The following story appeared in the most recent issue of the UNO Magazine, which highlighted how professors are serious about play, studying how it aids learning and development, using it to teach math or to aid recovery from a stroke, or just to have fun. Read the magazine online as a Flipbook or download a PDF.
The saying “putting ink to paper” is often reserved for the writing process, but for many artists it describes a versatile and varied creative approach known as printmaking.
That’s been taking place in spectacular fashion since 1976 at the UNO Print Workshop, founded by former art and art history faculty member Thomas Majeski to conduct research and teach collaborative printmaking within an academic environment.
The Workshop initially was supported by an investment of $1,161 from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and matching funds of $2,322 from UNO. Today, it’s supported partly through university funds and through the sale of prints to collectors and museums across the country.
While the term “workshop” may conjure a vision of a warehouse-sized studio space, the UNO Print Workshop is best described as a unified mission to make the campus a beacon for print-based art and artists. This is accomplished in two ways: a dedicated Visiting Artists Program (VAP) in which various artists are invited for a residency to work with faculty and students to produce an edition of multiples or series of monotypes and monoprints; and, permanent repository of unique artworks to be observed, discussed and studied.
Through the workshop, UNO has become the owner of a robust collection of pieces produced by celebrated artists including Alice Aycock, Kent Bellows, Douglas Davis, Jun Kaneko, Lloyd R. Menard and Roger Shimomura.
“If we had a campus museum, these works would easily fill their own wing,” says Adrian Duran, associate professor of art and art history.
Most recently, St. Louis-based artist Tom Huck, famous for designing band artwork for metal icons Motörhead, developed and printed a piece called “The Great War-Madillo” at UNO.
“The piece was a woodcut he designed and was almost immediately sold to the Library of Congress before the ink was even pressed,” Duran says. “That is the caliber and range of artists we have hosted at the Print Workshop.”
More than 40 years after it launched, the success of Majeski’s vision is perhaps best indicated in the dozens of museum-worthy prints that line campus buildings like a 350-acre metropolitan art show, many created with the help of generations of UNO students.
“It's not a static thing; it’s an organism that grows and changes over time,” Duran says. “But what it does, it does well and that is expose students — and others — to the process and appreciation of these printed works of art.”
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.