Sculptor to kick off visiting artist series Aug. 30

Sculptor to kick off visiting artist series Aug. 30

Kris Kuksi

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s School of Art, Art History and Design’s Hixson-Lied Visiting Artist and Scholar Lecture Series brings notable artists, scholars and designers to Nebraska each semester to enhance the education of students.

Opening the series is a lecture by sculptor Kris Kuksi on 5:30 p.m. Aug. 30 at in Richards Hall, Room 15. Underwritten by the Hixson-Lied Endowment with additional support from other sources, the series enriches the culture of the state by providing a way for Nebraskans to interact with luminaries in the fields of art, art history and design. Each visiting artist or scholar spends one to three days at the university to meet with students, participate in critiques and give demonstrations. Each lecture in the series is free and open to the public.

Kuksi was born in the rural Midwest and raised in isolation that resulted in an imaginative inner life that is expressed through the creation of artwork that nourishes a young mind. Kuksi developed a rich interior tapestry of fantasy creativity expressed in assemblages of LEGOs, rural detritus, action heroes and agrarian discards. His ornate artworks transcend a fine art gallery context.

Kuksi builds intricate worlds out of model train kits, army men, jewelry, rocks, religious souvenirs, figurines and ornamental objects from all over the world. Each of the assemblages host endless baroque and macabre narratives, reminiscent of lost civilizations, classical sculpture and fantastic realism.

Kris Kuksi, “The Tagu,” mixed media assemblage, 29” x 27” x 9”, 2016.
Kris Kuksi, “The Tagu,” mixed media assemblage, 29” x 27” x 9”, 2016.

Other lectures in the fall series include:

  • Sept. 6: William Cordova. Cordova's graphic design practice is focused on reconciling ideas of displacement and transition through ephemeral residue and vernacular architecture that continually shifts, shaping what could be described as our contemporary situation. He sees vernacular architecture as a symbol of necessity and resilience and a form of invoking a presence. In recent years, Cordova has been documenting former spaces of the Black Panther Party chapter locations.

  • Sept. 13: Rob Forbes. Forbes has been a ceramic artist, professor, author, publisher, photographer and business entrepreneur. He is best known as the Founder of Design Within Reach and PUBLIC Bikes. DWR pioneered many changes that have become mainstream: internet retailing of modern design, design blogging, transparent pricing and a focus on designers themselves as much as on their products. Forbes recently authored “See for Yourself,” a visual study and search for beauty in our everyday world.

  • Sept. 20: Sukha Worob. Worob grew up in a small community in the high desert landscape of Prescott, Arizona. His work explores contemporary approaches to the printmaking multiple through works on paper as well as installation and interactive works. His work is primarily driven by his history in communal living and observation of the potential of humanity when set upon a common goal.

  • Oct. 4: Robert Mahoney. Mahoney is a veteran New York-city based art critic who provided weekly and monthly coverage of the New York art scene for 20 years. He also was public information officer for Queens Museum of Art from 1994-99. Mahoney manages his blog, is working on a book called "Exposures: 50 Works of Art that Changed My Life" and writes for Flatlanders, a critical dialogue for Nebraska’s contemporary visual arts.

  • Oct. 11: Eva Isaksen. Isaksen was born and raised north of the Arctic Circle in Bodø, Norway. Her work is inspired by the landscape in her native Norway and in the U.S. northwest. She works with printmaking and collage, using thin handmade papers from Nepal that she mono prints using pressed plants, seeds, yarns, fabric and stencils creating complex and multi-layered compositions to investigate nuances in nature. Her work contains organic forms and represents cycles, seasons, land, water, order, rhythm, growth, life and regeneration.

  • Oct. 19: Emily Godbey. An associate professor at Iowa State University. Godbey's primary body of work deals with the ideas of tragedy and mourning. Her book project, “Recreating Astonishment: Disaster’s Delightful Horrors and Terrible Pleasures,” explores the commercialization of disaster through images within modern formats such as postcards, movies and amusement parks. Godbey is also working on projects dealing with communication at the turn of the century via postcards and visuality and World’s Fairs.

  • Nov. 8: Bonna Wescoat. Wescoat is the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Art History at Emory University. Her research interests are ancient Greek art and architecture, particularly sacred architecture, and digital modeling to investigate the interaction of landscape, architecture and ritual experience. Her work now centers on the Sanctuary of the Great Gods on Samothrace, where she has directed excavations.

  • Nov. 14: Linda Lopez and Cristina Córdova. Lopez has exhibited her work in New Zealand and throughout the United States and has been an artist in residence at The Clay Studio and the Archie Bray Foundation. Lopez received the Lighton International Artist Exchange Program Grant to be an artist in residence at C.R.E.T.A. Rome Residency Program. She is represented by Mindy Solomon Gallery. Córdova lives and works in Penland, North Carolina, and has taught at Penland School of Crafts, Haystack Mountain School, Santa Fe Clay, Mudfire, Odyssey Center for Ceramics and Anderson Ranch, among others. She founded Travel Arte, an ongoing platform that provides educational experiences within the ceramics medium while immersing students in the creative culture of a specific setting.

For more information on the series, contact the School of Art, Art History and Design at 402-472-5522 or e-mail