Posts By: Spudnik

Spudnik Press @ The Milwaukee Ave Arts Festival

Sketch of concept for large-scale, site specific sculpture for BIG by Andy De La Rosa

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival

On-site screen printing

Friday, July 23, 2010
4pm – 11pm
Max Gerber Parking Lot
Washtenaw and Milwaukee Avenue

For one night only, we’ll be joining the Milwaukee Ave Arts Festival, a new event featuring dozens of art exhibitions, performances, and a spectrum of live music along Milwaukee Avenue (2250–2850 North Milwaukee in Chicago). We will be contributing to a pop-up sculpture garden in the parking lot of the defunct Max Gerber Showroom. Festival-goers are invited to try their hand at screen printing a design created at Spudnik just for this event.

July 7th, Drink & Draw

Drink and Draw


Wednesday July 7, 2010
Booze provided (or BYOB)
Suggested Donation: $5
@ Spudnik Press
1821 W Hubbard, Suite 308
Chicago, IL 60622

Our Monthly Drink & Draw! Wed., July 7, 7:00 at Spudnik Press… Drink and Draw is our monthly night devoted to drawing practices. There’s no teacher and no pretensions. We provide a theme for the evening and some booze. Attendees provide a sketchbook and drawing utensils. Please come, and bring your friends while you’re at it.

July’s theme is Comics! We’ll make a group strip or you can work on your own epic tale while sipping our theme drink, the classic Tom Collins. Drawing materials encouraged!

3 Year Anniversary

Three Far Out Years

Spudnik Press Fundraiser and Celebration
Saturday, July 24, 2010

Open House

11-4 pm at Spudnik Press Cooperative,
1821 W Hubbard, Suite 308

Fundraiser and Celebration

at Happy Dog Gallery,
1542 N Milwaukee, 2nd Floor
6 pm – Midnight
Silent Auction ends at 10pm

Spudnik Press invites you to attend our Open House and Fundraiser. Spudnik Press Cooperative is hosting a full day of festivities in recognition of three far out years of community print making.

During Open House Spudnik members will be providing free demonstrations. Visitors will be able to make their own greeting card or a patch with materials provided by the studio, and are encouraged to bring any addition materials to print on. Anyone interested in learning more about the studio is encouraged to come by, see our collection of prints, ask questions, and basque in the energy of community art making.

In the evening, festivities will move to Happy Dog Gallery. Jazz ensemble New Now Know How will perform. The event is free, but all guests who contribute $10 will receive a complimentary print. $25 donations will receive a block printed T-shirt made on site. All contributions will support Spudnik’s artist residency program, open studio sessions, free workshops, and new equipment. In addition to the auction, we will be releasing Lilli Carré newest artist book created through our residency program.

Featured Artists:

Sanya Glisic, Rachel Niffenegger, Paul Nudd, Jeremy Tinder, Sonnenzimmer, Ellen Gradman, Sue Coe, Michael Miller, Andrew Blair, Cynthia King, Jeremy Lundquist, Wrik Repasky, Dutes Miller, Alex Chitty, Kathryn Rodrigues, Kim Heiney, Minna Sora, Angee Lennard, Jessica Taylor, Laura Szumowski, Liz Born, Brian Hoffmeister, Stano Grezdo, Pablo Phillipps, Erick Jurado, Dan Falco, Stacey Colangelo, Julia Hendrickson, Mischa Kegan, Daniel Mellis, Justin Santora, Jay Ryan (The Bird Machine), Tom Wilder, and Fred Stone & Chris Flynn (donated by Anchor Graphics, a program of the Art & Design Department at Columbia College Chicago).

New Now Know How:

Tony Barba – Saxophone
Robin Boudreaux – Saxophone
Quin Kirchner – Drums
Matt Ulery – Bass

Fall Residency Opportunity

Looking for opportunities to make lots of prints this Fall?
Here’s your chance!

This is just a reminder that the Fall Residency application is due July 1. The application is straight-forward, and painless, and being a resident artist is really quite fun.

Fall Residency Period:
Sept 1 – Nov 30

Notification will be sent approximately 1 month after application deadline.

Follow this link to see the Residency portion of our website where you can read all the juicy details, download the application, and see what projects previous residents tackled. Applications can be e-mailed to with all required documents and images attached, and sent through the good old post office.

Notification will be sent approximately 1 month after application deadline.

Building (and Revising) A Community Studio

Last week, we hosted The Local Residency, a panel discussion organized through Studio Chicago. Studio Chicago asked me to be a guest blogger, and below I have re-posted an article that I wrote that gives a little insight into the creation of Spudnik Press.

Building (and Revising) A Community Studio

A short review of the creation of Spudnik Press Cooperative

In establishing Spudnik Press, I aimed to create a community that allows artists all the benefits of working among peers without the compromising their own studio practice. Another main concern was to create a space that was sustainable. I had seen too many interesting projects deteriorate because of unstable economics or administrative support.

I aim to share a few stages of Spudnik’s development that led me to the current “business model” we are using. Instead of focusing on particular problems that could arise, I will address thematically my approach to developing Spudnik Press Cooperative. I have outlined the core principals that guide the choices made at the studio. Returning to these fundamental goals of the studio has helped me through tough decisions regarding how the space should be funded, how exactly we should provided accessibility, and how to allocate use of the studio.

Building the Foundation
Planning a new project is one of my favorite things to do. Envisioning what something can be and creating a plan to achieve those visions is rewarding and fun. However, I found the period immediately following this, to be the most daunting and lonely…

In the initial stages of any project, there is a lack of evidence that the project will be successful. This causes skepticism. I continually asked for favors and quickly became indebt to most people I was close with.

Growing the Studio
Once Spudnik was officially open, it gained momentum very gradually. Although our early Open Studio sessions were often quiet, I was able to effectively use this time to research the next stage of the press. We gradually added materials and tools as well as classes, portfolio exchanges, additional hours, memberships, and a residency program. Increased programming was matched with increased volunteering and income. Gradually there was a welcoming shift from me asking for help to help being offered to Spudnik.

Reflection and compression
At this point, I decided it was time to move Spudnik Press out of my apartment. Spudnik went through a period in which printers did not feel ownership over the studio. Printers felt that the space was my own, and that they could not (and should not!) partake in decision-making. The press had recently moved from my apartment space to a dedicated commercial space. Printers overly respected that I had built the studio from the ground up, and didn’t want to infringe upon my goals and aspirations. As respectful as this was, it was also problematic because I wasn’t entering the role of Director with prior experience. I needed help determining our direction. Additionally, we started to outgrow the systems that I had created when we were a fledgling print shop. I was eager to keep growing and expanding, but need to pause and readdress what roles Spudnik could and should serve in a more thorough way than was possible when I was in the planning stage.

Some of the projects I spent time on were pragmatic like website development and streamlined accounting through improved excel formulas. I also extensively researched how other studios provide access and establish fees for use of the space. I created surveys and held meetings. Eventually, I was able to come to some conclusions about how Spudnik should move forward. I increased transparency and was very open about Spudnik’s need for a participatory community. I streamlined more of the day-to-day administration of the shop and made a distinct plan for the next year, allowing me to enter a second period of growth.

Growing the Capacity of the Space
Many of the earlier difficulties have been replaced with new ones. For example, we no longer have to plead for volunteers. Instead, we are struggling to find the best ways to effectively utilize multiple volunteers. We are working to maintain balance among the various uses of the space, and working on long-term goals like applying for tax-exemption and seeking outside funding. Instead of expanding the programs offered, we are working to maximize the capacity and the impact of the programs.

I currently don’t have the luxury of being able to step aside to reflect and compress, but need to do these things while growing and expanding. I also am reaching a point where the things I need to learn to stay a step ahead of the game are larger and more daunting topics. Without a background in law, accounting, real estate, art administration, or experience as a press technician or manager, I am reaching out to a larger network of people. I am utilizing other organizations like Lawyers for the Creative Arts, other print shops like Anchor Graphics, individuals serving on our board of directors, and members of Spudnik Press.


While researching ways to structure our studio, I looked to many other established print shops. I borrowed heavily from some of the philosophies and structures of the following places: AS220 Printshop, Chicago Printmaker’s Collaborative, Flight 64, Lill Street, The Post Family, and All Along Press.

In the end, I settled upon the following principals to guide decisions regarding use of the studio:

Allowing Self-Determination: Through maintaining independence from any institution and not depending on restricted funding, such as grants, we are able to determine our own priorities and allot funding appropriately. We aim to support the studio through earned income. We will seek grants to improve and expand what we are able to provide the community, but not rely on grants to make ends meet.

Creating a Culture of Learning: When conceptualizing new classes, determining pricing structures, and developing new programming, we focus on creating multiple avenues for members to grow their artistic practice. Offering classes creates the opportunity for people to learn. However, if we intentionally foster particular types of interactions, learning (and teaching) becomes practically unavoidable for those using the studio.

Supporting Varied Studio Practices: By providing multiple ways an artist can use a space, we can enhance their artistic production and output instead of hinder it. Allowing the artist to determine how they wish to function in the space allows printmaking to be fluidly integrated into their studio practices. Artists are welcomed in whenever a print project presents itself.

Support the Artist beyond the Project: By working with artists beyond the print process alone, we are able to help them realize their artistic goals. For example, by providing artwork documentation and representation at shows and sales such as NEXT and Renegade, we are able to help artists have the tools they need to increase their exposure, apply for grants and residencies, and supplement their income through their art.

Maintaining Relevancy to our Community: The studio is a place for diverse people to interact, engage with each other, and be affected by each other. The studio is also a place where content is made to take out to the community and create the visual culture of a city. By working with artists from multiple disciplines, varying age groups, diverse backgrounds, we are able to bridge communities. By partnering with organizations that work in fields beyond our own such as Homeroom Chicago and Marwen we preserve relevancy beyond exclusively printmakers and printed matter.

Incorporating Evolution into our Structure: Recognizing that the particular people and projects that support our community will change over time allows for the studio to progress. We often reprioritize based on what resources we have on hand and what skill sets our volunteers and interns are bringing to the studio. We are constantly revisiting and altering studio availability as we become more or less reliant on particular sources of income. We have diversified our sources of income such that one area can decline without the studio loosing our stability. Our flexibility allows us to find alternative means to supplement our income, such as private lessons and consignment printing.

Summer Artist in Residence: Jessica Taylor

As soon as Jessica returns from her travels to Estonia, she will be spending her summer completing a new body of work utilizing intaglio processes. We are quite excited to have her working at Spudnik, and look forward to seeing what she creates! See more of her work at her website or read an excerpt from her proposal.

June Drink & Draw

Drink and Draw

Surrealist Games

Wednesday June 2, 2010
Wine provided (or BYOB)
Suggested Donation: $5
@ Spudnik Press
1821 W Hubbard, Suite 308
Chicago, IL 60622

Our Monthly Drink & Draw! Wed., April 7, 7:00 at Spudnik Press… Drink and Draw is our monthly night devoted to drawing practices. There’s no teacher and no pretensions. We provide a theme for the evening and some booze. Attendees provide a sketchbook and drawing utensils. Please come, and bring your friends while you’re at it.
June’s Drink & Draw will put the playing back in art-making. We’ve dug up some great surrealist games, such as exquisite corpse, automatic drawing, frottage, decalomania & coulage. So, bring your imagination, some friends & a few drawing materials!

Drink and Draw

This month, the friendly folks atYouMeThemEverybody paid us a visit during our monthly Drink and Draw.

“The kind people at Spudnik invited me to come to their monthly Drink and Draw. I did not draw. I drank. I also talked to nice people. They let me put a recorder in their face. It made both of us uncomfortable.”

You can here the podcast here.

You can look at pictures from the event here.

Etching 101 with Alex Chitty

Etching 101

with Alex Chitty

begining May 11, 2010
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:30-9:30pm

If you have a dangerous doodle habit, this etching class is an exciting opportunity to familiarize yourself with a new medium. By utilizing a variety of mark making tools and techniques, students will learn to create fancy lines, blubbery lines, furious lines, carefree lines, and everything in between. The class will also explore a process called “Sugar Lift”, which not only sounds cool, but looks cool too, and uses shades and tones to create images in the copper plate. Students will learn to translate their personal style of drawing and painting to fine art printmaking.

This class will meet twice-weekly. All demonstrations of new processes will happen on Tuesdays, when etching students will have the entire studio to themselves. On Thursdays, students will share the studio with Open Studio printers while working on their independent projects. Alex will be on hand to provide endless expert advice.

Students will need to supply plates and paper. All other materials are provided. Students are encouraged to purchase their own tools to enable work to be done outside of class. Basic tools are provided for use at Spudnik, but cannot be taken home.

May 5th Drink & Draw: Imaginary Creatures

Drink and Draw

Imaginary Creatures

Wednesday May 5, 2010
Booze provided (or BYOB)
Suggested Donation: $5
@ Spudnik Press
1821 W Hubbard, Suite 308
Chicago, IL 60622

Drink and Draw is our monthly night devoted to drawing practices. There’s no teacher and no pretensions. We provide a theme for the evening and some booze. Attendees provide a sketchbook and drawing utensils. Please come, and bring your friends while you’re at it.

May’s Theme is IMAGINARY CREATURES. We’ll have books & taxidermy to help you get inspired, but the rest is up to you and your juiced up brain. Our theme drink is a delicious classic- Tiger’s Milk (not the muscle-building stuff) or you can BYOB. ALSO! We’ll be featuring the much adored podcast “You, Me, Them, Everybody”. They will be recording an episode of our little monthly get-together for the web- you can finally tell your mom you’ve made it.

Printervention at Chicago Tourism Center Gallery

Printervention // Printing for the Public

Opening Reception Friday, April 16, 2010 5pm – 7pm
@ Chicago Tourism Center Gallery
72 E Randolph // Chicago

Following the success of last years’ Version Festival program: the Bridgeport WPA pilot project, we have asked artists from around the country to create works that raise awareness of social and political issues of our day.

Printervention debuts April 16, 2010 at the The Chicago Tourism Center Gallery and continues through Version Festival to include workshops, a mobile silkscreen cart, a window display at The Whistler and more. For more information and a complete schedule of events and participants please visit

Printervention, organized by Emily Clayton, Chris Roberson and Ed Marszewski, is part of Version Festival 2010, an annual arts festival in Chicago produced by the Public Media Institute that brings together hundreds of artists, musicians and educators from around the world.

Collaborative Studios Discussion at the Cultural Center

Collaborative Studios

Angee Lennard Speaks at the Chicago Cultural Center

Thursday, April 22, 2010
6:00pm – 7:30pm

Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington
Chicago, IL 60602

Chuck Thurow, former director of the Hyde Park Art Center, will uncover the inner workings of Chicago’s many collaborative studios. He will be joined by Pearl Dick of Chicago Hot Glass, Angee Lennard of Spudnik Press, and Bruce Robbins of Lill Street Studios. They will lead a discussion on the character of these studios: what is the process of starting and maintaining a facility geared for processes that involved group participation and specialized equipment? How can the creative benefits of these collaborative environments be maximized? How do the novice and the seasoned artist mix in these settings? And what opportunities are there for local artists from learning to residencies at these facilities?