5 with myles dunigan

untitled (seasons in the abyss #1) 2017

“Everything Always – Already Ends,” the work of visual artist and printmaker Myles Dunigan, opens Friday, July 7, at the little gallery in downtown Benson. A reception is set for 6:00 to 10:00pm. The exhibition coincides with the 2017 edition of Frogman’s Print Workshops, based at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Below is a Q&A with the artist.

Q: When did you know you were going to be an artist?

As long as I can recall. I was encouraged to draw as soon as I was able and have been amassing a library of sketchbooks ever since.

Q: Describe your process.

My process always begins with some sort of model, be it a small-scale construction in my studio or a space constructed digitally with 3D modeling software. I then choose a method of documentation, which is typically a combination of printmaking and photography. In my recent work, I have made use of laser-engraving to achieve this end, engraving photographic imagery into plywood or plexiglass that can then be printed on a traditional press. I am always seeking ways to trouble the relationships between information technologies and am constantly moving between digital and analogue techniques.

Q: Where do you find inspiration?

Much of my inspiration comes from landscape painting that emerged in western Europe and the Hudson River Valley in the 1800s. The works of Albert Bierstadt and John Martin are particularly influential for their depictions of a chaotic, sublime landscape. In addition to these historical influences, I also look toward the aesthetics of video games and other modes of experiencing digital spaces.

Q: Name the 3 most important things in your studio space.

My computer, my sketchbook and my tackle box full of intaglio tools.

Q: What do you want others to know about you/your work?

I want my audience to question the verity and authority that images possess. With the advent of fake news, the reality we know is more and more mediated by our digital experiences. I aim to craft other worlds that question how technology mitigates how we view nature.

Frogman’s began back in 1979 when Professor Lloyd Menard led five school teachers from Sioux City, Iowa, to the Black Hills of South Dakota for a drawing class. Prints were first introduced in 1981, and the workshops evolved into the Black Hills Print Symposium, which took place at various sites in western South Dakota. The Black Hills provided an amazingly beautiful backdrop, but by 1996, the workshops had outgrown the confines of the Hills and moved to Beresford, South Dakota, the home of Frogman’s Press & Gallery. The workshops would only spend two years based in Beresford before moving to the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. 2016 marked Frogman’s first year at UNO, where the Frogman took his first-ever print class more than 50 years ago.