Studio Visit: Laura Berman

The Following is a guest post by the talented artist, Yoonmi Nam. When not traveling to far flung destinations, Yoonmi teaches print and drawing at the University of Kansas.


”Umbrahome DL12”, 57”x37”, Relief Monoprint, 2011, Printed and published by Pele Prints, St. Louis, MO

Laura inking

On the morning after Thanksgiving day, I visited Kansas City-based printmaker and educator Laura Berman in her studio located in the Kansas City Livestock Exchange Building. It was a chilly day in the Stockyards District in the West Bottoms, an area west of downtown Kansas City, where this historical building is located.

Stockyards District Sign

Follow the jump for many, many, many, many more pictures from this great studio visit.

Entrance board

In contrast to its somewhat desolate, industrial surroundings, Laura’s cozy studio, which she shares with her architect/baker/designer husband, was filled with warm light and exuberance of color.

This is one of two doors to Laura’s studio. I loved all the tile work throughout the building. On the building website, it also states that this building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Studio Entrance

When I arrived, Laura and her student assistant, Caitlin Peters (senior in printmaking at KCAI), were editioning her colorful relief monoprints for an exchange portfolio for the SGCI Conference in Milwaukee. It gave me an opportunity to see her printing process using her signature cut paper shapes that are representations of rocks in her personal collection. Laura is a lifelong collector of things, and all these collected objects become markers of certain times and places in her personal history. The rocks especially dominate her collection with over 200 specimens to date!

Studio full view from entrance

Here are some pictures of Laura and Caitlin pulling a couple of prints.

Studio view from window

Registration templates.

Rock Monoprint Templates

Laura registering paper on red layer

Student prepping press

Laura running the press

Laura lifting paper

Second red layer

The following is a picture tour of a very well organized studio.

Studio View 04

Here is a sneak peak of Laura’s new series in the works!

Studio View 05

Studio View 01

Studio View 02

Studio View 03

Inventive use of a bread tray rack. This is from Laura’s husband Chris’ baker days. Chris had owned and operated a bakery called “Breadsmith” for 7 years in Kansas City.

Studio View 06

Studio View 07

Studio View 09

“A luscious monoprint is ordained for you.” Fortune cookie and this fortune made by Beth Reitmeyer.

Studio View 10

Laura’s three-year old son is also a collector of rocks, and his growing collection is seen displayed below.

Studio View 11

Studio View 12

Polystyrene sheet rock shapes.

Studio View 08

Bristol paper rock shapes.

Studio View 13

Studio View 15

On the wall: “Rockprint T4”, 57”x37”, Relief Monoprint, 2010

Laura also pulled out some prints to see!

Prints 01

Clockwise from top right: “Clearing”, Facing”, and “Climbing”, each print 19.5”x19.5”, Relief Monoprint, 2012, Printed by the artist and published by Círculo del Arte in Barcelona, Spain. Upper left print: from a portfolio organized by Tim Dooley “Headshot Portfolio”, presented at the 2010 MAPC Conference

Prints 02

”Lightening”, 29.5”x29.5”, Relief Monoprint, 2012, also published by Círculo del Arte in Barcelona, Spain

Prints 03

”Shifting”, 29.5”x29.5”, Relief Monoprint, 2012, published by Círculo del Arte in Barcelona, Spain

Below are Laura’s newer series of prints based on objects that she has collected. Each object was individually photographed and laser cut into these silhouetted shapes, which were then inked up and printed in various arrangements. Both prints below are in progress, and were printed at the Frans Masereel Centrum Artist Residency in Kasterlee, Belgium in 2011.

Prints 05

Prints 06

Prints 07

These are some items from Laura’s collections that were used for this series of prints. (photo provided by Laura Berman)

1 objects montage

Umbrahome H4

”Umbrahome H4”, 20”x15”, Relief Monoprint, 2011, Printed at Frans Masereel Centrum

7 Umbrahome M1

”Umbrahome M1”, 20”x15”, Relief Monoprint, 2011, Printed at Frans Masereel Centrum

To see more of her beautiful prints, visit her website linked here. I would like to thank Laura and Caitlin for being so generous with their time.


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Categories: Studio Visit

3 Responses to “Studio Visit: Laura Berman”

  1. Love the work and enjoy seeing the studio and Laura’s process. She is definately one of my favorite artists in Kansas City!

  2. Great post – thanks Yoonmi! Laura, these “Umbrahome” works are fantastic!

  3. Carol McCall says:

    I have collected neat-o objects since 1955. Some people call this junk. Some people are fascinated. I have let the naysayers influence me for far too long and have decided that my things I have picked up off the ground, from shops, from nature, from the railroad tracks, have great significance and I shall continue to keep them. Their silhouettes and forms and colors are part of my art! Thank you for this encouragement by sharing Laura’s work and influences!