Posts By: Studio Assistant

I’m calling from a great distance

Featured Artists:

Alex Kostiw


4/7/2017 – 4/29/2017


The Annex @ Spudnik Press

Corresponding Events:

Opening Reception & Artist Talk:

Friday, March 3, 2017

Press Release:

Spudnik Press Cooperative presents new work by Chicago-based artist Alex Kostiw. She is an artist and graphic designer based in Chicago. Her practice combines short stories and experimental comics with book design and printmaking. She is interested in themes of fragmentation, communication, and incomprehensibility. Using interactive book formats and minimal visual and textual detail, she crafts loose narratives that reveal something more felt than understood. Her work offers readers traces of subjects that remain largely inaccessible. Kostiw received an M.F.A. in visual communication design from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a B.A. in English literature from the University of Chicago.

The exhibition, titled “I’m calling from a great distance,” through a variety of miniature and postcard-sized prints, large-scale artworks, and an artist’s book of indecipherable texts, relates the communications between a lighthouse keeper and an interplanetary explorer. The work explores the tension between physical distance and the closeness that technology can create; memory; and the scale of humanity. The prints are divided into two series. One details a sequence of a woman turning around. The other depicts planets and abstracted landscapes. The gallery becomes as a space for this two-part story to unfold.

During recent travel, Kostiw’s interest in immeasurable spaces shifted from metaphorical interior or mental spaces to physical ones. She was drawn to parallels between explorers in history who crossed oceans and the speculative exploration of other planets. She finds intrigue in the gut-wrenching contrast in size between the ocean or space and the individual, as well as in exploration as an expression of, and cause for, longing.

Throughout her practice, Kostiw’s interest is as much in what a story presents as in what it does not—in what is not said or done, as in what is. Oceans and outer space are settings that sharply highlight the inconsequentiality of humankind, but also our need for intimacy and our yearning for connection at the heart of the story.

Paper to Plastic

Featured Artists:

Viraj Mithani


2/3/17 – 2/25/17


The Annex @ Spudnik Press

Corresponding Events:

Opening Reception & Artist Talk:

Friday, February 3, 2017

Press Release:

Spudnik Press Cooperative presents new work by Chicago-based artist Viraj Mithani.  The exhibition, titled “Paper to Plastic” explores time and contemporary printmaking. It investigates the relationship between the hierarchy of print, painting and drawing by challenging the established norms of the mediums. By combining painting techniques with both traditional printing processes and digital prints, Paper to Plastic questions the historical segregation between the mediums. It further explores the fading practice of traditional printmaking processes and sustainable way of living with the oversaturation of digital technology. Responding to these phenomena, the constructed forms and images capture the permanence of constant change, and evoke feelings of inevitable destruction.

I Will Love You Forever/Hans + Eva Rausing 4/1/2012/7/10/2012

Featured Artists:

Jake Saunders


3/3/2017 – 3/25/2017


The Annex @ Spudnik Press

Corresponding Events:

Opening Reception & Artist Talk:

Friday, March 3, 2017

Press Release:

Spudnik Press Cooperative presents new work by Chicago-based artist Jake Saunders.  The exhibition, titled “I Will Love You Forever/Hans + Eva Rausing 4/1/12-7/10/12” is a body of work by Chicago artist, Jake Saunders. In this series of etchings, the artist employs events surrounding a three month period in the relationship between Eva and Hans Kristian Rausing. These works mine for aesthetic tropes and symbolism while occupying landscapes reminiscent of European Romantic Era artists such as Fuseli, Gericault and Goya. Amalgamating these events and symbols with those of his own life, Jake conveys the deeply personal through the veil the Rausings. Merging the idiosyncratic with that of the publicly known, Jake contemplates love, anxiety, loss and the malleability of narrative.

Member Interview: Kevin Brouillette

Kevin Brouillette is a recent Columbia graduate and native Chicagoan who flies by the seat of his bicycle. He’s an entrepreneurial graphic designer who focuses on print and web design.

Spudnik Press Cooperative (SPC): Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.

In general, what I do is a mix of print and web media. I’ve been trying to focus a lot on print lately­–which has been really good. What I do most of my days is work on designing service industry/restaurant materials that will help promote the café environment, from menus and signage to things that are graphic for the inside of a café.

(SPC): What do you do when you’re not working or designing?

I try to volunteer with charities if I can. I helped out with Food & Water Watch for a while. I like coffee culture and going out for cocktails. I bike a lot. I bike almost everywhere I go and just carry all my stuff with me. I kind of have a mobile workflow so I’m always on the move.


(SPC): How do you feel that being on the go constantly has affected your design practice?

I’ll have a day where I feel like I’ve done something very substantial. That is what drives me and motivates me to do more. Each day I like to get something solid done. Being on the go gives me the flexibility to jump from place to place whenever I feel like–which is really nice. It’s stimulating and helps me keep my mind and environment fresh.

(SPC): Tell me a little about Limitless (LMTLSS) Branding.

That was my original thing I started back in 2009. I worked with my friend Eric Youngberg to collaborate. Limitless was a brand name for us. I did the whole design concept for it and Eric did all of the back end coding and development aspects. We made a handful of websites together. Another aspect of Limitless is that we used to screen print t-shirts with my friend Clare Byrne who does illustration. Right now Eric and I are working on a brand new site for Dollop- but we don’t call that Limitless since I work for Dollop Coffee now.


(SPC): How do you approach print design vs. web design?

I think the approach is similar. With print I do a little more work with creating concept boards. With web I find a few ideas or concepts generally that I like in different websites that I see online and then start taking those ideas and apply them to what I’m working on. I usually start with a clearer end goal for web as opposed to a print project. I’m very pre-meditated due to the level of collaboration.

(SPC): What kinds of things are influencing your work right now?

A lot of time when I’m given a project I try to do some research to find some things to make references to. For a recent project, I started out researching old bakeries around Chicago with archival photos to use as reference points as how a bakery in Chicago looks- then and now. I look online a lot for influences. Particularly how other people are using type. Typography is something that I focus on a lot­–collecting and finding typefaces that I like.

(SPC): What’s your favorite thing about Chicago?

Chicago has a really strong design community. I try to go to different events because I really thrive off of inspiration from other artists. Everyone is very supportive of each other, which is something that I really appreciate. It’s a collaborative effort when you really get down to it.


(SPC): How did you get into designing for coffee brands? Do you think you’d be in a similar line of work if you lived elsewhere?

I don’t think so. It’s a very fun story how I got into working on coffee brands specifically. My whole time in Chicago has been cohesive with all of this. Back when I was 16 I started working in a café out in the burbs where I grew up. They serve Metropolis Coffee there. I developed a very strong brand loyalty to the Metropolis brand because I liked their design work and I liked their coffee. I worked for them for about 3 years and then started going to Columbia so I moved to the city to be closer to school. During that time I was looking for a new job but knew I wanted to work somewhere with Metropolis coffee. I had visited Dollop in Streeterville, which is our main location. While I was there I just happened to meet this guy named Dan Weiss, who is the owner of Dollop Coffee. About 6 months later I sent him an email and we got in touch to start working there. Everything worked out exactly how I wanted it. I did café work with Dan for about 2 years at Dollop. Dan slowly started shooting ideas my way since he knew I was interested in design. We started collaborating from there and started doing more and more. Firebelly Designs is a really great design firm that created the initial branding for Dollop back in 2012. I really look up to them. So now I fill in the gap and make things that stem from what that they created as the Dollop brand has become more established.

(SPC): Since you are rooted in the web world and branding, how do you feel about social media as a marketing tool for designers and printmakers?

I’m more inclined to follow a designer on social media that posts more about their day-to-day life and things they’re doing as well. Things that they interact with day-to-day influence their work in some way or another. I think design relies so heavily on culture, so for a designer to only post their designs seems less authentic.


(SPC): What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on?

Most of the past four months has been spent designing identities for new Dollop cafes as they expand. We try to design them around the neighborhood so that they shift with the audience. Right now my big thing is working on the new location for Dollop in Hyde Park. It’s on the University of Chicago’s campus. It is very graphic and interior design oriented. This project has been weeks in the making but we are now finally scoping out the space to decide what we want to do with it. Everything I design for the shop has to play off of contractor/ designer, Paul Leissen, as he builds and designs all the furniture and interiors. Basically I collaborate with him and take some of the colors and things that he’s doing and we work together to make it a well-rounded project. For example, we are doing a really cool wall installation that is going to be typography and illustration mixed together that will span across many walls. We are also building a potentially screen printed wall menu structure, as well as whole walls with graphics that were once on my computer screen. It’s pretty cool to see that blossom.

(SPC): If people want to see your work where should they go?

There are a few things that I’m working on for Metropolis that will be popping up across the U.S. in Metropolis carrying cafes. The Dollop café on Monroe is a great shop to see stuff we’ve been working on. I helped create the marquee sign and all of the wall graphics there, as well as menus.

A photo posted by Kevin Brouillette (@kevinbrou) on

To see more of Kevin Brouillette’s work, follow him on instagram at @kevinbrou, or visit his website!

Member Interview: Jake Saunders

Jake Saunders is an artist working and living in Chicago. He received his Masters in Fine Art at the University of Connecticut. He also received a Masters in Art, as well as his Bachelors in Fine Art at Ball State. Jake’s 2016 Exhibitions include work being shown at Jennifer Ford Art Gallery in association with the Wunderkammer Company  in Fort Wayne, IN. He has previously shown work at Blue House Gallery (Columbus OH), the Auxiliary Art Center (Chicago, IL), along with many other notable spaces.

Spudnik Press Cooperative (SPC): Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do when you’re not working on art?

I’m a printmaker: mostly etching, woodcuts, and linocuts. I screen-print for a living. For free-lance, I do graphic design for screen-printing, web design, coding, and stuff like that. I watch a lot of movies and hang out with my girlfriend and the cat.

(SPC): So I see that you work in different mediums- how did you come to printmaking as a medium?

Printmaking is just like an extension of drawing for me. While drawing is all fine and good–I love drawing, and I love seeing drawing–I think a lot of people who are drawers tend to want to have a way to refine their drawings. I think a lot of people gravitate towards painting for that reason–at least in my experience. Printmaking suited me because of what I was interested in as a kid. I got into printmaking when I was 17 or 18. It appealed to me because it looked like Frank Miller and some other comic book illustrators.

linoleum plates

(SPC): What kind of things are influencing your work right now?

Right now I’ve gotten really into Romantic period art work, like Goya. I’m a big fan of Caravaggio, Dürer, and German Expressionists like Käthe Kollwitz. I’m also big on living people like William Kentridge and Kara Walker. I just saw the Carrie James Marshall show–that was pretty amazing. Contemporary writers like Paul Auster and Salmon Rushdie are big ones for me right now. I think more than anybody, Salmon Rushdie has been really on my mind a lot lately.

(SPC): If you could own a piece of art from one living artist, what would it be or who’s would it be?

I don’t know of anything specific that I would absolutely need but I’d love to have one of those cut paper pieces of Kara Walker’s. I love those things; I would love to have one of her pieces.

various prints

(SPC): Are you a pre-meditated maker or do you just dive right into your work?

I believe that you could be a really terrible painter, drawer, printmaker, or whatever–but if you can compose then it’s going to be good. So I spend a lot of time doing that. Preparation is huge for me–I take a lot of photographs, and do a lot of studies. What I usually do is take a lot of photographs and collage it all in Photoshop. I do a lot of Photoshop collage work before I even put a pencil on anything. It’s a big process for me but it’s very regimented.

(SPC): For your personal art practice, when and how do you decide to take the next step to print and how do you decide which method you are going to use?

I think that the narrative dictates the media, for me. For the last few years when I’ve been doing these pictures based in religious narratives with religious symbolism. I just automatically went for Dürer, and renaissance and medieval prints. So if I am going to approach a new subject like I am thinking about [doing] now, that narrative has to inform the look and therefore the media used. That might be whenever the narrative took place or it could be like art historical references, or just the general flavor of the story that could inform those things. Also there are just the practical things. I didn’t have access to a press for a long time so if I was going to do printmaking I had to be able to do it on a table at home. So it was like- spoons!

Sodom and Gamora , Linocut on paper, 2016


(SPC): Has your imagery always been rooted in graphic narratives or has it evolved to this?

I think the short answer is yeah–I think it’s been rooted in narrative and always, for the most part, been figurative. It’s always been heavy on the craftsmanship and graphic stuff. I was a comic book nerd as a kid so it’s what I’ve always gravitated towards.

(SPC): When did you start using religious references in your work and how do you merge these themes with modern day imagery?

When I was young and growing up in Indiana I was inundated with religious stuff all of the time. I kind of have a love-hate relationship with it but I love the narratives and I love the imagery. I know it inside and out so it was always something that was a good reference point for me. So I started doing it right off the bat and it’s like a ready made visual vocabulary that I can use. It’s more or less [something] you can use it for almost anything. There’s an analogy in these stories that you can use for anything that happens in your life–love, heartbreak, and death, birth. Anything–it’s all there. I use narratives as a foil. So I use those images of two-three thousand year old narratives to talk about things that happened to me yesterday.


Pieta , Linocut on paper, 2015

(SPC): What are some recent, current, or upcoming projects that you’re working on?

I’ve been working on a series for a few years of Judeo Christian narratives. That’s kind of wrapping up right now. I’m starting to use more contemporary narratives and there’s one in particular that I’m toying around with right now about a woman named Eva Rausing–a British story from a couple of years back.

(SPC): How has living in Chicago as opposed to other cities affected your art practice?

It’s made it more difficult in some ways and easier in others. There’s a lack of space or a yard to use power tools where it was more accessible when I lived in more rural areas. There’s a lot more opportunities but it’s also a little bit overwhelming sometimes. I think being exposed to a lot of stuff here and the opportunity to have a bit more community is a big plus.

(SPC): Are there any processes or methods that you’re looking into or excited about using/learning at Spudnik Press?

It’s been a long time since I’ve done etching or intaglio at all. It’s been intermittent since I got out of my MFA so I’m just really pumped to be jumping right back into that and getting really good at again. It was something I did all of the time when I was in school. I’m really excited to put that back into my repertoire. I’ve also been playing around with cyan-red 3D stuff. I’m not sure where that’s going to go yet.


Finally finishing a few editions at spudnik today. #printmaking #print #linocut #art #chicago #spudnik

A photo posted by Jake Saunders (@jake_saunders_art_design) on

Magdalene Waiting at the Tomb , Linocut on paper, 2016


To see more of Jake Saunder’s work, follow him on instagram at @jake_saunders_art_design, or visit his website!

Member Interview Series: Tara Zanzig

Tara Zanzig is an artist working and living in Chicago. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts  from The School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago in 2001. You can find many of her murals throughout the city of Chicago. Tara has recently exhibited at Beauty & Brawn Art Gallery (Chicago, IL).

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.

I grew up in Jupiter, Florida and moved to Chicago in 1998. I have an older brother, Blair, and a younger brother, Blake. Yellow and pink are my favorite colors. Im pretty straightforward. Not really interested in fancy things. What I do is try to make a sustainable life through art and its practice. For me this means allowing opportunity and experiences to feed my work and support my livelihood. In turn, I hope to contribute to this human experience and provide something to engage in. I feel I’m best able to connect with people through art – making, showing, viewing, collaborating, teaching…

Screen shot 2016-04-27 at 12.01.42 PM

What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on?

I’m pretty excited to be designing and printing the posters and ephemera for Girls Rock! Chicago this year. I’m also working on getting some murals outside of Chicago.

IMG_0597 IMG_0715

What kinds of things are influencing your work right now?

Scale. Juxtaposition. Capitalism. Peace.

What artists are you interested in right now?

Ruben Aguirre (likes_1) and Greve (knowtrespassing). They’re both Chicago artists. My perception and appreciation of what they do isn’t just what’s on the wall.

Can you share one of the best or worst reactions you have gotten as a result of your work?

Worst: Some one told me, “You can’t pull it off. You need to practice and learn some manners.”

Best: Whenever some one purchases the work to hang in their environment.



If you could own a piece of art by any living artist, what would it be (or whose)?

I own plenty of art by living artists. Living Chicago artists at that, but I know you mean the unattainable kind so it would be The Physical Impossibility of Death In The Mind Of Someone Living by Damien Hirst. It’s the epitome of conceptual art. And irreverant.


What’s your favorite thing about your city?

Chicago style pizza

What do you do when you’re not working on art?

Hah. Sleeping?! Jk Tasting beers with my boyfriend Andy.

If people want to see your work where should they go?

You can find my work at popular street art spots from Bridgeport to Logan. However, the best stuff is off the beaten path or where you wouldn’t expect. I most recently completed a 3250 square foot mural on the corner of Wabash and 11th. I’ve hung in museums and galleries around Chicago and the midwest. Follow my IG (@tararchy) or friend me on FB to find new work and exhibitions.

A video posted by tararchy (@tararchy) on

Member Interview Series: Darian Longmire

Darian Longmire is an artist working and living in Chicago. He received his Bachelors specializing in Art and Design at Illinois State University in 2013. Darian recently has exhibited at the Four Rivers Print Biennial at Southern Illinois Printworks (Carbondale IL). He has also exhibited at Jan Brandt Gallery (Bloomington IL), Transpace Gallery (Normal, IL), Illinois State University, (Bloomington IL), Limerick Portfolio Showcase (Ireland).

Spudnik Press Cooperative (SPC): Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do

I am your typical 20 something, working and living in Chicago. I spend my time trying to make challenging art while balancing a full time job. I have recently decided to pursue my MFA to dedicate more intensive, uninterrupted time to making art.

(SPC): What kinds of things are influencing your work right now?

American Abstraction and its history are the bigger context for my work. Specifically, I am working with research about physics, the origin of the universe and philosophy when I start images. Artists like, David Shapiro and Robert Mangold come to mind. I also am really enjoying the prints produced by Robert Mangold, published through Pace Prints. They really explore minimalist forms and color through printmaking quite successfully.



What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on?

Recently, I finished some larger prints at Spudnik where I combined relief techniques with screenprinting. The outcome helped me grasp using screen prints for imagery more thoroughly and also really allowed me to continue to make open and spontaneous works while in the studio.



(SPC): What artists are you interested in right now?

(Fundamental) Painting is a blog ran by Neil Clements, a UK based artist I follow on Tumblr. I have been really enjoying the catalog of great american and international abstract artists represented there.



(SPC): If you could own a piece of art by any living artist, what would it be (or whose)?

I would love to own a print by Robert Mangold. His use of color and repeated simplified forms is innovative.

(SPC): How has being born and raised in Chicago affected your art practice?
I grew up on the west side in a mostly low-income area. I think that I am attracted to community based efforts for making art because I only got a few opportunities to encounter fine art growing up. I have really appreciated my time at Spudnik press in that it has given me time to create and interact with a whole community of local artists in Chicago.


(SPC): What do you do when you’re not working on art?

When not making art I work at a coffee shop, brewing magic.

(SPC):What do you think dogs dream about?

Getting free barbecue.

(SPC): If people want to see your work where should they go?

I will have print-based work in a few upcoming exhibitions in the Chicago area. One of those is with the Donnelley Foundation in the mid summer.  All of the info and images of my recent work are on my website:

Please check out Darian’s upcoming Gelli Print Community Workshop on May 18th at Spudnik Press!

2016 Hashbrown Chef Spotlight: Raul Benitez of Comfort Station

Our next Chef Spotlight introduces Comfort Station, which exists as a community driven creative platform. Comfort Film Programmers, Raul Benitez took a moment to answer a few questions leading up to this year’s Hashbrown Chili Cook-off. Get your tickets to the 2016 Hashbrown Chili Cook-Off to help determine their fate!

Organization: Comfort Station
Guest Chef: Raul Benitez, Comfort Film Programmers

Spudnik Press Cooperative (SPC): What is Comfort Station?

Raul: Comfort Station is a multidisciplinary art space whose mission is to present challenging and stimulating programming that is open and accessible to everyone. We are a community-centric organization offering a wide variety of programs: art exhibitions, concerts, film, workshops, lectures, participatory events, and more. As a historic building in the heart of Logan Square, we aim to create an active intersection of diverse Chicago communities and promote new connections between them. Comfort Station is all ages, wheel chair accessible, and gender inclusive.

SPC: What is your role at Comfort Station?

Raul: Outside of getting to choose the movies screened at Comfort Station the best part is getting to meet all the amazing film makers and artist that come through.

SPC: How did you get involved with this organization?

Raul: I joined Comfort Station in 2013 when there was a shout out for a new programmer for film. Since I have been part of the Chicago Film Community for years I decided it would be great to help Comfort Station with their film programming and a great way to meet new people in the neighborhood.

SPC: If people take away just one thing about Comfort Station, what should it be? 

Raul: I think people need to know how diverse and eccentric the programming is at Comfort Station. Not only do we have the art and the music and film but we also have talks, workshops and exhibitions. We try to be as broad based as possible to reflect the Logan Square neighborhood.

SPC: What is a tagline that could work for BOTH your organization AND your chili?

Raul: Diverse, exciting and smoky hot!

SPC: If your organization had a spirit animal, what would it be?

Raul: Definitely an Owl. I feel we are becoming the wise old art space in Logan Square were people come to us for advice and help etc.

SPC: Finally, can we leak any details about what our guests can expect to find in your crockpot on March 19?

Raul: My chili will have an interesting smoky twist!

Raul’s Favorites:

Favorite Restaurant: Smoque BBQ
Best Cookbook: A Treasury of Great Recipes by Vincent Price.
Best soup you’ve ever had: Berria Consume at Lindo Michoacan
Favorite Type of Bean: Lentil


2016 Hashbrown Chef Spotlight: Bruno Rohner of Rohner Letterpress

Gearing up for The Hashbrown on Saturday, March 19, we introduce our third guest chef, Bruno Rohner of Rohner Letterpress! This is a homegrown gem we at Spudnik highly suggest checking out. Get your tickets to the 2016 Hashbrown Chili Cook-Off to help determine their fate!

Organization: Rohner Letterpress
Guest Chef: Bruno Rohner

SPC: What is your role with your organization?

Bruno: I’m the fearless leader.

Spudnik Press Cooperative (SPC): What should people know about Rohner Letterpress?

Bruno: Our main goal is to print beautiful and tactile pieces for design-focused clients using letterpress, foil stamping and other specialty techniques.

SPC: Can you think of a brief description that could represent BOTH your organization and your chili?

Bruno: A potentially combustible mix of ingredients that end the end come together beautifully.

SPC: Can we leak any details about what our guests can expect to find in your crockpot on March 19?

Bruno: Bambi.

Brunos’s Favorites:

Favorite Chef: Charlie Trotter
Favorite Restaurant: Urban Belly
Best soup you’ve ever had: Bundner Gerstensuppe
Favorite Type of Bean: Garbanzo
Favorite Recipe:

Sambal Chicken Skewers
Ingredients SERVINGS:
4 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/3 cup hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek)
1/4 cup fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
1/4 cup Sriracha
2 teaspoon finely grated peeled ginger
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch–2-inch pieces

Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Whisk brown sugar, vinegar, chili paste, fish sauce, Sriracha, and ginger in a large bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Thread 4 or 5 chicken pieces onto each skewer. Transfer marinade to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until reduced by half (about 1 cup), 7–10 minutes. Grill chicken, turning and basting often with reduced marinade, until cooked through, 8–10 minutes.


2016 Hashbrown Chef Spotlight: Tyler Clark and Bradley Morgan of CHIRP Radio

Today we introduce CHIRP, a newcomer to the Hashbrown tradition. On Saturday, March 19, CHIRP will be defending their organization with a chili recipe developed by Editor, Tyler Clark and Associate Partnership Coordinator, Bradley Morgan. Will they be able to take home the Golden Laddle of 2016? Get your tickets to the 2016 Hashbrown Chili Cook-Off to help determine their fate!

Organization: CHIRP Radio
Guest Chef: Bradley Morgan, Associate Partnership Coordinator
Tyler Clark, DJ and blog editor

Spudnik Press Cooperative (SPC): How or why did you get involved with this organization?

Tyler: I spent four years as a college radio DJ, and continued obsessing over music long after I graduated. After a few years in the fast-paced (and curiously music-free) world of national politics, I got a real job and finally had time to spend my off hours doing what I loved: talking to people I can’t see about music.

SPC: Why do more people need to know and support CHIRP?

Tyler: CHIRP Radio is one of the city’s best outlets for people who are passionate about music, but it goes far beyond that. As one of the leaders in the low-power FM movement, our radio station has also been a vital voice in the conversation about community media access and resources. If you’ve ever found yourself exasperated at the state of corporate radio, CHIRP is the place for you.

SPC: Can you think of a brief description that could represent BOTH your organization and your chili?

Tyler: Made by people who care.
Bradley: Hearty, whole, and packs a punch.

SPC: If your organization had a spirit animal, what would it be?

Bradley: A bird (Chirp, get it?)
Tyler: We’d probably be … a really cool bird. Maybe, like, a starling with headphones? A flamingo in a Slint t-shirt? The wren who used to drum for The Wrens?

SPC: Do you have a favorite recipe you are willing to share?

Tyler: Recipes are like DIY venues: best kept secret.

Tylers Favorites:

Favorite Chef: David Chang, who made me love Brussels sprouts
Favorite Restaurant: I could eat the chilaquiles at Danny’s Egghead Diner every day for the rest of my life.
Best Cookbook: Stan Lee Presents The Mighty Marvel Superheroes’ Cookbook
Best soup you’ve ever had: The egg lemon soup at Salonica in Hyde Park
Best Cooking Show: The Great British Bake-Off; I’m obsessed

Bradley’s Favorites:

Favorite Restaurant: Honey Butter Fried Chicken
Best Cookbook: Thug Kitchen
Best soup you’ve ever had: 
Favorite Type of Bean: Black Beans


2016 Hashbrown Chef Spotlight: Jeff Zwirek of CAKE

Spudnik Press continues to gear up for our annual Hashbrown Chili Cook-Off. Today we introduce CAKE,  2015 Hashbrown Champion. CAKE returns to the competition with full intentions to again take home the Golden Ladle!

Organization: Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE)
Guest Chef: Jeff Zwirek, Co-Founder and a Co-Organizer

Spudnik Press Cooperative (SPC): What is CAKE?

Jeff: CAKE is a weekend long celebration of independent comics inspired by Chicago’s abundant past and present of talented cartoonists, featuring comics for sale, discussion, exhibition, and a growing number of services for emerging comic artists, including workshops and a micro grant.

For people aren’t familiar with CAKE or the world of alternative comics, can you give us the inside scoop?

Jeff: Alternative comics is a very diverse medium, there is something for everybody with stories and styles with all different appeals. At CAKE you can meet and talk to the artists who commit so much time an energy to their passion. It’s a chance to support the arts in your community and be exposed to other like minded artists from all over the world. Cake also always has an incredible line-up of well renowned cartoonists as special guests. It’s a shame we can’t cram more lovely people into our venue.

SPC: If you were tasked with creating a tagline for CAKE and your chili, what would it be?

Jeff: Intense and bold, you won’t soon forget this experience!

SPC: If your organization had a spirit animal, what would it be?

Jeff: A raven. Inky black and dangerously clever.

SPC: Do you have a favorite recipe you are willing to share?

Jeff: Every so often my dad would make us peanut butter and jelly instead of mom. He would put some margarine on the bread first. He also cut it in triangles instead of squares. It was like a whole different beast!

SPC: Can we leak any details about what our guests can expect to find in your crockpot on March 19?

Jeff: CAKE spares no expense! The last couple of years we’ve done a short rib chili that has come in first and second. We may switch things up a little but be sure that CAKE brings the goods!

Jeff’s Favorites:

Favorite Chef: Rick Bayless’ blonde mustache creeps me out and mesmerizes me at the same time.
Best soup you’ve ever had: I don’t care for soup. I always feel like I’m sick when I’m eating it.
Favorite Type of Bean: Black beans can’t be beat.
Best Cooking Show: America’s Test Kitchen


2016 Hashbrown Chef Spotlight: Antonio Pazaran of Instituto Grafico de Chicago

Today we introduce Instituto Grafico de Chicago, a newcomer to the Hashbrown tradition. On Saturday, March 19, IGC will be defending their organization with a chili recipe developed by cooperative member, Antonio Pazaran. Get your tickets to the 2016 Hashbrown Chili Cook-Off to help determine their fate!

Organization: Instituto Grafico de Chicago
Guest Chef: Antonio Pazaran, Co-Founder and Member

Spudnik Press Cooperative (SPC): For those that haven’t heard of the Instituto Grafico de Chicago, tell us a little about this cooperative.

Antonio: IGC is an non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining the critical activist tradition of Latino printmaking that unites communities of struggle around the world. IGC offers arts education programs for new generations to engage in printmaking as a social force. This network of printers comes together to advance the legacy and vitality of printmaking by hosting community events and creating opportunities for artists to participate in print exchange projects and promote their work in group exhibitions.

SPC: Why did you get involved with this the IGC?

Antonio: I got involved with Instituto Grafico de Chicago by being one of the founders of this group. I wanted to be part of a group of people that had the need to ink and print.

SPC: What have you been up to these days?

Antonio: For the past two years I have been in charged of organizing our annual Grabadolandia (printmaking festival) along with managing our website and being part of the portfolio organizational team. I have had the pleasure of coming up with the themes for our past three portfolios and look forward in coming up with more ideas.

SPC: If your organization had a spirit animal, what would it be?

Antonio: A Leaf-Cutter Ant. Ants are strong, tenacious workers that contribute to tightly structured communities. Leaf-cutter ants, however, take the already impressive ant work ethic to a whole new level.

Antonio’s Favorites:

Favorite Chef: My Mom is the best chef of all time.
Favorite Restaurant: La Chaparrita in Chicago’s Little Village.
Favorite Type of Bean: Pinto
Favorite Recipe:

Sopa de Fideo
Prep 15 minutes, cook 15 minutes, eating in 30 min
Ingredients: 3 sm/med tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 sm/md Onions Yellow/Brown chopped
1 large clove garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (7 ounce) package fideo pasta uncooked
2 (10 ounce) cans chicken broth / coarse salt to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Place the tomatoes, onion, and garlic into a blender, and pulse several times to get the mixture moving; blend until smooth, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat, and stir in the pasta. Fry the pasta gently, stirring often, until the pasta is golden brown, 2 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour the tomato mixture into the large saucepan with golden brown noodles (make sure you strain the tomato mixture), and stir in your chicken broth. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium low; simmer until the noodles are tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt, and stir in the cilantro; simmer 2 more minutes to cook cilantro. enjoy