies and fullness, and his work exudes this….. He has the ability (and innate desire) to successfully have his head, his eye, and his heart work together and then flow outwards from his hand to work and tool glass until it reflects, in its abstracted form, the beauty of life, essentially.”

Teliza V. Rodriguez, Curator, Museum of Nebraska Art. 2007

It is with immense pride that we show his amazing hand blown glass as a legacy of beauty, craftsmanship, and inspiration.  This exhibition honors his indomitable spirit, humor, intellect, energy and skills with “field expediency” (fixes with duct tape & wire!).   His glass art brings solace for us all.

LJS Kenny Walton

Visit KennyWaltonGlass.com https://www.kennywaltonglass.com/ for information, memorial, and store.


Nine Nebraskans Public Art Installation

Nine artists from the region were invited to design and carve their own large woodblock for printing impressions at Constellation Studios, which took place in May with one-by-one printing sessions at the studio.   The 9 large 24” x 36” black and white prints will make a composite Artwork that will be wheat-pasted around Lincoln.    The presentation will be 108” tall x 72” wide. Sites include: Lux Art Center, Constellation Studios, The Hub Cafe, The Mill Haymarket, Bennett Martin Library, Bethany Library, Woods Park Bath House, Joyo Theater, Goldenrod Pastries. #NineNebraskaArtists

Artists include:

Byron Anway, Lincoln

Ryan Crotty, Auburn

Nancy Friedemann- -Sánchez, Lincoln   

Gerardo Meza, Lincoln 

Nathan Murray, Lincoln   

Kyle Nobles, Lincoln

Sarah Rowe, Omaha

Bart Vargas, Omaha  

Kat Wiese, Lincoln 

The Artwork is a temporary installation, with the paper prints attached with wheat starch (wallpaper) paste to the wall surface. The installation will be affected by weather and moisture, lasting for approximately 2 months, and will be allowed to change, as part of the ephemeral nature of the materials, the climate conditions, and time.

Nine different sites are planned, and will present engagement for different viewing audiences and experiences, plus create a recurrent connection throughout the city.

These woodblock prints are unusually striking for the strong contrast of dark and light, the captured energy of the carving marks, and the variety of images and symbols that convey timely messages and layers of meaning.

A culminating event will be steamroller printing of these blocks for the Lux Art Center Festival in August.   Other artists are invited to join with additional carved woodblocks for the steamroller printing activity.   Watch for more info.

This community-wide print event is a facet of this summer’s collaborative exhibition Surface Impressions:  International Print Exhibition, and highlights the relief printing process.    The exhibition is held jointly at Constellation Studios and Lux Art Center.  

https://www.surfaceimpressions.art/

   


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.  



Light Prints: Cyanotypes by Erin Cross, Matel Rokke, Toan Vuong

October 4 – November 9, 2019

First Friday Reception October 4, 6-8pm

Closing Gallery Event Tuesday November 5,  7-8pm

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.

Erin 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 residence.

Toan 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.

Matel 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.


Artist in Residence Taryn Zust, Cincinnati,Ohio

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.