Guest Artist

November 2018: Ali Hansen & Mary Burke

November 2November 29, 2018

KBAC Gallery
Opens November 2 during Art Hop
6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Ali Hansen: Biography / Statement


I earned my BFA from Rockford University (1976) in printmaking and textiles. My MFA followed (1978) from University of Cincinnati in printmaking. I continued printing at the Art Academy of Cincinnati where I was an adjunct professor in design until I embarked on a 26-year career in the exhibit and display industry.  In 2006, I moved to southwest Michigan, drawn to the area because my family had owned a summer cottage here.  For 5 years (2011-15) I was the Executive Director of the Box Factory for the Arts in St. Joseph.  Now retired, I have enjoyed reconnecting with printmaking at the KBAC, learning how to set type and produce prints on the letterpress. This process has allowed me to marry two loves, printmaking and writing.

“Shadows snapped from leafless branches onto the snow. The Stranger in a hooded cloak shuddered against the wind…”  

Having discovered a wonderland of real and imaginary characters in my new backyard, I produced a series of 7 prints, Ali-ce in Winterland, the garden’s story from the first fallen leaf in August to the first snowfall in December. The images were carved in gomaban, a Japanese material softer and more flexible than linoleum. A space was cut out of each block to allow for a type to be inserted on the 2nd printing.

Intrigued and inspired by the annual Illustrated Accordion show at the KBAC, I began writing a mystery which I typeset and illustrated in a series of accordion books. The main character spends a semester in Paris working out the details of her graduate art history thesis in medieval tapestries. The first evening at the pension, a gunshot rings out in the courtyard.  Each ensuing book zigzags the story toward solving the mystery

My chine colle prints were produced for exhibition with the Southwest Michigan Printmakers. The first was made for Head-to-Toe and In-Between, Exquisite Corpse collaboration. The second showing of the EC’s in July at the South Haven Art Center included an additional print, figurative in nature, from each of us. By then, I was hooked on chine colle and with more to say about 4&20 Blackbirds, more prints followed in the summer of 2018. 

Mary Burke: Biography / Statement


On the occasion of every accident that befalls you, remember to turn to yourself and inquire what power you have for turning it to use. — Epictetus

A monoprint or monotype (one print) is an original, one-of-a-kind image created by the transfer of paint from a plate to a piece of paper.  The image is drawn or painted on an acrylic plate, and when pressed to a sheet of paper with use of a printing press, the image is altered to varying degrees by the pressing. I see this process as embracing a mingling of artistic control and accident.

I use oil paint or an oil-based, water-soluble printer’s ink.  After the image is printed, I go back into the piece and do additional work, which may involve hand painting onto the image, adding paper, block printing, oil pastel, inks, or pencil.  This makes for a truly original image that has been carefully worked on.

Meandering lines have their way as I work with the painted plate.  Straddling the line between spontaneity and control, I enjoy seeing how the paint plays out, and I, in turn, react with my own gestures. Hard-edged, geometric forms can mingle with those that flow in organic fashion.

Marks entertain me with interesting formations and interactions, I become aware of how I would like to add my input in a more controlled fashion. I embrace the contrast between an organic, meandering gesture and a well-honed shape. As I work, I am aware of this balance between the spontaneous mark and my intended response. I am interested to see the materials and imagery come together as a whole while leaving me the freedom of experimentation. Keeping this avenue open is very important in order to maintain the spirit of creative reaction.

My work can be seen in the Chicago land area at Zia Gallery in Winnetka, Illinois, and at Red Door Gallery in Ludington, Michigan. I have exhibited my work in various galleries throughout my life including those in Florence, Italy and in Columbia, South America.  My work has been featured in Newsweekmagazine’s internet art gallery. I was an adjunct faculty member, teaching painting at Shimer College from 2000 to 2005, and I intermittently taught at the Krasl Art Center in St. Joseph, Michigan.  My Bachelor of Arts degree is from the University of Chicago, and my Master of Fine Arts degree is from the University of Minnesota. I studied for two years at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and for one year at Princeton University. My work can be seen in several publications such as The American Art Collector, The Artful Home, The Chicago Art Scene, and Suite Home Chicago.

I grew up and lived in Chicago for many years, but now live in Southwest Michigan. I have a studio in my home, which is surrounded by forest, field, and wetland. As you can imagine, this environment is a great influence on my work.