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Printers Ball 2015: Push & Pull

Featuring Festival Guest Bryce McCloud, the Steamroller Spectacular, a large-scale public printmaking project, round table conversations, the Printers Ball Marketplace, and more.

$25 VIP Tickets / $5 General Admission / Basic Admission is Free

Printers Ball is an annual festival celebrating print and highlighting presses, publications, projects, designers and artists that utilize printing in unique ways. Featuring the best in contemporary print, artmaking, and the written word, Printers Ball brings together artists, community organizations, publishers, students, creative thinkers and lovers of the arts from Chicago and beyond to convene for conversations, community art projects, hands-on printmaking demonstrations, readings, music, and conviviality.

Printers Ball 2015: Push & Pull gives tribute to the labor, the process, and the struggle that is elemental to exchange. At times, we pull in our community. At times we push out our ideas, our visions, and our inclinations. The interactive and engaging programs that will take place throughout the day all respond to this central question of how communities “push and pull” physically, metaphorically, and politically.

Presenting Organizations:
Cultural ReProducers
General Economy Exquisite Exchange
Firebelly Design 
Story Club Chicago
The Swell Series
Zine Fest

Programs Include:
The Steamroller Spectacular
The Printers Ball Marketplace
Book Drive for Open Books
Round Table Discussions
Printmaking workshops
People’s Pamphlets
the all new Book Butcher
PLUS an outdoor screening of  Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists!

Event schedule & registration at 

Printers Ball 2015: Call for Volunteers

We are counting down to Printer’s Ball 2015: Push & Pull and we need your help with the largest annual event that Spudnik Press presents! We’re are looking for 50 volunteers to assist with a variety of tasks ranging including tent set-up, A/V assistance, printmaking workshop support, greeting and guest check in, and serving drinks.

We’re scheduling six hours shifts with ample time for breaks to allow volunteers to enjoy the festivities as well. All volunteers will receively light snacks and a drink ticket. Want to volunteer with a buddy? Great, we’ll schedule you together!

Available shifts:
Shift A: 12:00pm – 6:00 pm
Shift B: 1:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Shift C: 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Please respond to Volunteer Coordinator, Caroline Walp, at no later than Friday June 12th with:

+ Your Name
+ Preferred shift (A,B, or C)
+ Phone number
+ Names and contact infor of any volunteer friends who would like to be paired with

Questions? Email

Can’t help out day-of but still want to help?

Wonderful! We’ll have screenprinted posters in-house by Friday June 12th. We need all the help we can to distributing them around the city (especially in Wicker Park and Logan Square). Swing by the printshop next Friday or Saturday during Open Studio. If you hang out posters in 6+ locations, we’ll even let you keep one for yourself!

Thank you in advance for volunteering and helping to make this amazing event run smoothly. We couldn’t execute all this without help from dedicated supporters like you. We’re getting excited and this is going to be fun!

Printers Ball 2015: Push & Pull: Event Schedule and Program Preview Released

Chicago, IL- Spudnik Press Cooperative will host Printers Ball 2015 on June 27, 2015 at the Hubbard Street Lofts (1821 W Hubbard Street) from 2pm to 10pm. Printers Ball is a daylong celebration of literary culture and printmaking, and this year the event finds inspiration from the theme Push & Pull. The festival showcases interactive programs that all respond to the central question of how communities “push and pull” physically, metaphorically, and politically.

Spudnik Press is excited to welcome Bryce McCloud as their Festival Guest and Keynote Speaker. McCloud is the mastermind behind Nashville-based Isle of Printing. Part graphic designer, part printer, part public art generator, McCloud believes in “the positive power of creativity to make our world a more interesting place to live.” McCloud will kick off the day by unveiling the “Bryce Buck”, an all-new currency that can be earned through acts of kindness and of sharing and spent on a range of affirming goods. For the keynote session, at 7pm, he will discuss his community-focused art projects, including his most recent project, Our Town, a city-wide collaborative self-portraiture project.

With eighteen unique programs taking place outdoors and throughout the Hubbard Street Lofts building, guests can anticipate a field day of hands-on experiences with printmaking, writing, and live lit, as well as partake in roundtable conversations with artists and peers. One highly anticipated program– the Steamroller Spectacular, featuring contributions from 300 local artists– will transform the parking lot into an oversize printing press and use a construction steamroller to create banner-sized collaborative prints. The Book Butcher is a deli-themed book shop, where visitors can order different “cuts” of magazines and books, contributed from revered publishers, big and small, across the nation.

Plus, Printers Ball 2015 will feature the first-ever Book Drive benefiting Open Books. Lightly used and affectionately discarded books can be contributing to a one-of-a-kind book repository created by artist Linsey Burrett.

This year, there are new and exciting ways to participate in Printers Ball 2015: Push & Pull. As always, Basic Admission is free for all! A VIP ticket ($25) includes a limited edition tote bag and poster, guaranteed entry to the keynote presentation, one free drink ticket, and five free books at our deli-themed “Book Butcher” shop. With a General Admission ticket ($5), you support Printers Ball 2015 and receive guaranteed entry to the Keynote presentation. All donations support Printers Ball and Spudnik Press!

The full event schedule is now available online at

Follow @printersballCHI and @spudnikpress on Instagram and Twitter and search #pushandpull #printersball to receive Printers Ball updates.

Printers Ball 2015 is presented by Spudnik Press Cooperative, in partnership with Two Brothers Coffee Roasters, Rose Paving Company and CHIRP Radio. Made possible by the Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine.

 Download the Printers Ball 2015: Push & Pull Press Release

Announcing Printers Ball 2015: Push & Pull, Saturday June 27, 2-10pm

Chicago, IL- Spudnik Press Cooperative is proud to host the 2015 Printers Ball on June 27, 2015 at the Hubbard Street Lofts (1821 W Hubbard Street) from 2pm to 10pm. In its 11th year, this annual celebration of literary culture and printmaking will draw inspiration from this year’s theme, Push & Pull. Printers Ball 2015 brings together printers, writers, publishers, artists, readers, collectors, students, teachers, makers, and consumers to embrace the push and pull that is integral to a dynamic community. The interactive and engaging programs that will take place throughout the day all respond to this central question of how communities “push and pull” physically, metaphorically, and politically. This celebratory summer festival will feature live printmaking demonstrations, roundtable discussions, collaborative art-making projects, a marketplace, music, food, drinks and live performances.

Printers Ball 2015 programs blur the lines of presenter and audience, performance and participation, printmaking and authoring, artist and subject. Highlights include:

The Steamroller Spectacular will kick-off the festival. 300 woodblocks, each hand-carved by artists, students of all ages, and creative thinkers throughout Chicago, will be printed outdoors using a construction steamroller to create banner-sized collaborative prints.

Festival guest, Bryce McCloud (@isleofprinting) presents his public art projects through both an interactive project and a keynote session at 7pm, June 27, 2015. For the 2015 Printers Ball, Bryce McCloud will unveil the Bryce Buck, an all-new currency that will be printed onsite at Spudnik Press Cooperative.  Rousing the perceived value of currency, Bryce Bucks can be earned through acts of kindness and of sharing and spent on a range of affirming goods. For the keynote session, Nashville-based artist, McCloud will discuss his community-focused art projects, including his most recent project, Our Town. Our Town perfectly exemplifies the “push & pull” of art, community, democracy and the individual. The project facilitates self-portraiture sessions throughout Nashville that are then collected and turned into prints. In exchange for completing a self-portrait, each person receives a print of another’s self-portrait, creating new connections between otherwise strangers.

The full Printers Ball 2015 event schedule will be released June 1. Follow @printersball and @spudnikpress on Instagram and Twitter and search #pushandpull #printersball to receive Printers Ball updates.

View the Printers Ball 2015 Press Release


Community Carving Events Pave the Way for Steamroller Printing at Printers Ball 2015

This June, Spudnik Press Cooperative will be hosting Steamroller Spectacular as part of Printers Ball 2015: Push & Pull. Artists, community art organizations, students of all ages, and creative thinkers are carving hundreds of printmaking blocks, all responding to the question of how communities “push and pull” physically, metaphorically, and politically.

This Spring, Community Carving Events will pop up through out the city, inviting the public to join the large-scale community printmaking project, led primarily by the esteemed arts educator, William Estrada. All events are completely free and open to the public.

South Chicago Arts Center
3217 E. 91st Street
Chicago, IL 60617
Saturday, April 11, 10-2pm

Comfort Station
2579 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
Sunday, May 24, 11-3pm

Arts Incubator
301 E Garfield Boulevard
Chicago, IL 60637
Saturday, May 30, 2-5pm

Additional Community Carving Events may be announced through out the spring. On Saturday, June 27, blocks will be printed using the parking lot and a steamroller to create oversized printed banners.

To receive periodic updates about this project and Printers Ball 2015, please sign up for the Printers Ball newsletter.




Call for Carvers: Steamroller Spectacular at Printers Ball 2015

Steamroller Spectacular at Printers Ball 2015 will bring together 300+ artists, teachers, organizations, and creative thinkers to reflect how communities “push and pull” physically, metaphorically, and politically.

While we cannot yet share our outstanding line-up of 2015 festival guests, we are beyond excited to announce a large-scale community based printmaking project that will take over the Hubbard Street Lofts parking lot on Saturday, June 27.

Steamroller Printing” is a long-standing yet little-known printmaking tradition. Our version, Push & Pull: Streamroller Spectacular, is headed up by the esteemed Art Educator, William Estrada. We are seeking artists, community organizations, and art teachers to contribute hand-carved woodblocks to be printed onsite using a steamroller to create banner-sized collaborative prints. Anyone interested in joining simple needs to complete the Online Submission Form to participate.

The project aims to create a dialogue with multiple voices from various communities through the development of a large scale printmaking project that engages various community stakeholders to reflect how communities “push and pull” physically, metaphorically, and politically.

How it works

Each participant will receive a 6×6” or 12×12” block of MDF. Educators and organizations may request multiple blocks. Block size is determined by age and printing experience. Blocks will be available for pick-up at Spudnik Press by April 1. Simply carve and return blocks by June 1. Blocks will be printed at Printers Ball 2015 on Sat. June 27.

Community Carving Events

There will be opportunities throughout the city for participants to meet and carve together, beginning Saturday April 4, 1-5pm at Spudnik Press Cooperative.

Additional dates and locations will be announced via All carving events are free. Download the Call for Community Carvers for details.

Printers Ball Marketplace: The Roster

This Saturday, The Hubbard Street Lofts, will again host Printers Ball. This year is the tenth anniversary, and we are thrilled to highlight a few of the artists who contribute to the success and reputation of Spudnik Press Cooperative. Artists include a mix of Teaching Artists, Studio Assistants (current and past), artists we’ve collaborated with, and artists who have private studios within our printshop. Many artists are producing their work here at Spudnik. Others have set up their own shops. All are using print in innovative and fresh ways, and are excited to share their artwork at the tenth annual Printers Ball!

Perfectly Acceptable; Matt Davis
Perfectly Acceptable offers simple and affordable Risograph printing, design, and consultation services for cartoonists, zinesters, and anyone interested in printing on a small- to medium-sized scale. We are pleased to announce that we will be debuting the first of our series of artist prints at Printer’s Ball 2014, by Andy Burkholder, alongside a number of other Riso-printed goodies. Perfectly Acceptable is run by Matt Davis in a private studio in Spudnik Press’s Annex. 

Alamo Igloo; Keith Herzik
Dog lover, Keith Herzik has been making screen printed concert and show posters in Chicago since before the millennium.  Recently Keith has focused on hand printed art book zines entitled Alamo Igloo.  A new three-color woodblock print designed by Keith published by Spudnik Press, is currently in production.

Hoofprint Workshop; Liz Born and Gabe Hoare
Hoofprint Workshop is a Chicago-based printmaking studio specializing in fine art editions. Processes they use include relief, intaglio, plate lithography, monotype, and screenprinting. They work with emerging artists, students fine-tuning their craft, and clients who are looking to commission a custom design or have their own imagery reproduced by hand. They work with 4 artists each year to create innovative editions that represent the collaboration of the artist and team of skilled printers. By subsidizing printing costs for these projects, we encourage artists to make ambitious works that expand their studio practice, and re-contextualize existing themes. Their shop is located in the Heart of Chicago neighborhood between Pilsen and Little Village in a re-purposed funeral parlor.

Kim Morski
Currently, she is working on a body of prints that explore the conflation of domestic and scientific activity in St. Louis, Missouri in the 1950s. After World War II, the United States Army contracted with private corporations and a select group of scientists to spray zinc cadmium sulfide with a fluorescent additive over certain parts of St. Louis as part of a biological weapons development program. They researched particle dispersal patterns and their effects on unknowing St. Louis residents. In response to this information, she is interested in constructing images that represent the concept of duality and hiding one narrative within a more desirable one.  Her current artwork includes screenprints, as well as an edition of small books and collages.

Rough Ray Press
Rough Ray Press is the design studio and print shop of artists Bailey Romaine, Becka Cooling, and Nick Humber. The press is an aesthetic project that supports these artists’ independent and collaborative approaches to printmaking. We produce books, multiples, and fine art prints, as well as works on commission, including but not limited to book covers, invitations, and posters.

Additional Artists:
Rar Rar Press
Ilyana Schwartz
Brad Vetter
Matt Harlan

Additional Vendors:

Chicago’s print and digital communications expert, Cushing has stood for premier reprographic imaging since 1929. From small and large format color graphics to cross media marketing campaigns, the company offers an assortment of cost-effective print solutions. A city of Chicago-certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE), the organization’s philosophy is firmly rooted in going the extra mile to provide optimal customer service. From short run to wide format color printing and cross media marketing, our network provides access to over 200 industry partners, across the globe.  Projects are executed with care and precision. 


The Marketplace at Printers Ball: A Call for Members of Spudnik Press

On June 28, Spudnik Press Cooperative will be hosting the 10th Annual Printers Ball: Chatter. The Printers Ball is an earnest, all-out celebration of literary culture with an international scope and focus on local, independent, and alternative presses. the event showcases books, magazines, prints, and the process of creating them. It is free and open to all ages.

This year, we are expecting 1,000 guests who will enjoy pop-up readings, drop-in workshops, print demon- strations, exhibitions, and more. Our parking lot will be a hub of activity with a Beer Garden presented by Version Fest, a comics jam with Trubble Club, music with Odd Obsessions DJ’s.

The Marketplace features prints, artwork, and wares created by members of Spudnik Press. With access to numerous presses and printing resources, The Marketplace presents the vitality and endurance of print processes that are often overlooked or misunderstood.

Important Details:

+ 10 spaces available
+ $15 Non-refundable Application Fee, payable online
+ If accepted, an additional $60 booth fee is due prior to June 23.
+ Booth fee includes one 6-foot table in a tent shared with other vendors.
+ Artist retains 100% of their sales.

Important Dates:

+ Apply by June 8
+ Applicant will be Notified by June 13
+ Booth Fee due June 23
+ Marketplace hours are 3:30-9pm on Saturday June 28, 2014

Qualifications & Criteria:

Applicants must be current members of Spudnik Press Cooperative. Artwork and products must feature printed elements and be handmade. Items should have consistent quality and be able to create a cohesive booth. We suggest including items priced between $1-$100. Additionally, we will curate vendors to highlight the diversity and work produced at Spudnik Press.

To Apply:

+ Email with “Marketplace @ Printers Ball Application” in the subject
+ Please include your name, name of your business (if applicable), phone number, and website.
+ Please include a one-paragraph statement outlining the type of items you will bring to the fair. This could be a brief artist statement or mission statement for your business.
+ Please include 3-5 work samples: jpeg files, 72 dpi, 720px on longest side
Pay the Application Fee Online

Download the Call for Marketplace Vendors as a PDF.


Printers Ball is for Secret Nerds

Printers Ball is a celebration of literary and printmaking culture in Chicago. Join us for a summer afternoon and evening of conversation with more nerds than you can shake a stick at.

Are you a secret nerd?

Plan your Printers Ball itinerary:

Brain Frame Comix Reading
Bookmaking w/ Leah Mackin
App Development Ink-U-Bator
Printmaking Demos
Comic Jam with Trubble Club
Chip Kidd on Design

Plus a BEER GARDEN sponsored by Maria’s Packaged Goods and more!

For full details, check out

Announcing Printers Ball 2014: Chatter

For Immediate Release:

Featuring Chip Kidd On Design

 & Pop-Up Performances Curated by 10 of Chicago’s Most Brilliant Readings Series

Saturday, June 28 from 4 – 9 pm

Spudnik Press Cooperative is thrilled to announce the 10th annual Printers Ball: Chatter. For the second year, the annual celebration of literary culture and printmaking will be held at the Hubbard Street Lofts, 1821 W. Hubbard Street, Chicago.  Slated forSaturday, June 28 and offering a robust schedule of performances, live printmaking demos, exhibitions, and food and drink tastings, this year’s festivities will run from 4 – 9 p.m., and include outdoor entertainment with DJ-ing by Odd Obsession and a beer garden hosted by Maria’s Packaged Goods.The history of Printers Ball is quintessentially Chicagoan. Founded in 2004 by Fred Sasaki, Poetry magazine’s Art Director, the first Printers Ball was held at the now-shuttered HotHouse. In the ensuing decade, the event has taken up residence in various venues throughout Chicago, including the Double Door, the Zhou B Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and Columbia College Chicago. Along the way, it has grown from a local celebration to an event with presenters from all over the United States and drawing thousands of attendees from across the city and beyond. Beginning in 2013, Spudnik Press Cooperative took the organizational reins, curating an event uniquely informed by printmakers and poets and returning the event to West Town, one of Chicago’s most artistically vibrant neighborhoods.

The 2014 programming is inspired by “Chatter,” a term that printmakers know as the ink debris surrounding an image. It’s also a sentiment rich in meaning to the layperson, signaling the verbal barrage and fragments that oscillate through social media and blogs, online magazines and texts. Printers Ball 2014: Chatter is the intersection of the timeless and the new. “This year’s event highlights the scope and quality of literary and arts programming that keep our city vibrant year round. By featuring a dozen local reading series in tandem with world-renown writers, printmakers, and designers, the 10th AnnualPrinters Ball pays homage to the energy and chatter of concurrent creative practices,” says Angee Lennard, Executive Director and Founder of Spudnik Press Cooperative. “This multiplicity of voices and viewpoints is what keeps the world of printmaking, poetry, and literature vigorously moving forward.”

Programs include:

+ A conversation with the legendary book cover designer, Chip Kidd

+ Pop-up performances from some of Chicago’s most innovative reading series including Artificial EarDanny’sDollhouseNext ObjectivistsSalonathonThe SwellUrban SandboxWrite Club, and Young Chicago Authors.

+ Hands-on printmaking and artmaking demonstrations with local printmakers and artists, including Leah Mackin

+ Beer Garden curated by Maria’s Package Goods

As is tradition, magazines, literary organizations, and design studios—over 400—from across the country will provide a sampling magazines and ephemera for attendees to peruse. This year will feature a book exchange and opportunity for local writers to share and highlight their books during the festivities.

Curators of Printers Ball 2014: Chatter include Sarah DodsonMAKE MagazineKevin KilroyBlack Lodge PressChad KouriThe Post FamilyAngee Lennard, Luke Daly, Veronica Siehl, and Caroline WalpSpudnik Press Cooperative; and Corrina Lesser,Chicago Humanities Festival. Design by Veronica Corzo-Duchardt of Winterbureau.

The event is presented in partnership with Spudnik Press CooperativePlatformJohalla ProjectsThe Post Family, and Simple Honest Work. Made possible by the Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine.

Spudnik Press offers Printers Ball Internship

Planning for the 10th Anniversary Printers Ball is now under way! As we gear up for the event, we are excited to offer one internship position devoted entirely to the festival.

The Printers Ball Intern will work closely with the Programming Team to plan and implement the 2014 event, supporting staff through each stage of development. Beginning the internship during the early stages of planning will provide the opportunity for the intern to creatively contribute to the event, and take a lead role in translating the visions of the programming team into a successful large-scale free public program. We will begin reviewing applications on February 28 with the internship beginning shortly after.

This is a great opportunity to build practical arts administration experience with an established Chicago festival. For more information about The Printers Ball visit

Download Job Description and How to Apply: Printers Ball Call for Intern