UNL Art Faculty and Graduate Students Exhibit Prints at UNK Walker Art Gallery

John Fronczak

UNK– Guest artist and University of Nebraska – Lincoln art Professor Karen Kunc is exhibiting prints she and her graduate students have created is a show now up in the University of Nebraska at Kearney Walker Art Gallery.

Kunc, an art and art history professor at UNL, along with six UNL graduate students are exhibiting their pieces in print media, woodcut, linoblock, etching, screen print and collage, and digital print media.

The exhibition, titled “Mastering Print Media – Professor Karen Kunc and UNL Masters Students in Printmaking,” can be viewed at the UNK Walker Art Gallery, which is located in the UNK Fine Arts Building, Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. now through Friday, Feb. 12. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

“All my works have in common the quest into how we make things. The questions of creativity, and how things are formed from chaos to order, from chance to meaningfulness. How nature is shaped by forces and by human impact with purpose and random chance,” Kunc said. “My works are a means to address large life issues and metaphors of the perennial cycle of life and renewal, with a visualization of symbiotic relationships and order.”

Kunc is presenting 13 of her pieces. Some of her works’ titles include “Thunderhead,” “The Wanting Pool,” “Solid Illusion” and “Tar and Sugar.”

“I begin by doing thumbnail sketches of ideas on 8”x5” index cardstock, and keep a stack of such spontaneous drawings that I continually refer to when generating new images and ideas,” Kunc said. “Then I make a tracing of the drawing and transfer the layout in reverse onto my birch veneer plywood block. I prepare two blocks with the same tracing and apply shellac to the surface to seal the wood and protect the under design tracing. The two blocks are carved as a positive and a negative.

“I do a reduction-block method, so after each color run, the block is carved away where the colors have been previously printed,” Kunc said. “It is a backwards way of working. I print on an etching press using a press board, and I use Japanese papers, which are very receptive to the ink. My prints may take as many as eight to 12 stages or ‘runs’ to finish with the early stages being press printed and the later stages often hand printed.”