Bethany A. Kalk
Bethany A. Kalk

Bethany A. Kalk

Assistant Professor
College of Arts and Sciences


  • Graphic Design, Painting, Drawing, Installation, Murals, Video

Academic Appointments


  • Journalism, Media & Computing


  • Assistant Professor


Bethany “Betni”  Kalk  is an artist/designer who makes murals, installations and paints in encaustic. She is professor of design at Creighton University. She was born in Canada and at age three her missionary parents moved the family to Papua New Guinea (PNG) where they lived for 10 years. She lived in the States for high school, college and graduate school where she studied graphic design, painting, and drawing. When not teaching, she explores the natural landscapes of other countries and visits different regions of the U.S. to and from artist residencies. She has exhibited in numerous locations including Lexington, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York, Omaha and San Francisco. She has received numerous grants and residencies around the U.S. including Sitka Center, San Juan National Forest, the Anderson Center and the Pine Needles Program through the Science Museum of Minnesota.  For information and images, visit

Publications and Presentations


  • Each sale of the book creates $10 in profit which goes back to the Sawiyano for education and medical needs. Near the border between West Papua and Papua New Guinea lives small group of approximately 800 people called the Sawiyano who speak their own unique language. They live in an area of mountains and swamps. They have been in contact with outsiders since World War II. Some Sawiyano learned to read and write in the short-lived government school at the airstrip and missionaries also taught literacy. Within the last 50 years, many things have changed in the tribe. Cannibalism was abolished. Tribal rivalries and fights have mostly stopped. Houses are no longer as high off the ground when fear of attack from other tribes was prevalent. Some tribe members adopted a new religion, a few continue to follow the old ways, while many mix a new faith with the ancestral traditions, myths and superstitions. Despite the changes, many old ways of the tumbuna (ancestors) continue, especially in regards to crafts. Except for a few nails, most houses are built using the main traditional methods and materials. Steel axes and bush knives now fell the trees instead of stone axes. Food is gathered and prepared in a similar manner each day as it was fifty years ago., Culture, 2013
  • “This book shows the beauty of the untamed landscape in the Daniel Boone National Forest area in Eastern KY, which is at the edge of Appalachia. The terrain is incredibly diverse with layers of rock, shale and limestone with creeks crisscrossing between the hollows of the many tree-covered hills and small mountains. Vines hang thick around the trees and the underbrush. This volume includes from photographs from landscapes around Rowan, Carter and Fleming County of Eastern KY.” Photos from Fall 2010-Spring 2011, Nature, 2011


  • I returned to New Guinea in summer 2012 to create a book and documentary called “Sawiyano: Traditional Arts & Crafts.” I grew up in the tribe and was given permission by elders a few years ago to document their lives and traditions. It is the beginning of a life-long project to document traditions of indigenous groups in many parts of the world. I still have lots of research to do in order to create or join a non-profit and to find a publisher for the books and films. After two months in the East Province the production is 1/2 complete and I am in post-production of editing. I will return in summer 2015 for more footage. While there I also did basic medical work daily and taught English a couple days a week. Visit for images and clips., Culture, 2016


  • Upcoming in May - Title TBD /// Union for Contemporary Art (Omaha, NE), 2015
  • "Sawiyano" /// Ambrose University (Davenport, IA), 2014
  • "Wanderlust" /// Alley Poyner Machiatto (Omaha, NE), 2014
  • “WARPED: Historical In/Accuracy“ from Museum of Alternative History Project /// Downtown Library Gallery (Omaha, NE), 2014
  • “Ruckus Spring Show” /// Ruckus Art Gallery (Minneapolis, MN), 2014
  • “Fellows of N41° 16.7531?, W095° 56.8453’ 1 | Union Fellows Group Exhibition” /// Union for Contemporary Art (Omaha, NE), 2014
  • “Ruckus Winter Show”/// Ruckus Art Gallery (Minneapolis, MN), 2014
  • “Driftless / Coppock, Eck & Kalk” /// Living Room Gallery (Chicago, IL), 2013
  • ”Parts of the Whole” /// MN Center for Book Arts (Minneapolis, MN), 2013
  • “How a Small Thing Can Be Pleasing: Contemporary Botanical Art” /// Living Arts & Science Center (Lexington, KY), 2013
  • “Ruckus Fall Show” (Opening of Gallery) /// Ruckus Art Gallery (Minneapolis, MN), 2013
  • “Annual Faculty Exhibit” /// Claypool Young Gallery, Morehead State University (Morehead, KY), 2013
  • "Hills and Hollows" /// Gallery 360 (Minneapolis, MN), 2012
  • “Horizon: Contemporary Landscape” /// Best in Show Award /// Danville Community Arts Center (Danville, KY), 2012
  • “Firmly Rooted” /// MS Rezny Gallery (Lexington, KY), 2012
  • “Tri-State” /// Huntington Art Museum (Huntington, WV), 2012
  • “Here in the Strata / Coppock, Eck & Kalk” /// Rowan County Art Center (Morehead, KY), 2012
  • “Annual Faculty Exhibit” /// Claypool Young Gallery, Morehead State University (Morehead, KY), 2012
  • "Caught in the Calm" /// Hannah Bacol Busch Gallery (Houston, TX), 2011
  • “State of Drawing - Invitational Exhibition, 2011” /// Georgetown College Art Galleries (Georgetown, KY), 2011
  • “Breathing Room” /// Peerless Gallery (Omaha, NE), 2011
  • “This Strange Phase” (Collaborative Video/Audio) /// Big Omaha at KANEKO (Omaha, NE), 2011
  • “Annual Faculty Exhibit” /// Claypool Young Gallery, Morehead State University (Morehead, KY), 2011
  • “Summer Invitational IV” /// Thomas Barry Gallery (Minneapolis, MN), 2010
  • “Re-Arted (Collaborations)” /// Fox Tax Gallery (Minneapolis, MN), 2010
  • “MCBA Jerome Fellowship Exhibition” /// MN Center For Book Arts (Minneapolis, MN), 2010

Research and Scholarship

Grant Funding Received

  • Grant from MSU Foundation for Film Project "Sawiyano"
  • Creative Production Grant, Morehead State University