Artist Karen Kunc to Discuss Walker Art Gallery Exhibit, Feb. 12

John Fronczak

UNK– Printmaker Karen Kunc will discuss her work, and her students’ works, currently on exhibit in the University of Nebraska at Kearney Walker Art Gallery at 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 12.

Kunc is an art and art history professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition, six UNL graduate students presented their pieces with Kunc in print media, woodcut, linoblock, etching, screen print and collage, and digital print media.

“Professor Kunc will offer an informal overview of her own practices and processes in making her prints,” said UNK Walker Art Gallery Director John Fronczak. “She will briefly discuss her role as an educator, mention each of the graduate students showing with her, and then open the floor to questions and discussion.”

The exhibition, titled “Mastering Print Media-Professor Karen Kunc and UNL Master’s Students in Printmaking,” is on exhibit at the UNK Walker Art Gallery Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. in the UNK Fine Arts Building.

“All my works have in common the quest of how we make things, the questions of creativity, 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.”

Among of Kunc’s works on display are “Thunderhead,” “The Wanting Pool,” “Solid Illusion” and “Tar and Sugar.”

“I begin by doing thumbnail sketches of ideas on 8”x5” index card stock, 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.”