Sunday, September 30, 2012

Let Them Eat Cake! That's Inked Up Celebrates its 1st Anniversary!

Oh yes, my little inked up friends, it's time to celebrate That's Inked up's First anniversary! Yahooooo! You amazing people have shown there is a concerted and sustained need for this blog which I am pleased is growing a readership worldwide and connecting ourselves and our art. It was something I had been wanting to do for some time, and with the support of friends and fellow artists, we are now able to celebrate this milestone. 

This year we've been able to post articles on artists, residencies, conferences, workshops, competitions and commemorate the history of this medium through holidays and political events. 122 posts and a weekly readership of 9500 people ( and an astounding 26K overall hits) has been made possible through your interest, and I look forward to expanding the articles, features on new work and overlooked artists,  book/catalogue and exhibition reviews. 

I hope you will continue to join me as we continue this journey onto this fascinating and varied medium, and I look forward to hearing from you if you have ideas, or want to send me information about your workshops, and any unique opportunities.

Have some Cake!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The World's Guide to Book Arts Degree Programs

The incredible world of book arts is one of our [printmakers']sister media. For any printmaker wanting to make their own fine art portfolio with handset letter press, I recommend this connection to a host of online exhibitions, workshops, contacts to book artists and those wanting to earn a degree in this old, but renewed field of paper, ink and binding obsession. 

The people at Books Arts Web collated an enormous database for any artists working on artist, handmade and uniquely-bound books. Below is a listing of places where anyone wanting to learn book-binding or making their own books with handmade paper and letterpress can avail the services, classes and workshops, and degree programs listed herein. I gladly share this with all you wonderful inky printmakers....

Book Arts Degree Programs

  • Alcuin Society: Promoting a wider appreciation of books and reading and supporting excellence in book design and production. In support of these goals, it sponsors educational programmes, publishes a journal, and offers a prestigious award for excellence in Canadian book design.
  • American Academy of Bookbinding: A program that gives professional binders an opportunity to receive top level instruction without having to study abroad.
  • American Amateur Press Association
  • American Printing History Association
  • Anderson Ranch: A former sheep ranch located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, offers several first-class bookmaking workshops each summer.
  • Search and Compare art schools, colleges, departments, and workshops.
  • Art, Books, and Creativity: A yearlong arts curriculum developed by the National Museum of Women in the Arts. ABC provides meaningful arts learning experiences while highlighting the natural connections between visual arts and language arts. ABC is a model for integrating the visual arts into the core curriculum while maintaining a specific focus on the contributions of women artists to our shared cultural history.
  • Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts: Also offers classes in the book arts. In Gatlinburg, TN.
  • Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University: Non-credit visual arts workshops in a variety of disciplines including letterpress, printmaking, and binding.
  • Asheville BookWorks: Hands-on workshops including, but not limited to, bookbinding, printmaking and decorative paper. Instructors are mostly drawn from the immensely talented and growing book arts community in western North Carolina, many of whom are nationally and internationally recognized.
  • Banff Centre: The Banff Centre is an incubator of creativity that inspires and empowers artists, the mountain community, and business and community leaders from Alberta, Canada, and around the world. Located in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, the Centre provides a unique learning environment where individuals and groups pursue personal and professional development, create new work, engage in applied research, share ideas and experiences, and celebrate accomplishments through performances, exhibitions, and special events. Visual arts workshops and residencies.
  • Bay Area Book Artists: San Francisco group of book artists who expand horizons in the book arts by making books, organizing exhibitions and maintaining and furthering an awareness of the greater community of book artists and book arts.
  • Black Rock Press at the University of Nevada, Reno: Dedicated to the practice and teaching of the arts and crafts associated with the creation of finely printed books.
  • Book Arts Museum: A publisher of rare and artistic books. It has a collection of old printing machines and equipment, matrices. There is a working paper mill and typefoundery. It organizes exhibitions and educational courses. In Lodz, Poland
  • The Book Arts Press at the University of Virgina
  • The Book Arts Program at the J. Willard Marriott Library: At the University if Utah, Salt Lake City, UT.
  • Book Arts Guild of Vermont: Organized in January 2005, we seek to encourage and educate our members and the public through workshops, exhibits, fieldtrips and guest speakers.
  • Booklyn: Founded in 1999, Booklyn is an artist-run, nonprofit organization headquartered in Brooklyn, New York. Our mission is to promote artist books as an art form and educational resource; to provide educational institutions and the public with programming involving contemporary artist books; and to assist artists in exhibiting, distributing, and publishing innovative bookwork.
  • BookWorks: BookWorks is a book arts education center that offers a full spectrum of hands-on workshops including, but not limited to, bookbinding, printmaking and decorative paper. BookWorks recently purchased the building in which it is located, in partnership with Blue Barnhouse, a small press specializing in letterpress, bookbinding and independent publishing. Lcated in Asheville, NC.
  • Buchbinder Colleg: School for advanced bookbinding and master classes. Instruction in German. In Stuttgart, Germany.
  • California Society of Printmakers: The California Society of Printmakers is a non-profit arts organization which promotes the appreciation of prints and printmaking. In support of this goal, the Society sponsors exhibitions on a local, and national level, carries out educational activities, and publishes a journal, The California Printmaker.
  • Camberwell College of Arts: Information on bookbinding program.
  • Carroll University: See their new book arts major in the Art Program. Located in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
  • The Center for Book Arts, Inc.: Current class schedules as well as online exhibitions. In New York.
  • NEW Centre for the Book at the University of Otago: Dr. Donald Kerr and Dr. Shef Rogers co-direct the University of Otago Centre for the Book. Established in 2011, the Centre aims to promote the rich book heritage of the university, city, and country (New Zealand).
  • Centre for Fine Print Research: Based at the University of the West of England, Bristol, UK. it shows some examples of research projects run by the CFPR which examine contemporary artists’ books. As part of our research we explore many aspects of the book arts: from the conception and history of the artist’s book, to creative processes and output, current developments and critical assessments of the subject. Through our research projects and collaborations, we hope to widen critical discourse within the book arts field. There is also a Book Arts Newsletter published monthly by Sara Bodman.
  • Centro del Bel Libro, Ascona Switzerland: Fantastic study opportunity for fine/design binding and conservation.
  • Cincinnati Book Arts Society: A nonprofit organization comprised of a group of professionals and amateurs from all quarters of the book, paper and printing arts for the purpose of creating a spirit of community among hand workers in the book arts and those who love books.
  • Codex Foundation: The foundation exists to preserve and promote the art and craft of the book. Our mission is educational and, in the broadest possible context, to bring to public recognition the artisanship and the rich history of the book.
  • Columbia College Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts
  • Corcoran College of Art and Design: New Master of Arts in Art and the Book. Located in Washington, D.C.
  • Cornell Book Arts Club: The book arts club for Cornell University offering lectures and workshops. In Ithaca, NY.
  • Craft Guild of Dallas: Bookbinding classes at the Craft Guild of Dallas, TX.
  • Creative Arts Workshop: Book arts classes and more. In New Haven, CT.
  • Dartmouth College Book Arts Workshop: A component of the Dartmouth College Library Preservation Department. In Hanover, NH.
  • The Fine Press Book Association: A new organization recently formed by individuals interested in the art of fine printing to promote printing skills and the appreciation of beautiful books. See their blog here.
  • Freundeskreis Miniaturbuch Berlin e.V.: Friends of the Minature Book Berlin, Germany.
  • Garage Annex School for Book Arts: Presented by Daniel Kelm and Greta Sibley in Easthampton, MA. Classes cover a wide range of topics from alternative to traditional.
  • Hollander's School of Book & Paper Arts: A comprehensive listing of courses for all levels. In In Ann Arbor, MI,
  • Houston Book Arts Group: New group in the Houston (TX) area that meets monthly at the Museum of Printing History, in Montrose. Each meeting typically includes a hands-on experience with a book structure or other book arts related skill which you can then take home and practice.
  • Idaho Center for the Book at the Hemingway Western Studies Center in Boise. Gallery
  • The Ink Shop Printmaking Center: A not-for-profit printmakers' center, fine art press and gallery which offers professional facilities for the making of fine art prints. We provide a range of equipment, including etching, lithography, proofing and letter presses, a small darkroom and computer imaging equipment. In Ithaca, NY.
  • Het Instituut voor Kunst en Ambacht (IKA): Art Center in Mechelen, Belgium with workshops in bookbinding and other subjects. Click on "ateliers," then "boekkunst." Site in Flemish.
  • Libros - New Mexico Book Arts Guild: LIBROS is New Mexico’s Book Arts Guild offering a variety of inspiration for both traditional and experimental artist’s books. We hold regular meetings on the 1st Saturday of the month, as well as annual and special exhibits. We welcome new members and guests.
  • NEW London Centre for Book Arts: London’s first open access resource centre for people interested in the production of artists’ books and printed matter. The space will provide workshops and classes for studio members and the local community, as well as access to hard-to-find equipment and resources.
  • London College of Printing: Offers bookbinding, and related, courses.
  • Mills College Book Arts Program: San Franciso, CA.
  • Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA): Workshops for adults, educators, children, and more at this first rate book arts center.
  • Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory and Educational Foundation: The Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory and Educational Foundation is a Cleveland, Ohio non-profit art center dedicated to the preservation of handmade papermaking and the art of the book. Morgan Conservatory will pursue its educational and charitable purposes by serving the greater community locally, nationally, and internationally with sustainable practices in an innovative green environment.
  • Movable Book Society
  • The National Printing Library, London: The Library's collections cover printing and related subjects like paper and binding, graphic design and typography, typefaces and calligraphy, illustration and printmaking, publishing and book-selling, and the social and economic aspects of the printing, book, newspaper and magazine trades generally.
  • Nebraska Book Arts Center: To advance critical appreciation and knowledge of the book, and to promote the arts of fine book production.
  • New Jersey Center for the Book: "To celebrate books, reading, libraries, and the diverse literary heritage of New Jersey."
  • New York Center for the Book and Reading: Promoting book culture throughout New York State.
  • North Bennet Street School - Bookbinding: the only full-time bench bookbinding program in North America. The two-year program was started in 1986. Class meets 30 hours a week from September through June. Only six students are admitted each year. In Boston, MA.
  • Oldways Bookarts Tools and Workshop: Jim Croft's workshop in Santa, Idaho.
  • Oregon College of Arts and Crafts: Links to information about their book arts program.
  • Pacific Center for the Book Arts: An organization committed to providing our members opportunities to show their work, socialize with other practitioners of the book arts, and learn from their peers. Our members include calligraphers, custom binders, printmakers, conservators, and many others.
  • Penland School of Arts and Crafts
  • Paper and Book Intensive (PBI): A great summer experience in the book arts.
  • The Printed Page: a fully equipped, working art studio located in a restored mill building at in Pawtucket, RI. Offers classes and workshops in printmaking and the book arts as well as access to studio space and equipment for individual artists.
  • Printmaking at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU): Academic program information and a links page which features an web based bulletin board for printmakers.
  • Pyramid Atlantic: Dedicated to the creation and appreciation of hand papermaking, printmaking, digital arts, and the art of the book. For more than 22 years, Pyramid has provided opportunities for the discovery and creation of these fine arts through imaginative programming for people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. An artist-centered community with an international and local following, Pyramid Atlantic brings print and paper arts to people all over the world.
  • Rare Book School: An independent non-profit educational institute supporting the study of the history of books and printing and related subjects. Founded in 1983, it moved to its present home at the University of Virginia in 1992.
  • Sammlerkreis Miniaturbuch e.V. Stuttgart: Minature book society based in Stuttgart, Germany. Pages in German.
  • San Francisco Bay Area Book Arts
  • San Diego Book Arts: an organization founded by Southern California artists. It is open to everyone interested in the art of the book and offers a network for information and education through lectures, workshops, publications and exhibitions.
  • San Francisco Center for the Book: SFCB is a place where you can learn about the many arts and crafts of the book. Through workshops, exhibitions, and public events, SFCB promotes both knowledge of traditional book arts and exploration of experimental book forms. Visit our website to learn more and register for classes.
  • Santa Reparta International School of Art: An independent art school and professional workshop providing facilities and courses in etching, monoprinting, relief printing, photography, drawing, digital imaging, book arts, painting, art history, and Italian language. In Florence, Italy.
  • School of the Art Institute in Chicago Printmedia
  • School for Formal Bookbinding: Newly formed by Don Rash, Fine Bookbinder, in Plains, PA.
  • Scripps College Press Book Arts Program: Letterpress printing and book making program led by Kitty Maryatt at Scripps College.
  • NEW Scuola Intarnazionale di Grafica: Founded in 1969 and is one of the main centers for Printmaking and the Artists Book in Venice, Italy.
  • Seattle Center for Book Arts: Formed to promote education in hand book binding and related art forms. We encourage fellowship and the exchange of ideas in the bookmaking community.
  • Shakerag Workshops: A small workshop program, operating for only two weeks in June, in which participants and faculty members live, eat, and work together for a week on the Sewanee mountaintop.
  • SHARP Web: Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing. Many links related to the history of the book, publishing, printing and the bookarts. Subscription information to SHARP-L.
  • Small Press Center: The Small Press Center for Independent Publishing is a non-profit cultural and educational institution dedicated to promoting interaction between the public and small independent book publishers.
  • Southeast Association for Book Arts: Created to promote book artists, scholars, researchers, historians and aficionados through the interaction and intersection of the practice, study and patronage of the book. Based at the University of South Carolina.
  • Studio on the Square: A fully equipped letterpress printing & book arts studio located on Union Square in New York City offering classes and workshops in letterpress printing, printmaking, book arts, and bookbiding for artists, writers and students with all levels of experience.
  • University of Alabama Book Arts Program: The M.F.A in the Book Arts Program develops book artists who have well-honed technical knowledge of the various facets of contemporary bookmaking, and who have an understanding of the historical evolution of the book including its materiality, and the role of the book in society. Of special note on this site are Podcasts by Steve Miller with leading book artists offering unique insights into their creative processes and other interests.
  • Book Art and Letterpress Lab at the University of Arizona School of Art: The Book Art and Letterpress Lab has a large letterpress lab, polymer plate-making facilities, a large collection of wood and metal type, screen printing and complete bindery. Undergraduate and graduate classes in book art and visual narrative are taught here.
  • University of the Arts Book Arts/Printmaking: The program offers a a two-year, sixty-credit, MFA Program in which students explore the book as an art form that incorporates two-dimensional as well as three-dimensional structure, time and sequence, text and image. It embraces both the rich history of the book and the new processes and forms created by digital technology. Its concept of book arts includes fine-press printing and illustrated texts, visual and verbal narratives, and works that push the idea of a book toward expressions as different as sculpture and multimedia. In Philadelphia. Hosts of the transformativeHybrid Book conference held June 4-6, 2009.
  • University of Idaho Bookarts: Now being preserved as part of the Book Arts Web. While new resources won't be added I will be trying to keep the resources and links there, many redundant, up to date. Please let me know via the "Write" link at the Idaho site if you have any corrections. This site was one of the first and deserves to be preserved!
  • University of Iowa Center for the Book. See also the collection of historic bookbinding models in the Conservation Lab. The Center for the Book is an innovative, interdisciplinary arts and research unit located within the University of Iowa Graduate College. The UICB pursues a distinctive mission, integrating practice in the art of book production with the study of the book in society. We offer curricula in book technologies and book history, available to graduate and undergraduate students, as well as to the eastern Iowa community.
  • University of Maine-Machias: The Book Arts program at the University of Maine / Machias, the environmental liberal arts college of the University of Maine, is co sponsored by the Departments of English and Interdisciplinary Fine Arts. Courses are taught year round in professional letterpress and papermaking facilities. See also their gallery of works.
  • Virginia Commonwealth University Book Art Collection: Established in 1979, Virginia Commonwealth University's Book Art Collection encompasses all aspects of contemporary book art publications ranging from printed text and photo narratives to multi-structured objects of art. Maintained by Special Collections and Archives, the collection includes nearly 3,000 items.
  • Visual Studies Workshop: in Rochester, NY. VSW is an internationally recognized center for media studies, including photography, visual books, electronic imaging and film.
  • Wellesley College Special Collections Book Arts Laboratory: Here, students learn to set type by hand and print on nineteenth century iron hand presses. Regular workshops and lectures in the history and practice of letterpress printing, paper marbling, and book binding are offered by Special Collections staff to students, faculty and alumnae.
  • Wells College Book Arts Center: Features information about the press, bindery, book arts center and more.
  • Werkstatt für Buch und Gestaltung: Kurse, Vorträge, Ausstellungen rund um die Themen BUCH, PAPIER & SCHRIFT. In Kirkel-Limbach (Saarland), Germany.
  • West Dean College: West Dean College , an internationally-renowned centre for study. The college provides MA degrees, diplomas and short courses for students of all abilities, from the beginner to the advanced professional practitioner in many crafts including Books and Library Materials. Near Chichester, West Sussex, UK.
  • Western NY Book Arts Collaborative: Promotes, encourages and develops printing & book related arts through programs such as lectures, workshops and exhibitions on all facets of the printed word and image -- printmaking, papermaking, illustration, design, writing, binding. In Buffalo, NY.
  • Wisconsin Center for Book and Paper Arts: non-profit, all volunteer artist's cooperative dedicated to preserving the art and craft of handmade paper. WCBPA was established in 1985 and is located in Madison, Wisconsin.
  • Women's Studio Workshop: The Women's Studio Workshop's is a not for profit organization supporting the voice and vision of women artists. We provide professional opportunities and employment for artists at various stages in their careers.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Nothing if Not Obsessed: The Prints of Frank Stella

"Making art is complicated because the categories are always changing. You just have to make your own art, and whatever categories it falls into will come later." - Frank Stella
The renowned American painter/printmaker, Frank Stella, was born in in 1936, in Malden, Massachusetts. After he graduated from  Princeton University in 1958 with a degree in History, Stella moved to New York City and eventually set up a studio in Manhattan. He was deeply influenced by the Abstract Expressionism movement and particularly liked the work of painters Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline. He looked at the flat, single band of color of Barnet Newman’s enormous paintings and also responded to Jasper Johns’ ‘Target’ mixed media pieces.
Stella is recognized as one of the most influential artists of the of 20th c. (60s and 70s) for his flat, geometric paintings about ‘nothing’. Yeah, right. Nothing but an obsession with detail, depth, color, texture, and life.   He set into motion a bold new art movement formulated upon a literal ‘what you see is what you see’ concept. He abandoned pictorial references and indulged in metallic paint and geometric-shaped canvases. The public didn’t know what to make of his work at first, but they had been over-saturated with the emotionalism attached with Abstract Expressionism. This new Minimalism movement wasn’t a walk in the park for the average person, but at least it was predictable in its geometric principles and regularity. For him, he preferred that the picture function as an object rather than it representing a person, place or thing.

Stella’s paintings were included in "Three Young Americans" at Oberlin College’s  Allen Memorial Art Museum, and in the Museum of Modern Art’s "Sixteen Americans”. Stella became one of famed art dealer Leo Castelli’s stable of artists and in 1960 he began to use metallic paint and pinstripe lines to make his work. Eventually, Stella worked with letters as a shaped canvas, and then expanded that idea to include shaped canvases in concentric circles laminated on 3D wooden constructions. His colors grew more varied, and the physical shift toward the tactile surface grew more verbose.

Similarly, Stella’s approach to printmaking was just as exploratory. He began working with Master Printer Ken Tyler at Gemini G.E.L. in the mid-60s and together they came up with the then inconceivable idea to blend and mix printmaking processes.  They incorporated lithography, offset lithography, silkscreen, etching and relief,  and as the critics say, the rest is history.

I recall my first exposure to Stella’s mixed media prints at an Art Expo in Chicago in the late 1980s. As is often the case when one walks through those endless corridors displaying a cattle-call of galleries, the eyes begin to glaze and visual overload begins to set in. I turned a corner and stopped dead in my tracks before one of Stella’s six foot tall prints. I remember the vivid green and densely layered paper. Man, it had so many layers of ink (52, in fact) the thing looked like you could stand it up in a corner like an old pair of unwashed jeans. It was just fantastic, stunning to look at, and it certainly looked like no print I’d ever seen before. I promptly asked the gallery rep what it cost – as if I could afford something like that as a student. The price while high wasn’t out of reach if I wanted to sell my car and hope there was enough left over to get myself on a train back to school. You get the gist. The bug had bitten me and the die was cast. If someone could do that with a print, well there were more that had to be made.

These works were so incredible for their technical virtuosity, one understand why Stella needed to go to a printer to help him make those things. Remember, this became the era of printer-artist collaborations, and prints were flooding the art markets. An artist could make a series of prints and sell them for a fraction of the cost of a painting or sculpture. Artists recognized in those other media went, sometime at the behest of their gallery dealer, to collaborate on a print project. Fortunately, it turned a tide and from this group of artists unfamiliar with the printmaking process, many of them came to love printmaking and continued making significant prints through the next 20 years. It reinvigorated the medium and the experimental print was born.

From the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, Stella branched away from his Protractor series and created a large body of work  that was loosely inspired by  Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick.  He began to call for a rejuvenated abstraction, by searching the depths of Caravaggio’s Baroque-era paintings for his inspiration. 

The result was that Stella’s paintings and prints became more wildly engaged in color and gestural strokes of color and etched surfaces. He librated traditional printmakers from the confines of a plate, stone or a silk screen. His images burst out from the paper and pulled the viewer into his compositions like a Newman or Pollock painting. Stella’s work, like Helen Frankenthaler’s, expanded the medium to do something new, and whether one likes his ‘subject matter’ or not, we must express our gratitude.

Finally, Stella’s art has been seen worldwide in several retrospectives in the United States, Europe, and Japan. He continues to live and work in New York where he also remains active working with the Artists Rights Society which is committed to protecting the rights of artists. 

1965 - Solomon Guggenheim’s ‘The Shaped Canvas’, and their 1966’s ‘Systemic Painting’
1970 – A retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, making him the youngest artist ever to receive one.
1984 - Charles Eliot Norton lectures(6) at Harvard University
2009 - National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama

*Stella pictured at right working on one of his Moby Dick inspired prints.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Karen Kunc: The Cornucopian Printmaker

In the late 1970s, Karen Kunc came on the printmaking horizon like a blazing fireball, and she continues to blaze a trail in American printmaking. Since she earned her Masters degree from Ohio State University, eventually making her way back to teach in her native Nebraska at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Go Huskers!), she has helped assure a prominence to their already fine printmaking program.

What originally fascinated people with Kunc’s work, and continues to amaze them today,  is not only their enormity of scale, but the color, funk and complexity of her imagery visually connect her prints with other media – the upshot is Kunc’s works don’t necessarily look like prints. They cross over to something more painterly, and if someone weren’t informed about the methodology and look of prints, one could assume they were paintings. What is especially notable about this is that many artists have bridged into printmaking from their respective art fields and made wonderful prints like Helen Frankenthaler and Frank Stella. In this regard, Kunc helps advance the field and our colleagues on a par where prints are seen for the fantastic images they are, not being judged by elitist attitudes as a step-child to more 'serious' artistic endeavors.

Kunc’ painterly approach swings joyously to the other side of the art/print pendulum where her work breaks away from the flat, grained look of a traditional woodcut. There are references to landscape and what one would find living in Nebraska - the wide open ranges and amazing daily cumulus displays. But there is also an observance of Nature in its natural erosion and decay. Kunc' color selections don't necessarily call those natural observations to mind when we see her prints, but the formal elements are there. Still,  she is able to do something pretty special with a piece of wood and some carving tools. 

Additionally, she brings vibrant color to her work that is well above the register usually seen in this genre, and her ambitiously layered cornucopian feast makes us forget the labored journey she makes in creating these final images. Her production level is equally ambitious, including her eloquent handmade books and mixed media work. 
There is an organic quality to Kunc’s work, a joie de vivre. Some of her visual kinships are seen with painters like Georgia O’Keefe’s clouds, and the way Terry Winters shifts through his organic layers, but Kunc’ connections are more directly aligned to the late, great Elizabeth Murray. They share a fascination with color and surface, and if Kunc chose to work in 3D then their symbiotic sisterhood would be complete.

Here is an artist working at peak form, and it is certain students able to study and work with Kunc will only gain from the experience. Side note*I remember seeing Kunc years ago at one of the Drake Printmaking Symposium workshops in Des Moines. She came in and while she was getting prepped to work, she opened up this incredible, beautifully crafted case filled with custom made brayers from Europe. People’s jaws just dropped in awe. The tools’ craftsmanship was exquisite. While some say it’s the tools that make an artist work on a higher level, we all know that isn’t always true, but who among us wouldn’t love to have access to exceptional tools and paper with which to make our work? 

Kunc surely knows her craft and makes extraordinary prints. Our excitement is partly in anticipation of what she will next create, for the delight of seeing her work is like a savoring a fine dessert, or a bottle of Merlot. The work sings on different levels of satiation, and we are blessed to sample the abundance she shares with us. 

For more information about Kunc' work, go visit and see an excerpt from her own statement about her work below.

My work as an artist/printmaker addresses issues of the landscape and our natural surroundings as direct influences from my Nebraska heritage, my daily experiences and viewpoints in the landscape of the plains and from extensive travel, and as artistic interpretation and contemplation on larger issues of the eternal life struggle, of endurance and vulnerability, growth and destruction.

I am interested in the span of time it takes to wear away a canyon, build a mountain, the erosion forces that continually wash onto the plains, forming the earth, and, ultimately, shaping our world... from nature and science, spiritual and religious thought, art historical and modern icons, immigration narratives and native myths.

Monday, September 17, 2012


Hey, all my Inked Up Comrads, 
I received this notice from Liliana Gerardi about a wonderful international printmaking project going on at the Lauderhill Art Center in Florida. I encourage all interested parties to participate.

This is an open participation for artists around the world.
Its purpose is to promote the traditional printmaking techniques.
Theme: Any theme will be received.
Participation: Up to three different original miniprints. All traditional printmaking technique (wood cut, linocut, etching, dry point etc,) including mixed media are allowed.
Dimensions: The paper that contains the image must be no larger than 10X8 inches (20X25 cm)
Dates: The entries have to be sent in before November 10, 2012 to the following address
WESTON, FL 33326 U.S.A.
The reverse side of each copy shall include:
The author's first name and last name
Title of the work
Artist’s country of origin
Artist’s e-mail
Web page
Your participation in this exhibition is free of charge.
The miniprints will be kept as a donation to be part of the Printmaking Workshop at the Lauderhill Arts Center‘s Collection to be exhibited with the purpose of promoting contemporary printmaking.
The miniprints will not be for sale.
The artists accept that the works can be published for the purposes of promotion and presentation in different exhibitions.
Opening: December 13, 2012 at LAC Gallery, Lauderhill Arts Center.
Please confirm your participation sending an e-mail to:

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Printmakers Descending Upon Missouri for the Mid America Print Council 2012 Biennial Conference

On November 1-3. 2012,  the little college town of Cape Girardeau, in southeastern Missouri, will be host to a whole bunch of artists with inked up hands as the Mid America Print Council (MAPC) Biennial Conference takes place.  MAPC  is heading back to its small college town roots to the River Campus at Missouri at Southeast Missouri State University, the only public institution in Missouri to have its own separate arts campus. Very cool, indeed.

Cape Girardeau is centrally located two hours south of St. Louis and three hours north of Memphis. It's neighbor is the great Mississippi River and the drive is quite breath-taking in the fall.

There will be the usual range of activities, panel discussions, demonstrations by some of the best printmakers around, exhibitions and exchanges of some mighty fine prints, and a special lecture, exhibition and award ceremony for MAPC's Outstanding Printmaker James D. Butler, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Illinois State University. I am proud to say he was my professor in graduate school, and this is a well-deserved honor for a devoted teacher and artist/innovator in the field of printmaking.
James D. Butler drawing on a litho stone
So, my inked up friends, now is the time to get registered for the conference, grab a few printmakers and caravan down to Cape Girardeau. It's rumored that there are special activities, (although camel rides like the one pictured below may not be on the sanctioned list), one never knows what a group of printmakers on the loose can conjure up, but there is some pretty stiff competition expected for the conference favorite Bowling Night. 
You can see all the conference information and details at contact Kristin Powers Nowlin, Conference Director, with any questions at

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Printing Down Under at The Warringah Printmakers Studio

The Warringah Printmakers Studio offers a cool place to hang out and get your fingers inked up whenever you decide to visit the ever-friendly land down under. Located in Many Vale, which is a northern NSW suburb of Sydney, this place has more than one could hope for if they want to get in some printing time.

It’s a non-toxic shop with sizeable pressbeds and facilities for etching, photo-based work, and monoprints. They have a full schedule of term classes(the next term starts in early October) and  short, 2-day workshops.  Press rentals are available, but require an orientation and, as can be expected, they’d like you to become a member of their fine establishment, so there are Very reasonable annual memberships available.
A surprise I discovered was the links this group has with grants and residencies in not only Australia, but Dublin, Quebec and Finland. They also provide a listing of galleries, other printmaking studios in the area and a list of printmaking suppliers. All in all it’s just the type of place to get connected with for everything inked up.

The studio includes an exhibition space and they have regular exhibits of the members and exchange exhibitions with other printmaker groups, so send them a proposal and get connected. Access their website and download their membership application at
In addition, outside the lovely Manly Vale neighborhood, there are nearby beaches and certainly plenty of cultural activities  in the spectacular city of Sydney, situated just to the south so you can't go wrong here, my  fellow printmakers. Just go!

Contact Information
Studio Telephone: (02) 9949 2325.

Postal Address
Warringah Printmakers Studio
48/343 Condamine Street
Website Mgt; Membership
Exhibition Information

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Artist Colony in Austria's Neumarkt an der Raab

Greetings to all my fellow inked up persons. Fall is soon upon us, but if you were to think about travelling in the southeastern part of Austria, near the Hungary/Slovenian borders, you'll be very pleased to find an historic village at Neumarkt an der Raab that has been converted into an Artist Colony. Imagine printing in beautiful rustic settings, with plenty of green farmland around, mountains close by and more than a few options for some fine little day trips of the area. 
In an ancient area of Europe where the Romans once settled, the parish of St. Martin an der Raab also includes the artists' village of Neumarkt an der Raab. The area enjoys a blend of cultures from surrounding Hungary, Slovenia and Austria, and once can venture to neighboring villages for a plethora of entertainments – schnaps-tastings, spas abound in the area, visit local castles, see Celtic stone circles, see the Blue Danube, hear opera at the outdoor St. Margarethen Concert Series, visit the moors of Burgenland, see the Seekirchl pilgrimage site at Seefeld, and if you want to shop, the merchants in neighboring Vienna and Graz will be e happy to oblige.
A non-profit cultural association (est. 1968) runs the colony and maintains a total of 14 rooms with  28 beds. The village’s beautifully thatched –roofed buildings and well-kept lawns include eight houses, with a printmaking workshop, a gallery, three thatched cottages, the oldest cinema of Burgenland and the Cross barn. In addition to renting rooms, artists may rent studio/practice spaces. They also offer art classes, exhibitions, lectures, concerts and readings for the local Burgenland population.
Rental Information:
You have the option to rent studio space as well as rooms to stay. 
The prices below are valid until 20 December 2012. 
A room in the Village gallery = 100 Euros/wk
Druck/Radierwerkstatt = 130 Euros/wk
Lithowerkstatt = 100 Euros /wk
Pavilion = 49 Euros/wk
Cross barn = 49 Euros/wk
The city of Graz, Austria

Culture Club artist village Neumarkt an der Raab
Hauptstraße 45
A-8380 Neumarkt an der Raab
Telephone and Fax: +43 (0) 3329/46527 
ZVR number: 865452735                                        
Reservation, organization, office: Melitta Gerger 
Cultural Management: Petra Schmögner