Farewell From Our Founding Director

This week marks an exciting shift for Spudnik: Our next Executive Director, Sara Emerson, has arrived in Chicago and is eager to begin meeting Chicago’s artistic community. We are enjoying a brief overlap period, and I can confidently say that we share a deep love for the art and craft of printmaking and a dedication to expanding its equity, accessibility, viability, and vibrance. 

The initial stages of this transition have heightened anxiety, and brought concerns about equity, transparency, and organizational culture to the forefront. Sara understands that as a member-based organization, community participation is essential for moving forward and I am excited about her early commitment to member engagement. Monthly membership meetings are scheduled through the summer with agendas determined by member input. These meetings will culminate in Spudnik’s Annual Member Meeting in August where members can cast their ballots for any artists and supporters nominated to join the board of directors. 

Spudnik has experienced continual growth and expansion since the 2007 grand opening in my humble apartment. Now firmly in its teenage years, the next phase of growth may be less about scale and more about focusing who  Spudnik is, what Spudnik does, and how Spudnik operates. Change and transitions are rarely easy. There remains a tremendous amount of work ahead to repair division, interrogate how privilege and inaccessibility show up in the organization, and rebuild finances and staff.

I hope that my departure as the founding executive director signals that the organization has matured into a reliable resource with a strong network of artists, supporters, and programs. It is now ready to be guided by the next generation of artists. As I leave my staff leadership position, I look forward to supporting Spudnik as a community member.

Looking back over the past 15 years, I am incredibly proud of the organization that I founded. I’ve made my share of mistakes as well and I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and apologize for any harm and hurt I’ve caused.

Spudnik has been looked to as an inspiration for many community print spaces across the country, and has helped shape the next generation of printmakers. This accomplishment is the direct result of an incredible network of current and past staff, teaching artists, volunteers, and board members contributing above and beyond. I am so grateful for everyone’s support. 

With deep appreciation of everyone within the Spudnik community,

Angee Lennard
Founding Director of Spudnik Press Cooperative