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.
Semographics III Monoprinting Collaboration, is an exhibition that presents the work of 12 printmakers who joined in a weeklong experiment to print together as a team, using silkscreen (the fine art terminology is “serigraphy”, hence Semographics)) and relief printmaking. The collaboration event took place in March 2017 onsite at the Atlanta Printmakers Studio and the Savannah College of Art & Design – Atlanta, and was a featured event at the annual Southern Graphics Council International Conference. The resulting prints are a cross-disciplinary challenge – even a stylistic and technical mixed media “mash up” – with each unique print showing iterations, beautiful moments and graphic themes.
The group conducted a collaborative protocol involving a ‘Neutral Zone’, where all of the ‘in progress’ impressions were ‘up for grabs’ for anyone to embellish; and the ‘Safe Zone’, where any impressions deemed as ‘finished’ or aesthetically resolved were kept. Allowing the process to develop, over 150 prints were made with layers from different artists, hand applications of color and drawing, and aesthetic touches and special printing effects. Each work represents collective solutions to enhance and “solve” imagery from what other artists had done. Ultimately, the print series is a critical examination of choices, each artist’s practice, of technical demands, and stamina.
This Semographics III portfolio of 50 selected works is traveling for exhibitions nationally, including the presentation at Constellation Studios. The project was organized by Professor Timothy High, University of Texas Austin, with co-chair Stephanie Hunder, Concordia University, St. Paul, MN. The other participants are: Kathryn Maxwell, Arizona State University, Tempe; Sandra Fernandez, New Jersey; Brian Johnson, Texas State University, San Marco; David Newman, Brookhaven College, Dallas, ; Karen Kunc, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Lenore Thomas, University of Pittsburg PA; Amanda Knowles, North Seattle College, WA; Eric Avery, Pennsylvania; John Hitchcock, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Sofia Maria Paz, University of Texas Austin.
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.
This invitational exhibition brings together the unusual forms and inventions that flourish in the outpourings of etchings, drawings, collages of Rochelle Toner, and similarly, in the etchings, screen prints, cut and sewn works of Lauren Kussro. Both create imaginative worlds and forms that seem to grow from streams of impulse and inspiration, from nature, beauty, abundance, and evolutionary change. Toner’s abstractions grow from her mature visual voice, honed throughout a productive career as an educator and artist in Philadelphia. Kussro, working in Houston, is an emerging artist and a new force that explodes the print form and questions the “how and where” printing can happen. Both artists exhibit a graphic instinct and naturally address “why to print” that bridges generations.
Rockie Toner is Professor Emeritus Tyler School of Art/Temple University. She earned her MFA from University of Illinois, Urbana, and BA from University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls. She has exhibited extensively, including A Survey of Contemporary Prints, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC; Colorprint USA, Museu of Texas Tech University, Lubbock; Arte Della Stapa, Grafiche Originali, il Quadrato Di Omega, Rome, Italy. She received the 2010 Printmaker Emertius Award, recognizing her art and career from the Southern Graphics Council International, the largest organization of print artists in the world.
Images by Toner: left: Pegit, drawing. right: Seed Exchange, etching
Lauren Kussro is Assistant Professor at University of Houston Clear Lake. She received her MFA from University of Tennessee, and BFA from Indiana University-Herron School of Art and Design, Indianapolis.
Recent exhibitions include: Solo show The Reef, at 500x Gallery, Dallas; Metamorphosis, IU Kokomo Art Gallery, Indiana; Atlanta Print Biennial, Kai Llin Art, Atlanta, GA.
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/
So great to have Aya here, and thank you for joining the Constellation Studios community.
View a spectrum of etching techniques and mixed media prints by Karen Kunc. Deeply bitten aquatints from her grad school thesis, compare to embossed color line etchings and woodcuts on waxed papers, and to recent mezzotints and small etchings. All such intaglio techniques capture textures and information “below the surface” of the plate, where the ink is trapped when the plate surface is wiped, and then ink is transferred to paper under pressure through the press. Each work fits into Kunc’s overarching interest to how lines and gestures are translated and transformed through various printed qualities. Here her innovative approaches combine her experience with all print media, her development of personalized vocabulary of color, and challenge scale and detail.
Picture here are (top)Blue Gem, etching & woodcut on waxed paper, 2003;
(lower) Treatyse, artist book of etching, polymer relief, letterpress on handmade watermarked paper, 2017.
Constellation Studios presents Our Skyline, a creative project and exhibition, of hand carved linoleum block prints by over 28 community artists and 20 UNL students. The prints were created in respond to the historic linoleum block print by noted Nebraska art teacher Gladys Lux created in the 1930’s of the Lincoln skyline with the state capitol building under construction. This print is featured in the exhibition on loan from the Lux family. This creative project is an Official Event of the Nebraska Sesquicentennial, and celebrates 150 years of statehood.
Our Skyline participants were inspired with a myriad of art and design approaches: views of our state capitol, downtown, distant viewpoints of Lincoln, urban construction, iconic Nebraska landmarks, rural settings and structures, our open skies, nature silhouettes of trees, grasses, the prairie, and conceptual ideas. Participants took part in two printing sessions to carve and print with assistants to run blocks and paper through the presses during the sessions. For many this was their first time creating a print, with “printing magic” transforming their mark-making into a striking graphic statement.
Nora Abdel Monem, Christie Asuoha, Joel Anderson, Anissa Bensen, Abby Birkel, Jeri Brainard , Kristin Brooks, Anne Burton, Keith Buswell, Austin Carstens, Dana Clements , Haley Collins, Sally Cox, Erin Cross, Samantha Evans, Lynette Fast, David Fowler, Amy Groff, Abigail Groth, Justin Groth, Amanda Guenther, Mary Guenther, Emily Heater, Madeline Hinrichs, Michele Hrbek, Kristina Insingo, Brynna James, Carolyn Johnson, Megan Kemptar, Hannah Klemme, Karen Kunc, Rise Lange, Yoojeong Lee, Mariah Livingston, Lisa Mills, Brookely Nitsch, Gail Ogden, Lindsey Pinkerton, Diane Reece, Emily Reiman, Jessica Reiter, Jackie Rogers, Rachel Saniuk, Yria Santos-Torres, Kate Speicher, Kristin Vorderstrasse, Emma Ward Jamaica Wilson
Great engagement with visiting artist Sukha Worob in September and the resulting exhibition and stamping activity. Here are some action photos of the collaborative stamping project and his installation of prints. Thanks for the DIY knowledge and collaborative spirit!
Migrations is a huge gallery installation printed by handcast rubber stamps and ink of iconic images created by UNL students, inspired by Visiting Artist Suhka Worob. The possibility to carve and cast one’s own rubber stamps enables unique icons for repeat printing and layers to accumulate and evolve. The students did the stamping and printing on the large gallery wall, creating patterning and concepts of mass migrations – of birds, insects, herds, people, and the conveyances that transport the many individuals that make up the whole.
Worob will present his own print works on paper in a concurrent exhibition. He has developed this innovative casting process and DIY attitude to create with stamping and rollers for large scale printing impact of a myriad of symbols and signs.
Artist Statement: “My work is created using hand-cast rubber rollers covered in raised dots. The rollers are inked up using cyan, yellow, magenta and black. The dots and colors reference the building blocks of printed ephemera. During printing, patterns and images begin to emerge out of the random color relationships and dot placements. The resulting color relationships and images ask the viewer and participating creator to examine their interest in seeking deeper meaning and context for what is, at its core, just random chance.”
Reef is a multi-layered print installation in which printed patterns from woodblocks merge in radiant atmospheres of color. Printed onto translucent Japanese papers, the images seem to accumulate like colonies of microscopic corals, schools of floating plankton, and reference the largest single structure built by living organisms on earth, the endangered Great Barrier Reef.
Also on view are new artist books and prints by Karen Kunc.
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!