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
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.
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.
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.
Nebraska Literary Heritage Association hosts an Author Adventures event with Bonnie O’Connell, Professor Emerita, UNO School of Art, book artist and printmaker, with poet Grace Bauer, Aaron Douglas Professor UNL Department of English, and poet Mary Hickman, Professor of English at Nebraska Wesleyan University.
Following hors d’oeuvres from 6:30 -7:00pm, O’Connell, Bauer, and Hickman will participate in a panel discussion from 7:00 – 7:40. This conversation will focus on the “how” of getting into print, publishing issues, the small press/self-publishing route as an alternative for writers, and the tradition of book culture. A Q & A session will be part of the event.
This year LBAT will be taking place in the South Salt Creek Neighborhood, Everett Neighborhood, Near South Neighborhood, downtown, the Haymarket and UNL city campus. LBAT is a day long celebration encouraging folks to hop on their bikes (or drive, we won’t judge) to experience the working studios in the area. Constellations Studios will be open! See the exhibition and printing activities.
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.
Join us for low-key conversation and sharing on the theme of Collaboration. Nick Hernandez (KZUM Radio) leads our conversation and invites key discussants to spark inspiration and directions towards his ongoing quest on issues of Happiness and Well-being for our community enrichment.
Two artists endured a performative drawing session onto a huge copper plate for 24 consecutive hours last fall. The copper plate was set up like a table where the artist sat across from each other using drypoint, hard ground and acid, abrasives, and spit bite to etch portraits of one another below the surface of the plate, encouraging each other during the overnight, exhaustive session. Now two months later the plate will be printed on Constellation Studios huge etching press to reveal this experiential record. The guest artists will be proofing the plate and printing the week of January 22 – 25, pulling a limited edition. The public is invited to view this “big reveal” of the intaglio portraits on Tuesday January 23, 5:30 – 7.
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.