Posts By: Spudnik Admin

Spudnik Press Announces 2021 Resident Artists

Spudnik Press Cooperative is excited to announce the three Resident Artists in 2021 who will bring new research, programming, and experience to our community: Alexandra Antoine, Mara Baker, and Aaron Hughes. The Residency gives mid-career and established artists full access to our studios for the completion of new print-based artwork, along with a stipend and support from our staff of professional printmakers. Each Resident also engages our community in unique public programming that is connected to their practice, and open to all. In 2021, we are investing in our immediate community of artists and welcoming all Chicago-based artists. In addition to these three newly-awarded Residents, we will be rescheduling residencies that were postponed due to Covid-19.

Alexandra Antoine plans to investigate diasporic foodways as collages of connection and remembrance. Focusing on okra, hibiscus, black eye peas, yuca and collard greens, Antoine’s project aims to create conversation around food traditions, cultural affirmations and self-healing.

Mara Baker‘s work is an extended meditation on the intersection of impermanence and regeneration. This residency will allow the artist to use the leftover residues from her installation practice as the base material for a new series of monotypes that echo the fragility of our material systems.

Aaron Hughes will be utilizing our screen printing and letterpress facilities to create prints for Autonomous Democracy, a project that explores, archives, and celebrates the history of temporary experiments in direct democracy within liberation movements.

Resident Artist Bios:

Aaron Hughes, March/April 2021

Aaron Hughes is an artist, curator, organizer, teacher, anti-war activist, and Iraq War veteran living in Chicago. He works collaboratively in diverse spaces and media to create meaning out of personal and collective trauma, deconstruct and transform systems of oppression, and seek liberation. Working through an interdisciplinary practice rooted in drawing and printmaking, he develops projects that deconstruct militarism and related institutions of dehumanization. These projects often utilize popular research strategies, experiment with forms of direct democracy, and operate in solidarity with the people most impacted by structural violence.

Mara Baker, May/June 2021

Mara Baker is an interdisciplinary artist who combines traditional fiber processes, found materials, animation, light, and video to create multi-dimensional installations, paintings and prints.  Her work is an extended meditation on the intersection of impermanence and regeneration. She reuses materials over and over, further connecting the work to the ethics of recycling and regeneration. Each project builds on the last, often deconstructing and reconstructing elements of previous installations and paintings responding to the architecture and context of each site or surface.

Alexandra Antoine, July 2021

Alexandra Antoine’s process begins with memory, photography and storytelling. She reflects on her time spent in Léogâne, Haiti, the birthplace of her parents, during her childhood and her time there as an adult. She focuses on the conversations she had with the elders in her immediate family where knowledge of lineage, wisdom and laughter were all shared with her. Traditional practices have lead her back to a familial practice she first learned through her maternal grandfather: Farming. Alexandra questions how the farm can serve as an art studio, and the greater relationship between food and art, and what that means for Black communities.

Learn more about the Spudnik Press Artist Residency

Image Credit (left to right): Details of “Cityscapes and Roasted Cauliflower” by Alexandra Antoine, “Chameleon Blind” by Mara Baker, poster by Aaron Hughes.

Shelter In The Speculative: New Works by Spudnik Press Members

Featured Artists:

Teresita Carson Valdez, Sam Hensley, Miller & Shellabarger, Yasaman Moussavi, Kianni Pleasant-Bey, Joshi Radin, Don Widmer


Ruby T


11/9/2020 – 1/9/2021


Spudnik Press Cooperative (Annex)


Shelter in the Speculative | Virtual Reception & Artists Talk
Monday, November 30
7:00 – 8:30 p.m. 
Zoom Meeting ID: 966 4803 1564

Shelter in the Speculative | Gallery Hours
Most Mondays 2:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Most Thursdays 2:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Most Fridays 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 12, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. with Don Widmer
Most Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. with Sam Hensley

Press Release:

For the 2020 Member Exhibition, Juror Ruby T has selected artworks that have a powerful physical presence: works that feel like a form of shelter, or are an extension or impression of the artist’s own body. During the pandemic, and mass movements for revolution, this exhibition asks: What kinds of physical and relational structures will we need, or need to build, in order to survive? How will the warmth and softness of our bodies guide us? 

In Audre Lorde’s 1978 essay “Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic As Power,” she defines the erotic as “…a measure between the beginnings of our sense of self and the chaos of our strongest feelings. It is an internal sense of satisfaction to which, once we have experienced it, we know we can aspire.” She goes on to write: In touch with the erotic, I become less willing to accept powerlessness, or those other supplied states of being which are not native to me, such as resignation, despair, self-effacement, depression, self-denial.”

Kianni Pleasant-Bey includes excerpts from Lorde’s essay in Fever Dream, a soft altar space rooted in protecting and nurturing Black femmes/womxn and all that they embody. Sometimes prayerful, sometimes geometric, sometimes grim, all of the works in this exhibition show reverence for the power of the erotic and the sensual to help us navigate pleasure, illness, rest, memorial, and violence. 

Like a body, an artwork experiences and projects a physical life as it moves through the world. Experiencing art in this time of pandemic, we can more closely approach an artist’s work than we can the artist. With their rich textures and tactile materials, the works in this exhibition are further activated by proximity. 

Yasaman Moussavi’s Revelation paper pulp sculpture references the traditional central courtyard of Persian domestic architecture as a site of spatial and social interactions, along with family correspondence as a means of emotional and social exchange between family members in and far away from home.

Teresita Carson Valdez’s work draws inspiration from translation as world building, the histories of cloth, the palimpsest, the creation of new traditions and archeological imagery as markers of temporality. Her screen-printed and dyed cloth sculpture, A novena for the plague, feels like a sacred object for private prayer, made public via the extreme circumstances of the pandemic, undergirded by the movement of bodies through global trade and displacement. 

Even when viewed remotely, these works still insist on an awareness of our own spatial relationship to the artists’ bodies and internal worlds, via the stand-in, or symbolic object of the work. Miller & Shellabarger‘s Untitled pressure prints show layers upon layers of hands, giving the impression of being reached toward, or beckoned. The process for creating these images relies on physical pressure or force to create this bodily imprint, underscoring the labor and rhythm of human relationships— a theme at the heart of this collaboration between the married artists. Their gestures shift between moments of togetherness and separation, private and public, protection and pain, and visibility and invisibility. 

Don Widmer’s Darkness and Light, an artist flag book, presents quotes by Etty Hillesum, a Dutch mystic and writer, who documented her life during the German occupation of Amsterdam and her experiences at Westerbork concentration camp. The harsh, stacked geometry of the black book evokes a prison cell block, rooting our current crises of incarceration and fascism in the historical. 

Joshi Radin’s CardboardRecord006_1, made from found packing materials and used clothing in infant proportions, feels like an ultrasound from outer space after the aliens got their hands on our cardboard waste. The print records the marking of an absent body, as both a unit and a package, on a horizontal plane. 

Sam Hensley’s Little Like Yourself presents an animatronic sculpture of a mythical creature resting atop a miniature bed, its breathing slow and belabored. This piece evokes reclaimed experiences of chronic illness and disability, in which rest may be proudly claimed and celebrated. Beds become more than of convalescence, but also soft zones of  pleasure and even performance—bed as stage, stage as shelter, shelter as communion between bodies near and far.   

This exhibition’s optimism comes from its insistence on human touch, physical care and pleasure, and the act of sheltering each other, as if to say: “Even during apocalypse, even when we must rebuild everything, we will still have our bodies and each other’s bodies.”

Image Credit, clockwise from top left:

  • Yasaman Moussavi, Revelation 2, 2019, handmade paper and screenprint (detail)
  • Kianni Pleasant-Bey, Fever Dream, 2019, mixed media (detail)
  • Joshi Radin, Cardboard Record 006, 2020, monotype (detail)
  • Teresita Carson Valdez, A Novena for the Plague, 2019, screenprint, silk, dye discharge (detail)
  • Sam Hensley, Little Like Yourself, 2019, animatronic sculpture and zine (detail)
  • Miller & Shellebarger, Untitled 2, 2019, pressure print
  • Don Widmer, Darkness and Light: Words of Etty Hillesum, 2020, artist book (detail)

Portfolio Review Sessions with Regina Martinez

Wednesday, December 9, 2020
3:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Spudnik Press, 1821 W Hubbard, Suite 302

$20 for Spudnik Press Members
Register Online

As part of our mission to unite our community of artists with art professionals throughout Chicago, we offer portfolio reviews throughout the year. Each artist that signs up for a portfolio review will receive a 30-minute, private review with a curator, educator, gallery director, or arts administrator.

This is a unique opportunity for artists to receive feedback on a current body of work or upcoming project, as well as suggestions on how to prepare for other professional opportunities. Participating artists should bring a portfolio of current work to share with the guest reviewer.

Guest Reviewer: Regina Martinez

Regina Martinez is passionate about artists’ support and collaborative tension. She is influenced broadly from degrees in photojournalism and social and economic development. For five years, she was Artistic Director of a neighborhood art space called the Pink House in St. Louis (MO). She is a collector of children’s artwork. She is co-creator of the clothesline (St. Louis)a monthly audio/visual installation alive for one night only. Most recently she managed programs with Threewalls in Chicago. She is currently working towards an MA of Sound Arts and Industry at Northwestern University.

Registration Details:

Space is limited to five artists. Advanced registration is required. The non-refundable registration fee can be paid online. Please register by Monday, November 30. Staff will notify artists of what time slot they have been assigned by Tuesday December 1. Please contact staff if you would like to request a specific time slot.

COVID-19 Precautions:

Please review our COVID-19 studio procedures before arriving. Members will meet in the Annex. Staff will sanitize surfaces between sessions. Virtual sessions on Zoom are an option for people unable to visit the studio in person. Please note that screen-sharing a website or digital images will offer better image quality than sharing works using Zoom video.

Place Your Bids: Our Annual Auction Is Live!

Browse Our Auction and place your bids by October 18th at 8:30 p.m. CST.

Collectors can bid on artwork across many mediums including prints published by Spudnik Press and a selection of exclusive cyanotypes, as well as handmade goods, homewares, and experiences. For artist-donated items, up to 25% of each final bid will directly support the artist.

As a vital support structure for printmakers, Spudnik has always been one of the most flexible and accessible in the country, with many doorways into our studios and many new projects using us as their foundation. This auction aims to raise $22,000 to support our ongoing work.

New Editions By: Antonia ControErin HaydenSteve Reinke, and Selina Trepp

Artwork By: Julia ArredondoLeslie Baum, Théo Bignon, Ben BlountLiz Born, Elizabeth Burke-Dain, Holly CahillZachary CahillZoë CharltonC.C. Ann ChenHyegyeong ChoiRyan Travis Christian, Stephen Eichhorn, Stevie Cisneros HanleySue CoeClaire DainCeleste DeLunaMatt DemersEdie FakeBill FickMarc BenjaTony FitzpatrickSanya GlisicAdriane HermanCody HudsonCarol JacksonJaclyn JackunskiVesna JovanovickgWon KimJaime KnightChad KouriDave KrzeminskiAbe LampertBobbi MeierBenjamin MerrittDutes MillerJessie MottJohn NeffErin Jane NelsonBetsy OdomJason PicklemanB. QuinnBrad RholoffTemporary ServicesMiller & ShellabargerStan ShellabargerVeronica SiehlHugh SpectorOrkideh TorabiLisa Vinebaun, and Toshi Yoshida


Image above: Adriane Herman, Wreckage Salad (Low High Chair); 2017

With Renewed Urgency: New Editions from Spudnik Press

Featured Artists:

Candida Alvarez, Alexandra Antoine, Judith Brotman, Andrea Carlson, Celeste DeLuna, Brendan Fernandes, Azadeh Gholizadeh, Erin Hayden, Benjamin Merritt, Jessie Mott, Paul Nudd, João Oliveria, Steve Reinke, Joe Tallarico, Selina Trepp


8/24/2020 – 10/31/2020


Spudnik Press Cooperative (Printshop & Annex)


Open House
Saturday, September 13, 2020
1:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Press Release:

With Renewed Urgency is our annual exhibition featuring new prints by 15 artists, created through our Residency and Invitational Publishing Programs. This exhibition reflects on the unique power of a printmaking studio to breathe new life into the art making process, and how we depend on art during times of crisis for solace and meaning. Our title and theme With Renewed Urgency is also a chance to reflect on how the current pandemic has escalated already existing social emergencies that many of our featured artists have long been making work about. The call of Andrea Carlson and Celeste De Luna’s Indigenous Futurism rings even louder, as capitalism and colonization turn COVID-19 into an economic disaster. Others like Selina Trepp and Benjamin Merritt give us critical and pleasurable ways to reconsider what it means for an artist to remain homebound, reduce their material consumption, or need to rest because of an illness.

Other show highlights include a collagraph impression of the pelt of a plastic animal by our first international Resident Artist, João Oliveira, organized in collaboration with Comfort Station and funded by the MacArthur Foundation’s International Connections Fund. The prints from Ten x Ten show a collaboration between visual artists and musicians exploring the translation of artistic gestures across media.

The Spudnik Press Cooperative Residency Program provides professional printmakers unfettered studio access for new projects. The Publishing Program welcomes artists from a variety of contemporary disciplines, ranging from painting and drawing to performance and experiential art making, to enter a centuries-old tradition of developing a fine art print in collaboration with professional printers. Through these programs, Spudnik Press invites a diverse range of artists to continue printmaking’s unique history as a fine art, a master craft, and a social practice. With Renewed Urgency showcases traditional process and new experiments in screenprint, intaglio, relief, collagraph, and digital printing, as well as an impressive range of monotype techniques and prints that used the plate-making process as a form of sculpture. By installing the exhibition throughout the printshop in which the artwork was produced, we embrace our goal of encouraging artists and audiences to move through a variety of creative roles: making, experiencing, learning, and teaching. Placing the artwork into an active print studio highlights connection among the creative, the analytical and the technical processes of art making.

Left: Benjamin Merrit, Nap Suite
Right, clockwise from top left: Alexandra Antoine, Nkrabea: A coming together; Jessie Mott, OF SOUND AND LINE; Selina Trepp, 7 beats, don’t want to do 8, it’s too square; Azadeh Gholizadeh, Memory Bubbles

Calling All Talents: Annual Benefit Virtual Variety Show

On October 3rd, Spudnik Press will be hosting a virtual benefit that includes our famous art auction and our first ever online variety show! We invite you to amaze and entertain our supporters from around the globe!

  • Think you’ve got the fastest squeegee chops in town? Challenge a friend to a print off!
  • Been perfecting your underwater basketweaving in quarantine? This is your chance for a live broadcast from the tub!
  • Have some other hidden talent, gift of gab, or secret passion that craves an audience? Bring it to life at Spudnik Press!

We welcome everything from world debuts to masterful crafts. Friendly rivalries, audience engagement, and alter egos are especially encouraged.

The Nitty Gritty:

  • Acts should be 1-10 minutes in length
  • Can be pre-recorded or live
  • Can be done remotely or on-site at Spudnik Press
  • $40 Thank You honorarium for all performers

To apply, please fill out this form by August 16th at midnight. We will notify you by August 23.

Questions? E-mail Program Assistant Anders Zanichkowsky:

Drink & Draw [VIRTUAL]: Call for Artists

We’re seeking proposals for our Drink & Draw [VIRTUAL] series on Wednesday nights from 7:00 – 9:00 CST.

If you are interested in being a Drink & Draw Guest Artists, please email and share:

  • Your idea for a fun and casual art-making activity that people can do from home using materials they’re likely to have on hand.
  • If you have prior teaching experience.

Events have included survivalist bookmaking, optical illusions, hand-drawn typefaces, DIY protest art, and much more. Check out our past events for inspiration, or come join an upcoming Drink & Draw to get inspired!

Spudnik Press provides technical support, event promotion, co-hosting during the event, a chance for you to do an Instagram Takeover. We also have a Virtual Tip Jar, and give the first $40 of tips to the Guest Artist as a token of our gratitude.

We’re so excited to see what you come up with!

Call for Art: Member Highlights at Spudnik Press Annual Benefit

The Spudnik Press Annual Benefit Committee is excited to announce our first ever virtual benefit,  Blue Print, which is moving online due to COVID-19 restrictions. This is an unexpected yet exciting shift which allows us to reach more supporters beyond the city of Chicago! As always, we will be reserving space in our art auction to highlight the work of Spudnik Press members, this time for a much wider audience.

Each year our art auction is viewed by hundreds of people and brings together over 150 people including curators and gallerists from the MCA, DePaul Art Museum, AIC, Hyde Park Art Center, and many more.  This year, the artwork will be featured in an online auction which will be open for bidding by anyone around the world.

The Annual Benefit, our largest fundraiser of the year, is a crucial component to supporting Spudnik Press studios and programs. More than any year before, these critical funds are needed to keep the Spudnik doors open through 2020 and beyond. It is our aim to raise $35,000 to ensure the future of Spudnik Press, and we need your submissions to help us do that!

In recognizing that this isn’t just a difficult time for Spudnik, but a difficult time for so many of us, we are also offering the option for Spudnik members to retain up to 25% of the sale. We look forward to getting through these challenges together.


  • Submissions are free and open to all current Spudnik Press members.
  • Artists may submit up to 3 artworks for consideration by staff and the Annual Benefit Committee. (Some, none, or all may be selected.)
  • Selected artists may retain 25% or 10% of the sale price, or choose to donate the entire amount to Spudnik Press.
  • Selected artists will receive two virtual General Admission tickets to our online event. 


  • You must be a current member of Spudnik Press Cooperative.
  • Work must be valued over $100* (our average bid is over $400!) It’s encouraged that work is submitted unframed, since we will be shipping work after the auction. If any work requires special installation instructions, please include that in the submission form. 

Complete the Online Submission Form by Sunday, August 9, 2020 (midnight). This form requires a Google login. For questions or issues, please contact Anders Zanichkowsky, Program Assistant, before August 6 at 5pm.

Submission Requirements:

  • Upload one to three works and up to two files representing each work. Files must be named Name_Title_FileNumber and can be up to 10MB each. Only the first three works, and only the first two files of each work, will be shown to the committee. These files will be what the committee uses to select work for the Benefit.
  • Completed Google Form which will ask details about the work including File Name, Title, Dimensions, Year, and Media for each file submitted.
  • Work Statement (Optional, Up to 100 words) addressing the work you are submitting and any details that you would like listed with the online auction, should the artwork be accepted.

Artists will be notified by August 23, 2020 and selected work must be delivered to Spudnik Press by September 4th at 6:00 p.m.. 

*Are you interested in submitting a lower price point item? We appreciate that many of our members are making affordable print-based work and we want to offer an opportunity to highlight those makers as well. Our VIP guests will be receiving a gift package with items like zines, prints, and goods created by our members. If you’re interested in submitting work for these gift packages, please fill out this form.

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.


  • 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.


  • 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: 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:

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