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, in locations TBA.    The presentation will be 108” tall x 72” wide.

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/

   


Surface Impressions: International Print Show

June 5th – August 28th   2020

Juror:  Mark Pascale
Janet and Craig Duchossois Curator of Prints and Drawings, The Art Institute of Chicago

co-organized by Constellation Studios and Lux Art Center

• First Friday June 5,

visit by appointment 12noon – 8pm

Call 402-438-0049  or

email:  karen@constellation-studios.net

• June 11, 6-7pm Facebook Live from LUX Facebook – Curator Talk – Mark Pascale

• June 13, 10 – 11am 2020 –Coffee with the Curators – Mark Pascale and Susan Soriente, Zoom

• summer 2020 – events, workshops, steamroller printing all TBA

Surface Impressions intends to connect artists and audiences to the 21st century language of relief printmaking as a viable engagement for today.

The exhibition includes 75 works from 67 national and international artists, with a selection at both Constellation Studios and Lux Art Center galleries.   All the prints use relief-printing processes of woodcut, linoleum block, wood engraving, letterpress, and new technologies including laser cutting.

There is a distinctive graphic nature to prints made from carved surfaces as the energy of carving with gouges and burins is readily apparent.  This action is transformed by pressure and ink onto paper which reveals light “opened up” from the solid surface.  Artists are endlessly inventive with how the surface is changed, as well as with their innovations for printing from blocks, from essential black and white, to multiple layers of color and carving stages, to how the printing happens with presses or by hand.   Relief prints use available materials for protest and actions, exist on large scale for impact, capture impressions of wood growth, and show intimate carved details on the end-grain of wood. 

This inaugural biennial of relief prints here in the center of America showcases artists from around the country and abroad, all selected from an open call for entries.  The works on exhibition focus on the role of the relief print as a means of cultural critique and exploration, of this ancient process but newly invigorated discipline as it is practiced and defined by today’s artists.

https://www.surfaceimpressions.art/exhibition


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.


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. 


STELLAR Small Prints 2 – Invitational Exhibition

December 1, 2018 – January 26, 2019

First Friday December 7, 6-8pm

• John Amoss

• Susan Belau
• Marnix Everaert

• Andrew Kozlowski

• Jillian Sokso

• Art Werger

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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.


Artists in Residence Kazuko and Kaoru

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!

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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.

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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.

 

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The Print: Tried & True, Techno & New

September 29 – November 21, 2018

First Friday Opening Reception:   October 5, 6-8pm

Rough Cut

Barbara Robertson (above)

Featuring:

Stacy Asher, Lincoln, NE

Randy Garber, Boston, MA

Shelley Gipson, Jonesboro, AK

Nicole Pietrantoni, Walla Walla, WA

Miguel Riviera, Kansas City, MO

Barbara Robertson, Seattle, WA

Erik Waterkotte, Charlotte, NC

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”.

Listening,Receive 1KuncCaritas

Randy Garber (left)  Shelley Gipson (right)

waterkotte_erik_06 copyScreen Shot 2018-09-17 at 4.30.54 PM

Erik Waterkotte (left)     Stacy Asher (right)

Pietrantoni_01_were this perpetualAllegory1_Rivera_Mixed Media_2018

Nicole Pietrontoni (left)   Miguel Rivera (right)


The Slow Read

Ready, Get Set…Slow Read

Q: What is the opposite of a book club on steroids?

A: Reading Willa Cather’s novel ‘My Ántonia’ at the slow pace of six pages per day.

SlowReadWhat is the Slow Read?

The Slow Read is a public literary / art project conceived of and produced by Portland-based artist Barbara Tetenbaum. “After taking a workshop on video mapping, I had this vision of projecting the pages of a novel onto the wall of a building, so people would read together in public. The project has now grow to nearly a dozen public sites and can be accessed by anyone on their personal computers. This means that everyone in America and beyond can essentially read as a community,” says Tetenbaum. “This year is the centenary of a book I’ve been working with for some time, ‘My Ántonia’ by Willa Cather. It made perfect sense to use this particular novel for the Slow Read and a chance to find a deeper connection to her words and the issues Cather was illuminating which are still relevant today. Some readers will stumble upon this novel for the first time, others will be rereading it again, discovering something new in her story. I want to offer a piece of culture in the form of shared daily ritual, to be experienced slowly over time, providing a counterweight to the spectacle-based world we live in.”

During this centenary year of My Ántonia’s publication, readers around the country and the globe can follow along on their cell phones, laptops — or at a public site location – and read closer and deeper than before. From May 30 through August 11th, images of the first edition page spreads will be looped on a dedicated website (www.slowread.org) and offer the first-time reader, or long-time fan, this unusual, slow unfolding of the novel.

Why?

“Cather shows us what it was like to live on the 1890’s Nebraska prairie, a life that was tough and beautiful at the same time.” says Tetenbaum, “Cather herself grew up in Red Cloud around immigrants from Central Europe and Russia. ‘My Ántonia’ reads as a chronicle to their humanity and struggles during the formative years of the American Plains. The immigrant experience is particularly relevant in our current political climate, and perhaps there is a way to find a meaningful dialog through Cather’s story.”

Where?

Public venues such as libraries and museums are hosting the Slow Read, usually through a publicly-accessible video monitor. {At Constellation Studios, 2055 ‘O’ Street, the monitor faces the street and is best viewed in the evening, and runs 24 hours with new page selection added each morning} Individuals who don’t have access to these sites can read along on their own internet-connected devices by going to www.slowread.org and clicking the “Today’s Reading” button.

Barb Tetenbaum will be taking the project on the road in early June to show at outdoor sites. Go to the website blog to find the next screening: https://theslowread.squarespace.com/news/

constellation slow read_sm

When?

The broadcast begins on May 30th and ends on August 11, 2018. If you miss a day, the website has an archive of previously shown pages.

Want to participate?

The Slow Read web-stream is free and available at www.theslowread.org

What else is there?

The Slow Read website links to activities, discussions, exhibitions and lectures organized by Cather institutions and scholars. It also contains a visual concordance of images from eight years of personal artist projects connected to this novel. Explore the website for all this.

Where can I find the public Slow Read venues?

Currently, these sites are hosting the Slow Read:

Willa Cather Foundation in Red Cloud, NE     willacather.org

Love Library at Univ. of NE-Lincoln   https://libraries.unl.edu

Constellation Studios, Lincoln, NE   https://constellation-studios.net

Jaffrey Public Library, Jaffrey, NH   www.jaffreypubliclibrary.org

Oregon College of Art and Craft, Portland, OR   ocac.edu

Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland, OR   pica.org

Pacific Northwest College of Art Library, Portland, OR pnca.edu

Working Library, Portland, OR c3initiative.org/working-library.htm

Union College in Lincoln, NE

Check www.slowread.org/abouttheproject to explore additional locations as they are added and to track The Slow Read mobile pop-up on the road.

About the artist/director of The Slow Read:

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.