I have just spent an intense working week as an artist in residence at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, at the invitation of Karen Kunc, Cather Professor of Printmaking. Here is an example of her work.
I was invited to make a print for the print club associated with the printmaking department, and had made a large etching in the months before my visit so that I could start printing as soon as I got there. I arrived on a beautiful warm , sunny day – not a cloud in the sky, and took a stroll around town. I made my way down to Karen’s new Constellation Studio. Karen and her volunteer students, parents, husbands (only one) and siblings were painting a massive mural on the side of the building – it looked stunning and I am sure will be on the Lincoln tourist itinerary once it is finished:
That proved to be my only chance to look around, as I was in the university print studio from 9am to 7pm pretty much everyday for the rest of the week. I must admit to having all my preconceived notions of the mid-west changed completely by my visit. I fully expected to have an interesting and creative time, but was completely charmed by the friendliness and of the people I met in Lincoln, where, by the way, you can buy a huge house for less than $100k..just a thought!
We had a very busy week, made much easier by the assistance of the printmaking students, who had volunteered for every hour of every day, and then some..I could not have had a more dedicated hard working group of people to help me print, loved them all!
We had a few technical problems the first couple of days, a combination of about five different things – you know what I am talking about printmaking nerds …it’s never just one thing, but printmakers live for these moments (perverse but true!) and the joy of working corroboratively lies in the endless discussions and resolution of all things technical.
Francisco Souto, Associate Professor of printmaking, arrived mid week and with his expert help we were on a roll.
The college campus has a wonderful display of sculpture throughout the grounds, furnished by the Sheldon Museum! They have some truly spectacular pieces dotted around! from Richard Serra to Jun Kaneko… here are a few snapshots..the museum has an amazing collection of art as well..who knew! The Sheldon’s printmaking collection is growing as they acquire a print from each visiting artist to the Print Club.
The week ended with a dinner out with the grad students, probably the cheapest meal for 10 people ever served up, great beer, brewed on the premises and good food..a visit to the local 50’s-inspired cocktail lounge (mad men in Nebraska anyone?), and back home the next morning, on another cloudless, sunny day.
Thank you printmaking department..I had a wonderful productive time, made some good friends and can’t wait to see you all in San Francisco in March for the Southern Graphics Council Conference.