This article originally ran on the editorial pages of the Omaha World-Herald.
March 19, 2008
Culture on Campus
The UNO Print Workshop has grown by leaps and bounds in its 32 years, and an appreciative public can see the benefits.
The Print Workshop publishes prints from artists all over the United States and several other countries. Highlighting this impressive body of work, an ongoing exhibition at the University of Nebraska at Omaha's Art Gallery has drawn good-sized crowds.
"We've got this great collection. It's never been all shown as a group before," Art Gallery Director Colleen Heavican told The World-Herald. "It's a nice kind of showcase of what's been happening in our Print Workshop."
Established in 1976 as a teaching and research resource, the Print Workshop initially focused on the production of prints by printmakers. The program later grew to include a variety of artists who specialize in media ranging from painting to conceptual art.
The exhibition, titled "Printed in Omaha: A Retrospective Exhibition of the UNO Print Workshop," represents one of the most significant collections of its type produced in Nebraska. And it appears that even more Nebraskans will have an opportunity to appreciate the various forms of fine art presented. "We're probably going to set it up as a traveling show and have it go around the state," said Gary Day, the director of the workshop. "It's been fun to do a pretty good collection at this point."
Artworks include traditional woodcut, intaglio and lithograph printmaking techniques as well as contemporary printmaking approaches such as screen-print, collage and new digital technologies. The artists in the exhibition are characterized by diverse backgrounds and aesthetic philosophies.
Day said the projectÕs success is most rewarding, given that expectations were modest at its start.
"I think we were just mostly having fun, and it was something that was rewarding for the students and for us," said Day, an art professor at UNO who has overseen the workshop since 1979. "I think it was surprising that it was able to keep going."
Not only has it survived, but it also has flourished. Kudos to all involved with this praiseworthy effort that allows visitors to experience fine art on a grand scale.
The UNO Art Gallery is on the first floor of the Weber Fine Arts Building. The exhibition is free and runs through Saturday, April 5. The gallery will be closed for spring break until this Sunday. For more information, call (402) 554-2796.
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