Jen Craun

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American Greetings Wall Art Commission.

on Jan 16 in Blog, Commission

Over the Summer I printed my largest undertaking to date, to the tune of a 9 foot by 30 foot wall. Thankfully, the task was broken down into multiple panels of cardstock, though at that square footage — it required 95 individual panels. The project was demanding in so many ways, but I absolutely enjoyed the challenge of printing + registering these larger-than-life drawings.

Tech_West_Wall

Hive Mind Wall Installation, Jen Craun [2016]. Photo Credit: American Greetings.

Just before Christmas, the piece was finally installed, and friends — it is such a giant beauty to behold. Including the millions of little shiny circles of gold leaf and black foil; 305 to be exact. It was a fantastically sparkly mess to apply, and the happiest finishing touch. It was the best culminating goodbye in creating such a big piece.

I am so honored to have had this commission opportunity, and to now have such a large presence in the brand new American Greetings World Headquarters building. Overseeing the installation was a wild ride, and a terrific experience to get to talk with all the surrounding employees who work in the technical arena of American Greetings. The title of the piece is Hive Mind, and it serves a visual metaphor/reminder of the importance of all aspects of tech support to the creative industry.

Tech_West_Wall_Cropped

Wall Installation detail, Jen Craun [2016]. Photo Credit: American Greetings.

It was wonderful to collaborate on this project, and print over top the many press sheets provided by the American Greetings creative studios. The various layers/aspects of their greeting cards as the background creates a lovely energy to the piece, and highlights the diversity of their brand and the occasions for which cards are sent/received. I especially love the CMYK offset print strips on the long sides of the panels, and how they connect and shift, shaking down the wall in vertical bands.

Tech_West_Wall_Side_View

Wall Installation Side View, Jen Craun [2016]. Photo Credit: American Greetings.

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Wall Installation Tech West View, Jen Craun [2016]. Photo Credit: American Greetings.

My biggest thanks for this opportunity, and credit for all the photos in this post, goes to American Greetings. Also, a huge shout out to John, the highly-skilled paper-hanger, who meticulously hung every single panel with caution and care.

American Greetings Permanent Collection

on Jan 13 in Blog

I’m excited and honored to be included in the American Greetings permanent art collection. Hanging in a lovely grid on the 5th floor of the new American Greetings World Headquarters building, these prints really shine in their new home:

Craun_AG Prints

Here’s a scale shot for you, with my goofy excited smile. Pardon the sun glare on all of the glass; the prints hang adjacent a nice and sunny seating area overlooking the interior courtyard.

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Open, and Ongoing.

on Jan 20 in Blog, Exhibition

Thanks to everyone who made it out to the Opening Reception of my current solo show, Inherent, at the Maria Neil Art Gallery. As John Farina coined it “Crowds for Craun,” it was such an encouragement to be surrounded and supported by so many friends and colleagues in the art community.

Crowds for Craun

Opening Reception of Inherent, photo credit: John Farina.

If you missed the opening party, don’t fret – the exhibition is up through February 22nd, so stop in and check it out. Shoot me an e-mail, and I’d be happy to meet you there.

Craun Inherent

One of my favorite photos from the evening is this one below of my cousin — who made the trek up from Columbus (definitively securing the furthest traveled award) and looking positively smashing with the work.

Erin at Inherent

I have no idea who took this photograph, but thank you! It was a gallery-goer that noticed how awesomely perfect this image was, who then offered to capture it, and further shared it with my cousin. Much appreciated!

New Business [Cards]

on Jan 07 in Blog

As I barrel into 2016 with an upcoming solo exhibition Inherent at Maria Neil Art Project, I’ve been looking back on the whirlwind year of 2015. I’m so thankful for all of the opportunities afforded me, and pleased with the direction of my work given my commitment to a full time studio practice.

Feeling like a grown-up, I finally crossed this task off my professional to-do list:

Jen Craun Business Cards

In hindsight, I’m not really sure what took so long. If nothing else, it’s a sure stake in the ground that at last I’m in business for myself.

Artist Talking

on Oct 30 in Blog, Exhibition

I enjoyed a small crowd in the gallery last night for my Artist’s Talk at Bay Arts in conjunction with my solo exhibition Of the Earth. I especially found the Q+A portion at the end of the talk to be quite rich, as people shared their insights into the work.

Because I am never quite sure where to put my long arms, I tend to flail them around wildly as I talk to animate my points. Here are my favorite action shots from the brief talk:

2015 OCT BayArts Talk

Thanks to everyone who came out, and especially those who asked questions and kept me on my toes.

All that Sparkles.

on Jul 30 in Blog, Print, Process

I’m testing toner transfer foils in the studio today, and looking for alternative options for screen printed adhesion. Initial results are promising, and certainly sparkly.

BlueFoil

So far, direct transfers fused onto black toner are working the best. I was hoping a toner transfer laid down enough toner, but initial results are looking scratchy and inconsistent.

FoilTests

I’m trying to avoid having to run my oversized prints through a plotter, so I have more testing to do with various adhesives that have a good open time in my screen and on the cottony print paper. I also need the printed layer to become slightly tacky with an application of heat and pressure to create a smooth transfer. The glue stick, above left in blue, certainly sparks some promise though, and I love the mark it’s making immensely.

RedLineFoil

The foils also seem to prefer office paper, and other coated stocks, so getting a smooth transfer on print paper seems another challenge to overcome.

REdBirdFoil

NOADA Art Expo 2015 | New Wood Intaglio Pieces

on May 06 in Blog, Exhibition, Print

I am excited to have work included in this year’s NOADA [Northern Ohio Art Dealers Association] Art Expo being held at the Transformer Station from Thursday May 7th through Sunday May 10th. My work is being represented by the Maria Neil Art Gallery. Hot off the press, you can catch the first glimpse of two new wood intaglio pieces, including Inherent Structure, below:

Inherent Structure

The other new piece that will be included in the Expo is Clarity Inclusions, below:

Clarity Inclusions

These two prints join the growing Mine Series of large wood intaglio pieces, see the other three right here. Also at the Expo, are many new small etchings from the Mine Studies Series, including You’re a Gem, below:

you're a gem

And Diamond Extracted, below:

diamond extracted

Visit the 2015 NOADA Art Expo this weekend to see more of these works, and many other fine treasures. Tickets are only $10, and you can grab those right here.

Coming and Going; the New Work is on the Move.

on Apr 13 in Blog, Exhibition, Print

My exhibition at the Urban Orchid was wildly successful, and I was so honored to have such great support of friends and family at the Opening Reception. I enjoyed a slew of sales, and had many encouraging conversations about next steps with the work and additional exhibition opportunities on the horizon.

The wide and tall walls of the gallery space made my enormous prints [30″ x 44″ framed] feel more manageable [read: smaller] in scale than they did at the press!

Large Frames Urban Orchid

It was great to see the small etchings hanging adjacent to the large wood intaglio pieces, and the dialog that they have with one another was exactly as I envisioned.

Small Framed Sold

The show came down last week, and it was such a pleasure to only bring home half of the work due to sales. The pieces that did come back to the studio are already sorted out, and headed in several directions for their next opportunities — it feels great to be hitting such a stride with the new work.

HOT OFF THE PRESS.

on Mar 10 in Blog, Print, Process

I’ve been stretching out wide with a return to making large work in wood intaglio. Using the small etchings from my Mine Series as sketches, I’ve been translating several of the compositions onto big and grainy wood panels.

Mine_WoodIntaglio._web

Mark-making on the luan involves carving tools, wire brushes, sand paper, a dremel tool, and thin coats of polyurethane. It’s a physically direct and an exhausting-on-the-arms process that I truly enjoy. A lot of the plate work is nearly imperceptible to the eye, a few scratches here, a thin additional layer of poly there, and yet it yields the most gratifying indexing at the press. The loyalty of print to record a mark is astounding. This is the magic of ink and pressure that has always allured me to the process of printmaking.

Concentric_WoodIntaglio.web

I’m printing them up as bleed prints [letting the print run all the way off the edges of the paper] onto 26″x40″ cotton rag paper. I then layer the prints further with screen print, chine colle’, and gold leaf.

FacetsFalling_WoodIntaglio_web

Want to see these big prints in person? Swing on out to the Ohio City Urban Orchid this Friday, March 13th, from 7-10pm for the Opening Reception of my exhibition that will be up through April 8th. Get the full event details right here.

And then it was gone. And back again.

on Jun 10 in Blog

I’ve been so tragically behind here in this space. I stop in on occasion, like a visitor, and then I promise myself that I will write the posts [really soon] that are percolating in my head, and insert all the images that are littering my desktop. And then days of quiet roll into weeks. I am making. In snippets of time, both in my home studio and in the print shop at Zygote Press. I am making work.

In a wave this afternoon, I glanced at my calendar, it is the tenth. TENTH! Then suddenly I remember that my hosting expired on the eighth, only I confused it with my domain name, which I apparently renewed in May, and forgot about. And it’s the tenth! And I am gone, I click over to my homepage and I arrive to an “expired site message” and I want to cry a river. How did I lose track?!

Keeping up. This constant frustration. Heck, even the very content of my work laments this struggle. The balance of time and energy. The weight of roles.

Frantically, I tried to cull my poor memory for my domain name and hosting information that now seems ancient, sorting through old log-ins and passwords, and such. And in moments, after deciding to call the toll-free number and just beg for help, I am talking to Brandon and paying three years in advance for hosting. I joke that that in three years I will only faintly remember this call, and I will be squarely here again. I’m kidding. But I wish it weren’t so likely.

I wonder briefly where I should write a note to my future self. Might it be here, when I am posting with regularity and zeal? Where I am showing both work in progress as well as finished pieces. Where I am updating the news section — including such information like my recent sale to the Metro Health Hospitals, which now puts my work in their permanent collection! Perhaps I should put it into my iCal, or scrawl it onto a paper note and put it into my ever-growing pile of important tid-bits.

So. Here I type in this moment. Starting now, and not soon. And it is my hope [again] to be more consistent and current. Here’s hoping.

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