The Elizabeth Rubendall Foundation has generously funded an artist-in-residence program at the Great Plains Art Museum since 2006. Artworks are commissioned by the museum to become part of the museum's permanent collection, and the artist completes the commissioned artwork(s) at the Great Plains Art Museum. The full artistic process is on display for visitors and school groups, creating a unique program as well as enduring art.
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2017: Lari R. Gibbons
Residency dates: April 18-22 & June 2-8, 2017
Rising (March 3 - June 23)
An interest in habitat loss and the migration of invasive species has led Gibbons to use data sets from research centers as the basis for new patterns in her abstract compositions that connect the exhibition with topics addressed in the Center for Great Plains Studies 2017 symposium, “Flat Places, Deep Identities: Mapping Nebraska and the Great Plains.” Gibbons creates a unique form of “deep mapping” by transforming scientific data into abstracted visual representations. Her interpretations of graphs and charts point to larger patterns and the momentum of change. Gibbons is compelled by evidence of climate change and the cascade of effects on the environment, including rising sea levels, rising temperatures–and perhaps most importantly–the probability of accelerated rates of change over time. Gibbons uses the language of print inform our ideas about the environment and our relationship to the natural world.
Artist-in-Residence April schedule
April 18- April 22: Artist will be working in the museum lobby throughout the week. Please check back for schedule
April 19, 3:30-5 p.m.: Artist Talk with Lari R. Gibbons; Lower Level Lentz Gallery
April 22, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.: Family Art Activity with Lari R. Gibbons
About the Artist
Lari Radabaugh Gibbons is a professor at the University of North Texas, where she teaches printmaking and directs the Print Research Institute of North Texas (P.R.I.N.T Press). She earned an MFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a BA from Grinnell College.
Gibbons professional and studio work encompasses independent and collaborative projects exploring ideas from ecology, environmental philosophy and natural history. She has received numerous grants and awards and her work has been collected and exhibited nationally and internationally.
As a scholar and an artist working in the medium of printmaking today, I am interested in how printed matter shapes our experience and understanding of the world around us––especially the natural world. Through its rich and historic association with the facile dissemination of images and writing, printmaking has a complex and changing role in this process. It is an art medium, a form of communication, and an industrial process that serves a variety of historic, educational, and cultural roles. We are surrounded by representations of the visual world in printed ephemera such as books, maps, and wallpaper that serve to describe, explain, and at times commodify nature.
By providing the opportunity for reflection through innovative, multi-layered approaches to printmaking, my studio practice enables me to bring together these different modes of observation, experiences and representation. I am increasingly interested in the interplay between hand-rendered and digital fabrication processes. To research the potential of different materials and approaches I move back and forth between my drawing studio and computer to print and machine shops. Using an economical language of planes, lines, dots and tones allows me to reference the visual language of print while integrating hand-rendered and digital components with one another seamlessly. I enjoy the challenge of using demanding processes that require a high level of skill and craft. The diverse strategies offered by the expanding field of printmaking supports my exploration of cross-disciplinary interests, which overlaps the visual arts, cultural studies, and environ-mental philosophy.
Questions about how nature is represented in print guide my creative work. What narratives do historic illustrations and documentary images of flora and fauna imply, and how do they influence our view of nature? How do informational charts and educational diagrams shape our understanding? Can scientific data be used to express shifts and changes in the landscape in ways that are as visually compelling as they are informative? Ultimately, how does the language of print inform our ideas about the environment and our relationship to the natural world?
This interest in the documentation and study of the environment extends from ongoing work in natural history collections and scientific repositories. For the past twenty years I have conducted archival research at notable institutions such as the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Field Museum, the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences, and UNT’s Elm Fork Natural Heritage Collection. These collections provide access to documents, artifacts and specimens related to specific areas of interest, such as endangered and extinct species. Recently, my larger interest in habitat loss and the migration of invasive species led me to use data sets from research centers such as the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) as the basis for new patterns in my artwork. This has led to the current direction of my work, where I reflect upon measurements and data from scientific studies as the basis for structures and the framework of my images.In addition to archival research, first-hand observation of nature is fundamental to my studio practice. Since 1998 I have worked in nature conservations and easements, including the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology (a United Nations Biosphere Reserve on the Central Oregon Coast), Banff National Park (Canada), Tongass National Forest (Alaska), and the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve (Chile), among others. In these locations I make observations and take documentary images for an ever-growing repository of original source material.
Gradient 1, 2015
monotype and collage
Traces 5, 2013
letterpress (polymer & plexi)
Relative Position, 2013
Felt, beads, horse hair
Top of the Morning, 2012
Prairie Chicken Dance, 2011
2010: Wendy Hall
Calf and Resting Cow, 2010
Oil on canvas
2009: Gail Sundell
Women of the Plains, 2009
2008: Michael Albrechtsen
Nebraska Reverence, 2008
Oil on canvas
2007: Martha and Delmar Pettigrew
I'm Outta Here, 2007
2006: Andrew Peters
A Good Solid Century Farm, 2006
Oil on canvas