The work of Nebraska’s Karen Kunc is featured in a new exhibition, “Project Volumina” at Constellation Studios, 2055 O St.
An opening reception is 7 to 8 p.m. Aug. 28 at the gallery. The exhibition is open through Sept. 22.
Kunc , Cather Professor of Art, was inspired for this body of work by viewing collections from museums and libraries in Washington, D.C., to create a new “image bank” of resources. She studied rare books, manuscripts and incunabula (early printed books published before 1501 in Europe) from the Dibner Library of the Smithsonian Institution and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Her research was supported with a faculty development grant from the Hixson-Lied Endowment.
“I’ve always known of the great riches and resources in D.C., and specifically the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology,” Kunc said. “It was intriguing to me because that’s not something I would normally go and look at. I would more likely look at nature and landscape and the travel itself. But this experience allowed me to see things in a little more analytical way, with a bent to study the inside workings of things. I was really looking for unusual apparatus and processes that were diagrammed in illustrations of the time that could be strange and weird and would pique my visual interest.”
On display in the exhibition are about 40 monoprints and nine editions. And from each of those nine editions, Kunc took a set out of each to create folio pages.
“I’m showing all of it, so that’s a lot of prints,” Kunc said.
The new research is part of Kunc’s ongoing goal as an artist.
“My personal goal has always been to keep moving forward and to find new visual elements to explore,” she said. “I don’t want to become formulaic. Maybe it’s a kind of fear of being predictable, and so I want to keep introducing something new and to keep my eyes and senses open to new imagery and experiences that filters through my mind and body. I really feel I’m a translator of those influences that I set myself up for. It helps to keep things fresh and new, but yet I’m fortunate that there is a look to my work that is consistent. It always looks like my work—my aesthetic choices and proclivities that just come through no matter what I do. But I think there’s some differences viewers will recognize as new ideas and images.”