The Invisible Cities project in Venice!

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The Invisible Cities Collaborative Book Project, organized in 2016 by Constellation Studios, was exhibited in Venice, Italy, July 10 – 15, 2018. Many local and regional artists, students, and studio members and friends contributed art for this project.   Karen Kunc, owner and director of Constellation Studios, and UNL Professor of Art, presented the book, and also exhibit her own artist books and prints. The exhibition was hosted by Amor del Libro Studio, at the Palazzo Ca’ Zenobio, Venice, Italy, with an opening reception on Tuesday July 10.

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The Invisible Cities Book Project was initiated through an open call to artists, who were invited and inspired to contribute a book page in the specific size of 8 inches x 8 inches (20cm x 20cm) that were then joined together in an accordion-fold leporello structure.   Participants include 238 artists, from students, to amateur and professional, with local artists from Lincoln Public Schools, UNL, Doane University, Nebraska Wesleyan, and from across the USA.   International participants sent works from Italy, France, Finland, Bangladesh, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Japan, Poland, India, Croatia, Canada, Egypt, Argentina, Chile.   The works are in a variety of media, including prints, photos, digital prints, watercolor, collage, and drawing. Invisible Cities is bound and housed in a clamshell box, and opens to 80 feet (24 meters).

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This project was first shown at Constellation Studios in October 2016, in conjunction with Metropolis, the book project created by Amor del Libro Studio, Venice. Many of these artists contributed to both book projects in the spirit of collaboration and gift-exchange that is inherently the nature of prints and printmakers.

Artists responded to the concept of Invisible Cities from a novel by Italian writer Italo Calvino, Le citta invisibili, published in Italy in 1972. In Calvino’s story Marco Polo reports to emperor Kublia Khan on the various cities across the empire that he visited. Organized in a mathematical structure, Calvino’s descriptions are fantastical, of dream-like cities all named after women.   Following each eleven descriptions, the two men discuss ideas brought forward by the tales such as notions of human nature and linguistics.

Artist Karen Kunc exhibited her own artists’ books and prints alongside Invisible Cities, to show the depth of her exploration of book forms, and the richness of her printmaking processes.

Thanks for the warm hospitality and welcome shown by the gracious hosts, and so many any new friends!

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Artist in Residence Jenene Nagy

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Jenene Nagy spent an intense week of carving thin lines onto woodblocks and printing onto silk fabric  with silver and graphite oil base inks to create a collection of “flags”.    Her work plays with the formation of signs from the negative and positive shapes and repetitions, as the flags are grouped to create optical new interior spaces and contrasting “afterimages”.   She is interested in how “the flat graphic print becomes activated in space through the physicality of its material”.   We experienced this visual versatility through the floating of the silks……beautifully flowing as we carefully handled and printed the sensuous fabrics and while looking through and within each.   Jenene will use these printed flags for an upcoming installation/sculptural project to be presented in New York this spring.   We are so proud to have been instrumental in this important production!

Jenene Nagy is a teacher and curator who lives in the Los Angeles area.

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Artist in Residence Ayaka Nakamura

Artist in Residence Aya Nakamura has been in the studio throughout November, working on a  huge painting/drawing on canvas, and enjoyed have the wall and space!   Aya is from Tokyo, Japan, and enjoyed the quiet pace and light in Nebraska.   She also worked on woodcuts combined with painting, and dived into learning about oil-base ink for woodcut methods (the image below is of her woodcut in the drying rack, so an unusual perspective here).  Her works in animation are featured in the programing on Thursdays and Fridays at the CUBE Art Project of Lincoln, in the Haymarket Railyard.  This is our giant outdoor digital projection site, and the art series are by artists from all over the world.   https://www.cubelincoln.com/

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So great to have Aya here, and thank you for joining the Constellation Studios community.


Color Woodcut Workshop – Great success!

Thank you everyone for joining in with such good spirit of work, sharing, intensity and experimentation.   It was fun and challenging to steer the energy and questions…..a great learning experience for all!  Here are some of the works and students!

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Kunc solo show [ARTSPACE], Oklahoma City

Waves of Riches is a beautiful installation that includes prints, and books, and the installation of a large, layered paper multi-print work.   Here are some photos to capture the sense of the installation, thanks to photographer Ann Sherman.   On view May 18 – July 15, 2017.

 

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Artist in Residence Shiho Saito

Shiho, from Tokyo, Japan, spent the month of November at Constellation Studios, and worked well in the rhythm of life in Lincoln, and with her own creative discipline.    She planned and accomplished a large multi-sheet monoprint that addresses the subtleties of luxury fabrics and the fashion world.   She also experimented with drypoint prints made from thousands of minute scratches on plastic plates, that she printed with water-base inks.   This technique, new for her, enabled her to make a small series of journal-like images from her experiences in Nebraska, and then a complex 4 part detailed image of a model on the runway and the audience.   Shiho demonstrated incredible persistence and patience to realize her print projects!   All so impressive for our First Friday visitors.   Thanks for your residency Shiho!

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Metropolis & Invisible Cities Exhibition

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Interpretations on Urbanity

October 21 – December 24, 2016

Opening Reception, Friday, October 21, 6-8pm

Metropolis is a handmade book venture in a spectrum of printmaking processes by artists from around the world, including two from Constellation Studios. The theme speaks to the broad contemporary urban experience and extends to the idea of the network of communication possible today.

The idea for this collaboration came from Berlin-based artist Andreas Kramer who prints at Centro Internazionale della Grafica (CIG) in Venice where Metropolis was realized under the guidance of master bookmaking Silvano Gosparini and where the Renaissance legacy of traditional Venetian book publishing continues.

Among the 303 interpretations of this theme, the reader is destined to discover reflections of one’s own meandering thoughts about ‘metropolis’.   The leporello (accordion) construction enhances this stream-of-consciousness effect as it stretches fully to 215 feet.   Ideas circling forwards and backwards through compositional and iconic connections and diversions make an impression underlined by the haptic qualities of the media where ink makes sculptural lines on paper.

What lingers is a metropolis of the mind, a crazy-creative vitality mirroring the variability and vicissitudes of existence, and inspiring a continuing interaction, and a visually challenging mix.

Participants come from: Australia, Japan, Brazil, USA, Italy, Germany, Russia, Poland, Hungary, UK, France, Spain, Tunisia, Canada.   The edition of three has been circulating on exhibition in Italy, Germany, USA and most recently in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and at the Katzen Rotunda Gallery, American University, Washington, DC. This is the premier exhibition in the mid-west.

CONCURRENT is Invisible Cities, an exhibit of artists’ books and folios destined to become a collaborative leporello book that present new interpretations of urbanity. The theme is inspired by the imaginative novel Le citta invisibili by Italian writer Italo Calvino, published in Italy in 1972 in which Marco Polo reports to Emperor Kublia Khan on fantastical, dream-like cities all named after women that he purportedly visited. This book is organized in a mathematical structure. After each eleven descriptions, the two men discuss ideas that evolve from the tales, reflecting on human nature and linguistics.

It remains to be seen what ideas, images and symbology the 150+ US national and international artists will contribute expressing the evolving new experience of real, ideal and virtual contemporaneous and futuristic  city life.


Rainbow Exhibition views

Thanks to the artists:  Juergen Strunck, Laura Berman, Jeffrey Dell, Midwest Pressed/Tim Dooley & Aaron Wilson, Mildred Beltre.   Beautiful exhibition!

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Shibori Tie-Dye for Paper Workshop

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Sunday, October 25  1:00 – 4:00pm

$40 for workshop and materials

In this workshop participants will make unique papers with colorful tie-dye patterns.   Soft Japanese washi papers and cotton fabric will be used with this traditional technique for contemporary exploration. We will produce beautiful papers that can be used for bookbinding, gift-wrapping, collage, or stationary.   Artist-in-Residence Midori Iizuka, from Tokyo, will lead this workshop for a cultural exchange and opportunity.  All ages welcome.

 

To register:  call Karen 402-429-8239 cell or studio 402-438-0049 or online.

 

 


Artist in Residence John-Mark Schlink

A productive residency for John-Mark as he created large scale woodcut prints, both as unique experimental impressions, and as a “reductive” edition.  He worked fluidly on the large press, and tested papers, registrations, color layers, stencils and details.   Beautiful prints were made – suggestive of architectural blueprints, schematic perspective of imaginary cities, map-like graphics.   Thanks for the dialogue and support!

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STELLAR Small Print – International Invitational

September 4 – November 7, 2015

First Friday Opening Reception September 4, 6:00 – 8:00pm

Manuel Alba, France

Maija Albrecht, Finland

Sean Caulfield, Canada

Sheila Goloborotko , Brazil/USA

Hayk Grigoryan, Armenia

Naomi Hashimoto, Japan

Jill Ho-You, Canada

Silvana Martignoni, Italy

Antti Ratalahti, Finland

Tara Sabharwal, India/USA

Miida Seiichiro, Japan

Mariko Ando Spencer, Canada/Japan

Josef Werner, Germany

A global network is drawn between diverse artists and their printworks on an intimate scale. These artists operate on multiple levels in the print community, through exhibiting at international biennales, working in collaborative studios or independently, as mentors and teachers that elucidate and interpret print culture through their craft and concept.     The quality of their vision is expressed through an attentive nature and handwork, while understanding the impact of ink and impression.

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L.  Tara Shabharwal, R. Jill Ho-You