The University of Nebraska’s Great Plains Art Museum will feature Boise-based artist Kirsten Furlong as the 2020 Elizabeth Rubendall Artist in Residence.
Furlong creates images and objects about human, animal and plant interactions and interprets natural history and current grassland ecology in the Great Plains and beyond through drawings, monotypes and paintings. Bird species — past and present — insects, animals and plants are depicted along with mark making inspired by the lines and textures of the prairie.
During her residency, Furlong will create an artwork that will become part of the museum’s permanent collection. Visitors are encouraged to see the artist in action in the lower-level Elizabeth Rubendall Artist-in-Residence Studio and Education Lab from June 2-13 during normal museum hours.
The museum will also display Furlong’s work in an exhibition titled “Over the Edge of the World” in the lower-level gallery through June 27. As part of her time, she will lead a kite-making workshop from 1 to 4 p.m. June 6, where visitors of all ages will have the opportunity to interact with the artist, learn about Great Plains birds, and create and assemble their own kite. The event is free and open to the public. No registration is necessary. Furlong will also give a short gallery talk at the June 5 First Friday.
Furlong uses detail, repetition and patterns inspired by those encountered in the natural world as a representational tool while also using mark making to express empathy, loss and longing.
“The museum is thrilled to have Kirsten Furlong as our 15th Elizabeth Rubendall Artist in Residence,” said Ashley Hussman, museum director and curator. “Her work is both visually striking and thought-provoking, and speaks to timely issues that the museum and Center for Great Plains Studies are exploring this spring.”
Furlong lives and works in Boise, Idaho. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a Master of Fine Arts from Boise State University. She is currently the director of galleries and a lecturer in the Department of Art, Design and Visual Studies at Boise State University. Furlong’s work has been shown nationally and internationally in solo and group exhibitions. Experiences at artist residencies in Denali National Park in Alaska, Signal Fire and PLAYA in Oregon, Jentel and Brush Creek in Wyoming, Montello Foundation in the Great Basin of Nevada, Prairieside Outpost in Kansas and Good Hart Artist Residency in Michigan have created the foundation for many recent projects.
Since its inception in 2006, the Elizabeth Rubendall Foundation has funded the Artist-in-Residence Program, which allows museum visitors and school groups to witness an artist in action.
The Great Plains Art Museum, 1155 Q St., is open to the public 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is free. Learn more.