Posts By: Spudnik Admin

Call for Submissions: 2020 Member Exhibition Juried by Ruby T

Deadline for online submissions: Friday, July 31 (midnight)

Exhibition Dates: November 1, 2020 – January 9, 2021

Spudnik Press is excited to announce Ruby T as our inaugural juror for the 2020 annual Member Exhibition. New in 2020, Ruby T will be selecting two Spudnik Press members to receive Juror Awards meant to support their artistic practice: a First Award of an Annual Membership and a Second Award of three Open Studio passes. Spudnik Press will also produce an exhibition publication in conjunction with the show and hold a private event for the selected artists to meet personally with Ruby T during the exhibition.

The annual Member Exhibition is a celebration of recent artwork by members of our printmaking cooperative. It aims to includes a wide variety of work by members of the organization, from brand new printers to established artists, working in a wide range of print and non-print media. This opportunity supports our members’ careers with public events and press, online representation, and the production of a printed publication featuring the selected artists into the exhibition. The exhibition also aims to inspire new interest in printmaking and its relationship to all forms of contemporary art, within Chicago’s larger arts community.

For the first time we are inviting a Guest Juror to select and curate the final works, and creating two new prizes, in order to showcase our members in Spudnik Press’ most prestigious exhibition to date.

About The Juror:

Ruby T’s work is an experiment in translating fantasy to reality, and she is fueled by anger, desire, and magic. She was named a 2018 Breakout Artist by Newcity and has had solo and two-person exhibitions at Western Exhibitions, Randy Alexander, Roots & Culture, and The Back Room at Kim’s Corner Food. Her work has been written about in the Chicago Tribune, Newcity, The Chicago Reader, and Chicago Artist Writers. She is a member of the organizing collective Make Yourself Useful.

As a Juror, Ruby T sees herself as an admirer who facilitates a narrative about the work she observes. She is excited about the range of artists who will apply, and looks forward to identifying threads and pathways within the multiverse that is Spudnik. A longtime community artist and collaborator herself, she believes in the power of a group show to create new meaning out of fellowship. In that same spirit of community, Ruby loves printmaking for its generosity, which she sees in both the repetition and dissemination inherent to printmaking, and also in the ethos of the printshop. As a communal space, she believes Spudnik has an alchemical power to let artists’ ideas and concerns seep into each other’s work, supporting a shift from the singular and private towards the collective and public. With that, Ruby believes the most important thing artists can do is use our gifts to resist the rightwing capitalist agenda, whether through overtly political artworks or by committing our resources to social justice movements.

Details:

  • Submissions are FREE and open to all current Spudnik Press members.
  • Artists may submit up to 3 artworks for consideration by the juror. (Some, none, or all may be selected.)
  • If work is available for sale, Spudnik Press retains 50% of income from the sale of artwork during the exhibition.

Requirements:

  • You must be a current member of Spudnik Press Cooperative.
  • Work must be from the last 18 months.
  • Work must have some relationship to printmaking. However, it does not have to include a printed element or be made at Spudnik Press.
  • Work must be ready to install in the Spudnik Press Annex (i.e. framed, able to be hung with magnets, or some other installation system included with the finished work).
  • Three-dimensional or fiber-based works are welcome and must be ready to install with instructions for installation. Spudnik Press has a limited ability to show video and audio pieces.
  • Shelves may be provided by Spudnik Press for publication-based work as well as small objects.

For questions about the content of your submission, please contact the Program Assistant Anders Zanichkowsky: anders@spudnikpress.org before Friday, July 31.

Interested in submitting, but not a member? Join or renew your membership today!

To Apply:

Complete the Online Submission Form by Friday, July 31, 2020 (midnight).
This form requires a Google login. For questions or issues, please contact Anders before Friday, July 31 at 5pm: anders@spudnikpress.org.

Submission Requirements:

  • One to three works and up to two files representing each work. Files must be named Name_Title_FileNumber and can be a single image, video, or audio file up to 10MB each. Only the first three works, and only the first two files of each work, will be shown to the juror.
  • Image List (PDF) with File Name, Title, Dimensions, Year, and Media for each file submitted.
  • Personal Statement (Up to 250 words) addressing the work you are submitting and its relationship to print. You are encouraged to include a link to your website, and may also include any background information about yourself as an artist.

Artists will be notified by August 20 and selected work must be delivered to Spudnik Press (ready to install) by September 30. The Juror’s Awards will be announced the week before the Opening Reception, and presented at the event.

An Unexpected Hiatus: COVID-19 Updates

Jess Christy, “sage advice from the red plum,” Cyanotype, March 2020

Dear community,

Spudnik Press Cooperative will be closed until the stay-at-home order, which is currently set through April 7th, is lifted. All April programs, including Open Studios, Studio Access Trainings, Drink & Draw, and Volunteer Sessions are also suspended until further notice. While it is too soon to begin scheduling our roster of classes and events, we eagerly anticipate that day!

The foundation of our organization is our studio. Our mission is rooted in providing a gathering space for artists and anyone who wishes to be creative through print. The value of our programs stems not just from access to equipment, but to the relationships and support networks that prosper through our shared open studio sessions, classes, internships, fellowships, residencies, and events.

While we are taking this unexpected hiatus from programming, staff are ardently using this time to consider how to best welcome you back to the studio. We are leaning into our dedication to our community, and thinking creatively about ways to adapt our summer plans to support a community facing unanticipated hardships.

The toll this pandemic is taking on all communities, including the Chicago arts, is unprecedented and we need to take care of ourselves and each other, now more than ever. With this in mind, we are sharing a list of resources below, related to artistic support as well as housing, food security, and other basic needs.

Moreover, we cannot support our community without the backbone of our organization: our staff and studio space. We would like to ask for your support in ensuring Spudnik Press Cooperative remains resilient. If you are able, please consider pre-paying for your next studio visit or classmaking a donation to support our ongoing costs, or contacting your Members of Congress about the importance of relief for nonprofits and freelance artists.

Throughout this, we are prioritizing compassion, while working to ensure that we are able to continue serving our community well into the future.

With your health and wellbeing in mind,
Spudnik Press Cooperative Staff & Board of Directors

 

Artist Resources

List of resources from the City of Chicago specifically for artists.

CERF+ The Artists Safety Net  is conducting a national survey of studio based artists to understand the challenges they are facing in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The data gathered will help us advocate for artists and inform how we can address immediate and long-term needs.

ArtsReadyAn online emergency preparedness service by and for arts/cultural nonprofits.

COVID-19 Freelance Artist Resources

Creative Capital Arts Resources

Chicago Artists Relief Fund
*Applications for aid currently closed

Requesting Support in Hard Times: It’s important to remember that asking for support in a difficult time is appropriate. Download these templates for some helpful language. (PDF | Docx)

 

General Resources

Chicago COVID-19 Help & Hardship mutual aid network, to ask for and donate money within your community.

Rent & Mortgage:

List of resources from the City of Chicago. Scroll down to the bottom of resources by category.

Xfinity os offering free WiFi at any Xfinity hotspot. Simply select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots and then launch a browser. They are also offering free Internet Essentials for qualifying families.

Greater Chicago Food Depository is open. Find one of their 700 locations near you.

Filing for unemployment in Illinois

Volunteer OpportunitiesIf you are able to help, there are so many ways to do so. However, please remember that this is not a free pass to violate the stay-at-home order!

A lot of medical centers are asking for people to make and donate Face Masks. If you can sew and have any fabric scraps, you can make them too. Check out this how-to guide!

Offsite Visit: The University Club of Chicago

Sunday, March 8 2020
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
The University Club of Chicago
76 E. Monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60603

$10 for Spudnik Press Members
Register Online

  • How do private venues like Chicago’s University Club contribute to the larger context or “ecosystem” of artist opportunities in Chicago?
  • How can emerging artists connect with collectors and galleries, to promote and sell their work to a larger audience?
  • How does the context and site of an exhibition space effect how an artist will create, produce, and install their work for that particular show?

To answer these questions and more, Spudnik Press members are invited to a tour of The University Club on Sunday, March 11 from 11am – 12pm. Founded in 1887 to promote literature and arts among college and university graduates, the Club has members from nearly every profession and boasts a library, private art collection, and gallery. Through these resources, the Club continues to build a museum-quality art collection and offer world-class cultural programming inspired by the can-do spirit of Chicago.

Our visit will begin with a viewing of pieces in their private collection normally only open to Club members, led by George William Price, the Director of Collections. We will also be joined by artist Andrew Bearnot (coming to Spudnik for a residency in March 2020) who currently has a solo exhibition on view, to talk about the sculptural artist books he created specifically in response to this unique exhibition opportunity in the Club’s library stacks. Finally, George will lead us in a conversation about how Spudnik members can build their professional practice by connecting with collectors, curators, and private arts organizations such as the University Club. Come get inspired about Chicago’s possibilities as we peak behind the scenes of this prestigious establishment!

Registration Details:
Advanced registration is required and the non-refundable registration fee can be paid online. We will be meeting at The University Club, located at 76 E. Monroe Street in downtown Chicago. Please note the Club has a weekend dress code that prohibits “distressed” denim (no rips or tears) and menswear must include a collared shirt.

If you are not a member and wish to participate in this off-site visit, please join or renew your membership.

Image: Artist Book by Andrew Bearnot in stacks, an exhibition in the University Club library.

Member Interview Series: Andrea Carlson

Andrea Carlson is a visual artist from Grand Portage, MN currently living and working in Chicago, IL. Through painting and drawing, Carlson cites entangled cultural narratives and institutional authority relating to objects based on the merit of possession and display. Her current research includes Indigenous Futurism and assimilation metaphors in film. Her work has been acquired by institutions such as the British Museum, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the National Gallery of Canada. Carlson was a 2008 McKnight Fellow and a 2017 Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors grant recipient. 

sienna broglie: What was your introduction to art?

Andrea Carlson: That’s pretty easy. My dad is a painter. All of my family, if not painting or drawing, is beading or crafting things. I know some artists had parents who wanted them to pursue a different field; who discouraged them from developing their talents. I never really experienced that. I was encouraged to make art from a very young age. It was something that I took for granted growing up. I always had good support and was lucky in that way.

sb: What mediums did you first explore?

AC: At first it was a little bit of everything. In elementary school I started painting with oil and acrylics but before that I was drawing. I started drawing to learn the rules: how to draw a human’s face or figure out human ratios and form various objects. They became a kind of language or grammar with which to render. Once the rules aren’t a challenge anymore, you want to break them enough so that what you’re making is odd or interesting; so that people can’t look away. As opposed to a fully formalized drawing of a bouquet or landscape that we’ve seen before, there has to be dissonance. The design has to frustrate the viewer in order to hold them a bit longer. 

sb: You obviously have your own style.

AC: It took me a while to break all of the rules. Even now I fight some of the formal drawing tendencies that I’ve learned. Sometimes I have to sit with my own paintings and drawings for a while before they grow on me. There will be something that I hate in a piece so I’ll try to antagonize what it is that’s frustrating me while simultaneously I will like a bizarre aspect that everyone else hates so I’ll fix it just enough to let the piece remain a bit broken. I often play around with my comfort level design-wise. 

Vaster Empire, 2008, 44″ x 60″ acrylic, ink, gouache, and oil on paper.

sb: What does your process look like when you make a piece?

AC: Right now we are looking at Red Exit. This piece is 30 sheets of paper that were cut in half and stacked to make 60 cells. I divided the bottom of each cell into fifths and each element in the piece will be introduced at one fifth of the page in from its corresponding position in a cell above or below. That on-fifths rule is true in Red Exit for everything except the bat symbol. This is the sister piece to Ink Bable which had a kind of doom pig that also broke the one-fifth rules. There is a slight variance between repeated elements so that it doesn’t look like wallpaper. Instead it seems sequential or as if something will move and is able to fight the static nature of the imagery. 

Each piece is hand painted. Print makers often assume that a bit is printed but realize it’s not once they get close. It wouldn’t be any easier if it were printed considering each element has a slight variance. I think it would be just as maddening. 

sb: How long does a piece this large take to finish?

AC: Ink Babble took a year to finish and I have been working on this piece for quite a while. I have so many projects going on at once, it’s hard for me to tabulate how long it takes. 

sb: What does your studio routine look like?

AC: Lately it’s been terrible! I would love to do a 9-5 in the studio every day. There have been times when I would do a 9-5, seven days a week. Now I am doing a lot more arts writing, traveling, and speaking about my work. All of that takes a toll on my studio practice. I should probably be a fierce protector of studio time but I also absolutely love writing and speaking about work. The writing and traveling makes it so that I won’t get burnt out in the studio. You can get burnt out on either side. I think my practice is pretty well balanced but I do crave getting in more often. 

sb: Can you expand on the kaleidoscopic mirroring pattern in all of your paintings?

AC: So if each column was a film strip of a panorama shot taken out of a celluloid camera you would see information repeat itself at an angle from cell to cell. If each row was a still panorama shot of a landscape you would have one linear horizon line. Then across would be static space dominant (photography) and up or down would be dynamic time dominant (video.) Each piece is essentially a bifurcated panorama in two directions that together make a continuum. I was thinking about the possibilities of getting into a film and changing what was within. What would that topologically look like? This is the best I could do. That is why there is a repetition. See figure below.

INK BABLE, 2013, 10′ x 16′ ink and oil on paper. (edited diagram, 2019.) original image

sb: You mention in your bio drawing from iconography in film. Why film specifically as a media as opposed to other public media?

AC: Filmmaking is like contemporary storytelling. It can really craft how people view the world and relate to other communities; it socially forms us. I also have this curiosity surrounding movement and life in image making. I’ve always wanted to fight the static nature of my paintings. With my landscapes you move around them with your eyes and there is an inability to take them in all at once. Like films and movies they are time based; you can’t take them in all at once. The viewer is fed slowly. 

The imagery I am propagating and putting out into the world acts almost reflexively to the propaganda of film and the ways in which that has been devastating; specifically among Indigenous communities with the promotion of blood libel, accusations of cannibalism, and other gruesome stereotypes. These films, like Westerns among other genres, do not give native people a voice to speak for themselves. Sometimes I reference these harmful films in the titles of my work as a means to say “we see you.” I make a record of the wrongdoing in my work. It is almost like a gaze reversal, documenting that violent representation and incorporating it into my landscapes as a part of the story. 

sb: How do you choose the symbols and iconography included in a piece? Is each piece curated individually or are the symbols curated within the greater body of work as a whole? 

AC: I am like a collector of things. Often when I find something I want to include I’ll pull an image from the internet and put it in a file on my desktop. I will draw from that and curate the relationships between the material. The relationships between some of these objects will surface just by having them close. They will be in my thoughts and connections will arise naturally. 

In Ink Babel I incorporated a teleprompter. I was going through a phase where I was focused on old machines that were used to disseminate or capture information. Another element I use a lot is the brown bat, they might go extinct within our lifetime, so I’ve been charmed by them. 

One of the ideas behind Red Exit is celebrating Indigenous spaces or spaces that native people make for ourselves. Oftentimes we are the subject matter, people will talk about us or we will be included in someone else’s project, which is fine, but I wanted to make a piece that really just celebrates native knowledge and native spaces. Particular to this piece there is a beaded medallion that I’m going to put alongside the brown bat. When I was in the Venice Biennale, an Indigenous artist made this beaded medallion with a golden lion. It was an award to be given to an Indigenous scholar, a riff on the official Golden Lion. It is like we have to make our own because there’s no way we’ll ever be given the main stage. 

The space in which we both showed our work, the Indigenous Pavillion, was a little room in a college curated by Indigenous curators who presented Indigenous artists from around the world. The pavillion was a way to break apart the state system; the post colonial sense of nationalism that the US and Canadian pavilions, among others, represented. That post colonial sense of nationalism does not include Indigenous people or, if it does, will include us within that state system, that colonial structure. The creation of the Indigenous pavilion is really clever but at the same time, Indigenous people picking Indigenous artists in a space that is outside of the main picture creates a marginalized space. As an artist we crave the main door, we don’t want the marginalized reservation space. That’s been my attitude throughout most of my career but then lately I’ve been thinking no- those marginalized spaces that we’ve made for ourselves are also really cool. My desire or aesthetic is changing when it comes to spaces and so I want this piece, Red Exit, to celebrate that. 

In addition to the celebration of Indigenous spaces I also want to show the complicated nature of these spaces. Included in this piece is a cowrie shell etched with the Lord’s prayer. I don’t have any desire for Jesus or anything but I can understand how that has affected the Indigenous community. The cowrie shell is a really important object in Ojibwe spirituality so then to have the Lord’s prayer grafted onto it, what does that mean? I once had a professor who said “I can teach you about Ojibwe spirituality and Ojibwe teachings but when 85-90% of Ojibwe people are Christian, then what is authentically Ojibwe?” There is a kind of tragic commentary on the stick we are all in; there is no going back, we are always making anew. I’m picking up little pieces. Also included in this piece are mica hands and talons that overlap hands. I just can’t get them out of my head because these things were dug up all throughout Illinois and Iowa and the upper Midwest. I wonder about them: where they came from, who created them. A lot of tribes stake claims to them which leads me to wonder about Indigenous presence in the past.

Apocalypse Domani, 2012.

sb: Do you build a narrative of Indigenous futurism in your pieces?

AC: I’m starting to write a paper on this right now. There are various Indigenous philosophical traditions that mess with the Western construct of lineal time. We have this concept of Western lineal time and we have chunky landscape paintings that don’t really reflect the unity of space. Every single one of my pieces has a sea-scape with an infinite horizon line. When you look at a landscape there is no such thing as a “landscape” plural because we live on a sphere. Topologically there is just one landscape and multiples are merely cut-outs of that sphere. 

I really love Indigenous Futurism and I think unfortunately for some non Native people it is a foreclosure of Indigenous histories. To understand Indigenous Futurism it is important to understand Indigenous histories and I don’t want Indigenous Futurism to end the education that everyone needs to have in those histories. 

What I like is the possibility to imagine our survivals richly. When history has tried to screw us over and over again, I like the idea of speculating on future space where so many things could play out differently. We can put our desires into fiction as a space that we control. You can locate joy in that space if it is not being reflected and that is important for survival. 

The human-centeredness in conversations about the Anthropocene and the end of the world is scary. Indigenous people are finally rising up and demanding changes for environments when suddenly everyone wants to declare the world almost over. We finally get to rise up and then game over? Don’t pull the rug out from under us. We still want to live, we want to fight to the bitter end. Don’t tell us it’s over, we’re not ready for it. We have already survived so many genocides and so many failed attempts at that. So yes, it is the end of the world now but it has been then end of the world 16 times over. We have felt the ends of the world and survived them in the past. So I think about that as far as how Indigenous Futurism can answer some of the Western fantasies for the future. The future is still a battleground. 

sb: What are your biggest influences, artist or otherwise.

AC: That is really hard because if I start to notice an influence or if my work feels like someone else’s I quickly try to retaliate. I have a number of influences as far as philosophical work and how I order information. George Morrison was an abstract expressionist, also from Grand Portage. I would apply him as an influence because he always put a horizon line through his abstractions. It is representative of Lake Superior, where our Nation sits. He would discuss horizons as this liminal space, a forever space. Growing up on Rainy Lake and Lake Superior in Minnesota, once you see the lake a lot you get that horizon line baked into how you order information. I haven’t been able to break up with this horizon line and I think that comes from George Morrison. 

I don’t know if you can count the lake as an influence, but it definitely is one. I see a lot of the objects in my work as debris that washed onto the shore. Comic books are another big influence. I love playing with line quality and have definitely leaned into the ways that inkers handle line in comics. I also love storytelling and the ways in which comics tell stories. I’ve also been influenced heavily by Japanese Anime. Those stories can be really beautiful and complex and tragic at the same time which is something I have leaned into. I haven’t yet figured out how to write compelling stories so painting will work for now.

There is a lot that is not so much inspired by influence as it is a product of my bizarre process. Some of the elements in my work are drawings that I didn’t like which got cut up and placed in a new way, leaving me to fill in information from the cutouts like a xerox copy. Then there are elements that I take for granted that I implement consistently so as not to reinvent the wheel each time. Those are sacred things that, when I’m bored in the future, will have to change. 

Sunshine on a Cannibal, 2015, 44″ x 180″ acrylic, ink, and gouache on paper.

sb: Alongside your studio practice, what else are you in the midst of?

AC: I was asked to do an Indigenous read on this Anthropocene project for which a German art house named the Mississippi River the “River of the Anthropocene” because of its numerous dams and locks, the dredging and other human alterations done to it. Scientists have always named past epochs after they have occured. To name the current epoch and define it as being central to humans seems like a self defeating prophecy. We are not waiting for future generations to name this epoch because we don’t believe they’ll exist. There is not a lot of hope in humanity, in the future. Maybe that’s okay, maybe humans are a bit overrated. So I wrote an essay- that I don’t know if they will publish- titled “The Mississippi is the Opposite of the Anthropocene.” Yes, we have altered it in so many ways but there is a river in each of us. The Mississippi gives us water and all water is connected. Let’s not fool ourselves that we have more control than we actually do. In the end, water goes where it wants to go. Floods definitely humble those who think we have it all worked out. In the essay I cite a lot of the activism that Indigenous women have contributed; like Water Walks. There was a woman, Josephine Mandamin, who in 2003 carried a copper bowl of water around Lake Superior, walked the entire distance. Her act spread and later turned into the water walking movement among indigenous communities. Her niece, Autumn Pelier, spoke in front of the UN in full regalia when she was 13 years old. She gave all of these beautiful teachings about women and water and how each of us is born of our mother’s water who was born of her mother’s water so on and so on, creating an ancient river. For my essay I did some video work, thanking Indigenous women in Minneapolis and St Paul for their activism around the Mississippi River. The curriculum of this project included paddling down the Mississippi River. I did 38 miles with a group but not the whole river. The rest are still out there right now paddling. 

In addition to that project, I have been writing a lot of essays. I just finished an essay for the Tlingit/Unangax̂ artist Nick Galanin and I’m in the midst of another essay on Indigenous Futurism. Typically I keep score of how many men versus women I am asked to write or speak on. Nick is a guy so now I am in debt to support three women. I keep this ratio where it has to be three to one because men are so overrepresented in the arts world. Last week I was on a panel for George Morrison’s work which again puts me in debt to three women. I was invited to speak on this man but now I should organize a panel or something that includes women. Actually that panel was a total coup and we ended up talking about women in the art world. So lately I have been doing a lot of arts writing and speaking. I absolutely love supporting other artists.


To keep up with Andrea, visit https://www.mikinaak.com 

2019-20 Fellows Announced

Spudnik Press is delighted to officially announce the new 2019-20 fellowship class: Efrat Hakimi, Marc Benja, Teresita Carson Valdez, and Vero d. Orozco!


Efrat Hakimi

Hakimi received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2019) and is the recipient of the Katz International Photography Award (2018). She graduated from Hamidrasha School of Art (2016, with honors) and holds a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering (BGU, 2010). Her work had been exhibited in Chicago, Tokyo, Shanghai, Medellín, Marseille, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and is included in the Joan Flasch Artists Book Collection in Chicago, The Nahum Gutman Museum collection and the IBM Collection in Tel Aviv.


Marc Benja

Benja received his Bachelors of Arts from Columbia College Chicago with a focus in painting, printmaking, and photography. His experience with printmaking is especially focused on  intaglio processes, such as drypoint and photo-sensitive printing plates, monotypes, relief printing, chine collé, and gel plate printing, using various inks and paints. After a substantial, successful corporate career, Benja is entering the Fellowship to pursue his lifelong passion for the arts.


Teresita Carson Valdéz

Teresita Carson Valdéz is a Mexican, Chicago-based artist working in film, video, photography, printmedia, fiber, sound and installation. She is co-director of the alternative project space INTERSECT, which aims to foster relationships with diverse communities and is invested in facilitating artistic and educational gestures propelled by empathy and generosity. Recent venues presenting Carson’s work include Adds Donna Gallery, Mana Contemporary, Sullivan Galleries, Moving Image and Spudnik Press. She holds a Bachelors in Fine Arts from the School of the Art institute of Chicago.

Carson has been a member at Spudnik Press for two years, and was recently interviewed by an intern. Read all about the conversation here!


Vero d. Orozco

Vero d. Orozco is a Nicaraguan-American born in San Francisco, California. She is a mix-medium visual artist and art administrator. Her artistic process has evolved from nurturing her alternative way of screen-printing; Being born with one hand, she screen-prints each image onto paper intuitively, creating final pieces that live between printmaking and painting. Being a youth advocate in the arts and having worked in youth development for 5 years she considers her art practice an essential tool to her mental health and tapping into her inner wisdom. Vero strives to be a cheerleader for reflective conversations of knowledge and hopes to provide spaces for collaborative understanding around equity in the arts.


Congratulations to the four selected artists, and we hope you will enjoy the fellowship as much as we will enjoy having you here!

Spudnik Press at Chicago Printers Guild’s 4th Annual Publishers Fair

On Saturday, November 9 the Chicago Printers Guild (CPG) will hold its fourth iteration of the Chicago Printers Guild Publishers Fair at Constellation in Roscoe Village. As the organization celebrates its 10th anniversary, the level of its members’ print work is on the rise. Over 30 of these printmakers will be present to sell their self-published print work and will include the Guild-sponsored recipient of the 2019 CPG Student Award and Instituto Grafico de Chicago, a print organization dedicated to maintaining the critical activist tradition of Latino printmaking. This event provides a unique opportunity for Fair attendees to meet the artists and ultimately engage in the tradition-rich print landscape of our region. (more…)

New Year’s Greeting Card Contest

Hey members! We’ve got a fun opportunity for you!

Spudnik Press Cooperative is holding a design contest for a 2020 New Years greeting card! These cards will be gifted to people who donate to our End of the Year Campaign. This is a great way to market yourself and your design finesse to a larger public while supporting our studio. Staff will print the chosen design in the studio for you.

We want YOU to submit a design for this greeting card. Your name and website/Instagram handle will be printed on the back of the card along with our logo in the following format:

Design by John Appleseed | www.johnappleseed.com
Published by Spudnik Press Cooperative

To submit, please fill out this online form.
The design will be chosen by a blind jury of staff and interns.

Prize:

  • $50 check + 15 greeting cards with your design!

Parameters:

  • 4.5″ x 6.25″.
  • 3 colors maximum.
  • Will be produced as a letterpress or screen print, based on design.
  • Please avoid biased, religious, or political content.
  • Selected artist will be required to deliver final files as a high-quality .psd or .ia file with each color in a separate layer.

Timeline

  • Please fill out this online form and attach a clean draft (digital or hand drawn) by Monday, November 18th 11:59 PM CST.
  • We will announce the winner on Thursday, November 21st.
  • The final file must be delivered by Wednesday, November 27th at 11:59 PM CST.
  • Your check and greeting cards will be sent out by December 10th.

TO SUBMIT, CLICK HERE!

Image Credits: Jennifer Ackerman

The Price is Nice Auction: BID NOW | PARTY LATER

The countdown to our 2019 Annual Benefit is upon us!

The Price is Nice Auction is now live on Paddle8. Check out the collection of Spudnik Press’ newest editions, generously donated artworks from Chicago artists, and works by Spudnik Press Members.

Support us from afar and bid remotely OR join us for a fun night of games, bidding, and networking on October 19th at The Price is Nice: Annual Benefit for Spudnik Press.

New Editions By:
Candida AlvarezAndrea CarlsonRyan Travis ChristianBrendan FernandesArnold KempFaheem MajeedPaul NuddSteve Reinke, and Joe Tallarico.

Plus Artwork By:
Alberto AguilarDeborah BoardmanEmmy Star BrownElijah BurgherLilli CarréAlex ChittyDon ColleyAndreas FischerChris FlynnBrad FreemanCameron HarveyAnita JungJoshua KentSandra LeonardMiller & Shellabarger,Viraj MithaniAudrey NiffeneggerBetsy OdomB. Ingrid OlsonSherwin OvidRoni PackerMelissa Potter & Maggie PuckettKaren Reimer, Deb SokolowRuby T, and Anne Yafi.

Member Artwork guest juried by Stephanie Cristello:
Reevah AgarwaalLisa Glenn ArmstrongTeresita Carson ValdézCat ChenDavid KrzeminskiDutes Miller, and Joshi Radin.

 

Image: Still from The Price is Nice video by Lya Finston. Watch the whole video here!


Paddle8’s online bidding platform and iPhone app allows for seamless bidding on featured lots in this benefit auction.

Bidding starts October 3 at 11:00 AM CST.

To register and start bidding, visit Paddle8.com or download the Paddle8 iPhone app.


How to Participate

Online

  • Visit Paddle8.com to register to bid and to follow your favorite artists, designers, and lots.

On Your iPhone

  • Download Paddle8’s free iPhone app from the App Store. You’ll be able to register, bid, monitor auctions, and follow lots by your favorite artists and designers even when you’re away from a computer.

How to Bid

  • Enter your maximum bid. The system will then automatically bid on your behalf up to this amount as necessary to maintain your position as highest bidder.
  • You’ll be automatically alerted if you’re outbid.

Check Out

  • If you are the highest bidder at the close of the auction, you’ll receive an email about next steps for payment and shipping or pick-up options.

Thank you to our Sponsors!

  

Spudnik Press’ Annual Benefit to Honor Audrey Niffenegger

The Price Is Nice: Annual Benefit for Spudnik Press Cooperative

Honoring Audrey Niffenegger

Hosted by KG

Saturday, October 19, 2019
6:00 p.m.

Low Res
1821 W Hubbard
Chicago, IL 60622

Download the Press Release

Chicago, IL (August 10, 2019) – With a gameshow theme, The Price Is Nice, the 12th Annual Benefit for Spudnik Press Cooperative takes place on Saturday, October 19, 2019, 6:00 pm at Low Res Studios.

This event is as much showcase as it is showdown. Friends outbid friends–and strangers alike–on both live and silent auction artworks, which include many of Chicago’s most notable emerging and established visual and print artists. Beyond the bidding, participants can partake in gameshow and printmaking inspired activities that would make an impression (pun intended!) on Bob Barker himself. Everyone, of course, will be a winner when we raise crucial funds for Spudnik Press Cooperative.

The Price is Nice  also serves as an occasion to honor Audrey Niffenegger. A prolific artist, author, educator, and community organizer, Niffenegger has influenced a generation of artists and printmakers in Chicago and beyond.

While Niffenegger is perhaps widely known for her bestselling book, The Time Traveler’s Wife, which was adapted for film in 2009, she is also an accomplished printmaker and co-founder of the renowned Center for Book & Paper Arts (CBPA) at Columbia College Chicago. Established in 1994 as a resource for both students and community members, the CBPA was a cultural center that has shaped and strengthened Chicago’s printmaking and book arts scene. Niffenegger’s dedication to fostering collaboration among printmakers, book artists, writers, and interdisciplinary artists has in many ways inspired and supported the mission and vision of Spudnik Press Cooperative.

“Niffenegger’s surreal visual novel, The Adventuress, intaglio printed while she was a student at SAIC, was inspirational to me as a fledgling printmaker,” said Angee Lennard, Spudnik Press Cooperative Founder and Executive Director. “Today, she continues to inspire my efforts to provide evermore support to the community of artists at Spudnik Press.”

The Benefit aims to raise $50,000 to support programs ranging from a drop-in Open Studio program to an eight-month Studio Fellowship. In addition to Plink-O and Punch-a-Bunch inspired games, silent and live auctions will feature about 35 artworks including new editions from the Spudnik Press Publishing Program by Candida Alvarez, Alex Chitty, Ryan Travis Christian, Brendan Fernandes, Arnold Kemp, Paul Nudd, Steve Reinke, and Joe Tallarico.

Media Contact

Angee Lennard, Founder + Executive Director
angee@spudnikpress.org
312-563-0302

Prints United: 2019 Member Exhibition

Featured Artists:

Vidisha Aggarwal
Reevah Agarwaal
Lisa Armstrong
Cat Chen
Elke Claus
Kyle Dunlap
Lya Finston
Rita Gondocs
Elnaz Javani
M Kellman
Steve Kerber
Dave Krzeminski
Gary Lehman
Dutes Miller
Yasi Moussavi
Catherine Norcott
Trent Pierson
Hope Wang

Dates:

8/30/2019-11/2/2019

Location:

Spudnik Press Cooperative, 1821 West Hubbard, Chicago IL 60622

Corresponding Events:

Reception! Prints United: 2019 Member Exhibition

Press Release:

This exhibition highlights the thing that brings us all together: Print!

Prints United: 2019 Member Exhibition features a wide variety of print-centered art making that happens at Spudnik Press Cooperative. Printmakers and fans alike are invited to celebrate the work of our beloved print geeks, relief devotees, intaglio fans, serial serigraphers, and letterpress lovers.

From the Exhibitions Committee:

“At Spudnik Press, we all feel welcome, whether we wipe plates, roll ink, or squeegee shapes. We all have in common a deep curiosity about print and an appreciation for the way ink transforms our ideas into reality. This exhibition celebrates the cacophony of visual statements made each day at Spudnik Press.”

This exhibition celebrates the cacophony of visual statements made each day at Spudnik Press.  

Download the Press Release

Member Interview: Emma Punch

Emma Punch is a multimedia artist from Richmond, Virginia living in Chicago. She is currently attaining her BFA in Studio art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work is largely based in print and animation, however she has recently been exploring paper making and pulp painting.

Kaelyn Becker: Let’s start with what you do. Could you give me an overview of your practice?

Emma Punch: I started at SAIC in painting, then I became more interested in sculpture. I’m drawn to representational and narrative works, and started making comics. I ended up in a comics class on accident but ended up really enjoying it. From there I was making a lot of comics, printmaking, and animation. This semester I’m in a papermaking class.

‘Untitled’, Paper Pulp, Fruit Net, Thread, 2019

KB: Yeah, your work covers a lot of ground with animation, drawing, printing and sculpture. Do you think those mediums influence the way you work? For example, do you think about the way animation or print will affect your drawings as you’re making them?

EP: I feel like a lot of the prints that I do on the risograph machine are just doodles I have in my sketchbook that I photoshop together into something. I really like instant gratification. I don’t think about much, and it’s a lot more of just making. If I think I’ll get too into my head I won’t do it. For a lot of sculptures I make, people have told me that they look just like something that I would draw. I guess they are-they’re just three dimensional.

KB: Do you prefer certain mediums over others?

EP: I really like the risograph machine because I like multiples. Like I said, I like the instant gratification, but I’m in a drawing class right now with Gladys Nilsson which is very cool. I like drawing a lot because it’s just immediate and it’s done, and I can just have it.

KB: Your work is very whimsical and playful. Is there anything that you’re trying to communicate with that or is it just an aesthetic choice?

EP: I think I just want people to enjoy looking at them, so I think that plays into it. You’re the third person who’s told me that recently-Gladys Nilsson also told me that.

KB: It’s true though! You have a lot of characters and faces. For example, you’ll put a face on a mountain and it makes your work come off as very fun and lighthearted.

EP: I think that’s aesthetic that I’ve kind of fallen into, I like it and so I keep doing it.

KB: Everything you make is really colorful as well. Do you tend to gravitate towards certain color palettes or do you like to experiment with colors?

EP: I do have favorite colors. My favorite color is pink, if you go on my website it’s all pink. It’s like a default color. I think it’s beginning to be a really popular color, especially with the risograph. People love the hot pink on the risograph machine. And then I like greens and blues too.

KB: I love the zine you made with the flowers on the cover, the leaves and the hot pink. (‘Love Flower’ – 2018)

EP: Yeah thanks!

‘Love Flower’ , Risograph, 2018

KB: And then, the music video that you just did for The Slaps, that was great! Do you find it difficult to find commission work as a student?

EP: I actually approached them. They’re my friends and I said, “Let me make this for you!” And then from that I’ve had more friends in bands who have asked if I can make an animated video for them as well. And I’ve gotten Instagram commissions, but I don’t take a lot of them because animation is hard to be paid for because it’s so much more work and everyone that’s our age has no money, so I would just be underpaid for the amount of work I’m doing. But my mom told me I can’t put a price on exposure.

Still from ‘Song For a Friend’ by The Slaps – animated and edited by Emma Punch, 2019

KB: In the same light, is it hard to balance work you do outside of school with your practice within school? Or do you find that they tend to correlate with each other?

EP: Last semester I tried to make that video for The Slaps my final project for my animation class, and my teacher wouldn’t let me. At one point in time I was working on about three different animations which was wild, and I can’t believe I did that. I feel like the ideas in them really go together. For commissions I always tell people it’s going to take me a lot of time because school is my priority right now.

KB: Do you see your work as going more in the direction of exhibition spaces or distribution?

EP: I do like galleries, I just took SAIC’s study trip in New York about Art and Criticism. Most of what we did was go to galleries and do studio visits. We got to meet with a lot of the curators. It was an awesome opportunity.  Also, I worked in SAIC’s Sullivan Gallery, so I do think about how I would present my work in that context a lot. I don’t know, I like both of them and hopefully I don’t have to choose. I think that as a job once I graduate I’d like to be in animation for a career, so it wouldn’t have to be either.

‘Untitled’ , Paper Pulp, Fruit Net, Thread, 2019

KB: I was going to ask; do you think you have to pick between the two or do you think that you
can do both?

EP: I think I can do both.

KB: Especially with your work, I mean having sculpture which is conventionally thought of as
more of an “exhibition space” medium.

EP: Yeah, I’ve been talking with different groups of people about doing shows together, and applying for
things. So maybe!

KB: Have you participated or are you interested in participating in local zine fests like the
Chicago Artist Books Fair?

EP: I did volunteer at the Chicago Artist Books Fair, and when you volunteer they let you put some work
in the show. I sold out of the Love, Flower comics I brought! I only brought five or six, but it’s still a really
nice feeling to know people enjoy what you make enough to bu it.

KB: Since you just finished up that music video I want to ask, is there any music that’s been
inspiring you recently?

EP: Yes! I was listening to this song on repeat the whole way here, it’s called Full Circle by The Pom-
Poms.

‘Diary Entry #37’ , Risograph, 2018

If you would like to learn more about Emma and stay up-to-date with her artistic pursuits, you can follow her instagram  @officialembutt or check out her website www.emmapunch.online.

 

Member Interview: Alexandra Antoine

Alexandra Antoine is a Haitian-American artist and educator based out of Chicago. She received a degree in art and art education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2014. Her work focuses on her Haitian-American identity, which she investigates through language, memory, portraiture, and archival practices. Recently, she has been incorporating Haitian sequins and beadwork into portraitures as a way of holding onto and continuing an art form that is native to her culture. We invited her to Spudnik Press to share more with us about herself and her work.

M Kellman: Can you introduce your artistic practice? What kinds of things are you interested in?

Alexandra Antoine: I am primarily a printer and a painter. I love screen printing and lithography. Fell in love with lithography first time I did it. I’ve always been a painter. While I was at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) I figured out my style of painting. Recently I’ve been incorporating painting along with Haitian beadwork. I like seeing progression, from a beginning stage, middle stage, to the end. It keeps me excited.

I also work on two or three things at a time, so I can swap through different things and then I don’t finish anything too fast. I’ve noticed that in the past few years I really like slow processes.

MK: Are you from Chicago originally?

AA: No, I’m originally from Miami, stayed there till I was 11, then moved to Orlando. I have family all up and down the east coast of Florida. My parents are Haitian, so that’s what lead my parents to go to Florida. I love Chicago! I finished undergrad at SAIC, only planned on staying a year, but then I started meeting other artists, I started teaching and chilling out with the students, and I’m still here in 2019.

MK: Do you think you’d want to end up back in Miami or Orlando?

AA: You know, I thought about it. A lot of my inspiration comes from my culture—when I’m in Haiti, when I’m around family, when I’m listening to family talk. Now, Chicago has a Haitian community but it’s not as tight as New York and Miami cuz those are two hubs where it’s Little Haiti central. Sometimes it gets hard being here, which is why I’ll go see my family in New York often—it’s the closest if I can’t get to Florida. I need to be around the food, around the language—something about being in it helps the gears move.

MK: I notice you incorporate a lot of traditional practices into your work. Can you talk about how you learn these?

AA: I’m really into working with other artisans. Outside of my studio I like to find artists who do things that I wanna learn and learn from them.

When I was in Haiti, one of my friends sat with me and taught me Haitian beadwork. And now I’m working on a piece that’s super big. It’s taking weeks, but I love the process.

And back in 2010-2011 I went to Mali, West Africa, to learn traditional sculpture. It was just me and my teacher  from like 7am to like 8 at night, just hackin’ at wood. I love this because it’s a thing he inherits through his family line. There’s not a syllabus. It’s just “Watch what I do, and you do it”. I love learning like this. The classroom is nice but when you get this one on one, right next to somebody, I like this.

A portrait of a young black girl looking to the left. Traditional Haitian beadwork and sequins decorate the girl's hair.

MK: How do you decide which skills you want to learn?

AA: It’s about reconnecting with my culture. I like to choose places within the African Diaspora in art forms that are valuable but a lot of young people aren’t running to learn it. So like my teacher in Mali, if his granddaughter doesn’t want to learn it and he passes, that’s it. Or in Haiti, some of these skills I’m seeing, a lot of older people are doing it, but when you’re gone then who takes it over? I wanna keep these things that could potentially be lost because people migrate or move around.

MK: In addition to your studio art degree, you have a degree in Art Education. Do you teach?

AA: Yes! I’m all about sharing what you know, especially when it comes to African American communities. I was teaching visual arts full time in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) when I got out of school. It’s fun introducing the students to new skills, but what I found was interesting was, when I was in Art Ed and we would go visit schools, I think I maybe saw one black art teacher, if any. And the schools that were all black usually had a white art teacher. African Americans have had a huge contribution to art but none of the students saw teaching art as a career path. I wanted to teach in an all black or predominantly black school because they gotta see that art is a career they can do. And of course when I walk in it was like, “You’re the art teacher?”.

MK: So I imagine you’re not very interested in the traditional Eurocentric art history and art education curriculum, right?

AA: Oh yeah, and that’s where the struggle was. It seems like the way Art Ed is set up in CPS is, “We want you to teach X Y and Z”. But that’s not how artists work. All artists don’t want to just do this one thing this certain way. I took art history in college and it was great learning about da Vinci and Europe and all them, but… We didn’t touch Asia, South America, nothing. And I’m not saying da Vinci and all are not great artists, but what about Faith Ringgold, or Carrie Mae Weems? What about them?

So when I was teaching, I was like, “Let’s get down on the floor”. If an artist was squatting when they do this work, let’s all squat. If they were only using their hands, let’s just use our hands, no paintbrushes, no pencils. Was it what the principal wanted me to teach? Not really. But this is how artists think about the world. We’re not here just to pump out a perfect assignment.

MK: I saw you did some work with Cook County Jail and a juvenile detention center. Does that fit your practice better than CPS?

AA: It does. Right now I’m teaching visual arts with Free Write Arts & Literacy. I came in with the same philosophy—I’m not gonna just teach the fundamentals of shading. There’s so much that the students I work with have experienced, they all come from various communities in Chicago that have their own unique aspects. We can’t just be talking about how to shade. We have to be talking about things that are relevant. And I tell my students, even if you don’t become an artist, this is a way to look at the world differently instead of how you’ve been told to look at the world.

A group of women gather in a secret back room in a bookstore to discuss their protest plans. A mural depicting famous African American women covers the walls of the room.

A screen capture from Chi-Raq (2015, dir. Spike Lee). Antoine’s mural can be seen on both walls. Copyright: Amazon Studios, 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks.

MK: So, a little fangirl momentChi-Raq? You painted the mural in the bookstore scene with Angela Bassett. So cool! How did you get that job?

AA: In 2013 I was in a group show at Roman Susan gallery. Then maybe 5, 6 months after the show—I’m teaching at CPS at this point—I get an email from the art director of Spike Lee’s new movie like “Can you come down to the studio and talk about your work?”. So I went down to the space and they told me the concept and gave me some subject matter and said, these are the women we want you to focus on painting. They had me on the set of the bookstore. I was there maybe a month or a couple weeks before they would transform it. The art director let me come on set the day they were shooting in my space. I told my friends—where Angela Bassett takes them into a secret room, all of that is mine.

As an artist, you never know who’s gonna see your work and what that’s gonna lead to. My aim is not always, somebody needs to buy this. You just never know where somebody might see your work.

MK: Did you like the public art aspect of working on the movie?

AA: Yes. It was fun doing that. It was a good experience. I do like it when my work can be accessible to more people than just the art world or just gallery openings and exhibitions. Especially since I work with young people, I want y’all to see there are other ways of being artists. You don’t just have to be in the MCA or the Art Institute. Those are great, but look at your whole community.

MK: Do you have any other instances of showing your work outside a gallery setting?

AA: Yeah, similar to with Chi-Raq—maybe early last year, someone from the Haitian Embassy contacted me and said, “We saw your work at Ghetto Biennale in Haiti and wanted to know if you were interested in a group show at the Embassy in Port-au-Prince as part of the Art in Embassies Program?” Now mind you, I had the Art in Embassies photo on my vision board for the past two years, so when they called I was like, “You don’t have to tell me twice!”. There’s this idea that when people leave Haiti they don’t come back. But I want people to see that us younger Haitian Americans, we always love coming back here.

MK: Any projects on the horizon? Future directions?

AA: This summer I plan to go to Benin. Most Haitians came from Benin, the Congo, Togo, and some parts of Central Africa. There’s an arts and cultural organization in Benin that works with young people, so this summer I’m going to work with them.

In Haiti, people know we come from West Africa—but, with the way enslavement happened, there may be people, especially some of the younger people in West Africa who may not understand how Haiti plays a part in our shared history. I really wanna build relationships with some young folks there, make connections and see what comes out of that.

MK: Could you show me some of your work?

AA: A lot of the people in my work are people I know—either family members, friends, people I met through my travels, but we’ve always had conversations. That’s important for me because I’m showing Haitian culture the way I see it, so I want it to be authentic. To me it’s important to have that relationship, especially if you’re gonna be showing somebody’s image everywhere.

A print of a face in reds and oranges. The man has three lines scarred on each cheek.

Language, symbols, nonverbal communication, that’s real big in my work. For a while, I was really into scarification practices, because that’s a way of identifying somebody, being a part of a community. When I was in West Africa, my teacher had these three lines—that’s the Bambara tribe. So I was into showing them with these prints.

This piece is looking at the architecture in Haiti. Whenever I go to Haiti I look at the tower work, the way the houses are structured, the window sections. The window is sculpted out of the cement—all these different shapes. I find that really interesting because you don’t see these a lot everywhere. This is a distinct style.

A lithograph print showing architecture in Haiti.

MK: Do you have a favorite piece?

AA: I have to say this one, because it’s all the elements I love in one. This piece is a lithograph. It’s incorporating my face with a well known sculpture from Benin, the Bronze Head of Queen Idia. I also tied in Haiti—I put the mountains in there, I put the women holding the baskets, abstract, on the head, I put the architecture of the houses in there. I’m always finding a way to layer in a little bit of Haitian culture.

A lithograph of a face made of abstract designs and details showing different aspects of Haitian culture.

MK: Do you have any upcoming shows? If someone wanted to see more of your work, where should they go?

AA: I will be showing some new work at my friend’s event on the 15th of March at Stage Two in Columbia. She has a collective called Synergy, and they’re doing an album release party. It’s an all women hip hop album that she produced. I’m excited about that because, again, I get to show work outside the gallery. The way people talk and the conversations you get to have are different when you’re in different spaces.

And there’s another show in New York at Flux Factory. One of my friends is doing a show for Women’s History Month, for black and brown women. I love artists supporting each other. I’m always down for that.

MK: Is there anything you want to try that you haven’t?

AA: I want to try letterpress, which surprisingly is the one printing technique I haven’t learned. I love words. Why haven’t I tried this? I visited Purgatory Pie Press, a letterpress studio in New York, that does artists’ books, so I was like “collaboration?” and the owners were all for it. I’m really excited. I’ve got a lot of directions, but they all connect in some way.