Posts By: Marcela A. Serment

Spudnik Press Cooperative Welcomes the 2018/2019 Studio Fellows

Spudnik Press Cooperative is excited to announce and welcome our 11th cohort of studio fellows: Vidisha Aggarwal, Atlan Arceo-Witzl, Lisa Armstrong, and Lya Finston! Our Studio Fellowship program provides emerging Chicago-based artists with comprehensive professional opportunities and the technical and artistic support needed to build a successful career in the arts.Joining us for the Nov. 2018 – May 2019 term, Atlan, Lisa, Lya, and Vidisha will take over for our outgoing fellows, Emma Bilyeu, Dan Manion, Emily Shopp, and Junli Song. The fellows play an integral role in the Spudnik Press community, as they monitor the studio during weekly Open Studio session, assist with classes, youth field trips, and special projects, and activate the space with programming towards the end of their fellowship. Additionally, during the 7-month program, the cohort receives full studio access to develop self-directed projects and partakes in a comprehensive professional development seminar.As expressed by the 2018/2019 cohort of fellows, they very much look forward to the opportunity to meet the many members of our community and be part of a supportive network of artists.

2018/2019 Studio Fellows

Vidisha Aggarwal is an interdisciplinary artist and curator based in Chicago. She received a Bachelors of Fine Art degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago(SAIC) in 2018. She has exhibited work at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Sullivan Galleries, and SITE Galleries. She has organized exhibitions at SAIC, SITE Galleries, the Design Museum of Chicago, Gallery no one, and Hairpin Art Center, while gaining exhibition making experience at the Graham Foundation, EXPO Chicago, Chicago Manual Style, and the Design Museum of Chicago.

Atlan Arceo-Witzl is a Mexican-American visual artist and creator whose work is concerned with everyday rituals, icons, symbols, objects, and language. He is a recent graduate of Skidmore College with a BS in Studio Art, concentrating in relief printmaking, sculpture and drawing. He lives outside of Chicago in Oak Park, IL pursuing a career in the arts and enjoying the fascinating human game of communication.

Lisa Armstrong is a multidisciplinary designer and educator currently based in Chicago. She received her MFA in Motion Graphic Design from California Institute of the Arts in 2018 and her BFA in Graphic Design from DePaul University in 2012. She currently teaches DePaul University’s School of Cinematic Arts.

Lya Finston is an artist and printmaker raised in Cranford, NJ and based in Chicago, IL, where she works as a circulation assistant at Ryerson Library of the Art Institute of Chicago. Finston is also involved with Hoofprint, where she helps print lithographic editions for the shop’s various published artists along with creating her own work. In May 2018, Finston graduated from Oberlin College with a double major in Studio Art and German Studies.

Professional Practice: Gallery Visit and Conversation with Lorelei Stewart | Gallery 400

Thursday, November 15, 2018
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Gallery 400

University of Illinois at Chicago
Art and Design Hall, First Floor
400 South Peoria Street (at Van Buren Street)
Chicago, IL 60607

$15 for Spudnik Press Members
$5 for Studio Fellows
Register Online

Founded in 1983, Gallery 400 is an integral part of both the University of Illinois at Chicago and the city of Chicago’s vibrant contemporary art scene. The gallery is uniquely poised to offer innovative programming that connects the art of today to scholarship and debate emerging from the University. To date, Gallery 400 has presented more than 1,000 artists in its exhibitions and programs.

On Thursday, November 15th, Spudnik Press members are invited to partake in an intimate tour of the gallery and conversation with Director and Curator, Lorelei Stewart. During this time, we will hear from Lorelei about how Gallery 400 is able to make contemporary art more accessible to the public, and how she and her team foster an interdisciplinary understanding of the visual arts through the gallery’s dynamic programming. Spudnik members participating in the tour will also have an opportunity to ask about how the gallery supports local artists in their professional careers and how it differs from a traditional commercial gallery space.

Immediately following our conversation with Lorelei Stewart, members will have an opportunity to view the exhibition Chicago New Media 1973–1992, curated by Jon Cates with assistance from Chaz Evanz and Jonathan Kinkley. This expansive project chronicles the under-recognized story of Chicago’s contributions to new media art by artists at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s (UIC) Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL), the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), and at Midway Games and Bally from 1973-1992. Chicago New Media 1973-1992 will feature video game artifacts, new media technologies, historical photographs, game stills, playable video game consoles, and virtual reality modules.

This program is part of our Professional Practice: Off-site Visit series, intended to introduce members to the numerous and diverse art spaces and individuals that contribute to Chicago’s vibrant arts landscape. In addition to connecting with other professionals in the city, these visits present our members with a range of resources and career paths.

Lorelei Stewart Bio:

Above: Lorelei Stewart, Director and Curator of Gallery 400.

Lorelei Stewart has been Director and Curator of Gallery 400 at the University of Illinois at Chicago since 2000. Her work focuses on the vital role art plays in shaping civic conversations, ideas, and ultimately actions. Recent projects include the research project Chicago Disability Activism, Art and Design, and a forthcoming series of exhibitions Chicago Together, which develops young Chicago curatorial talent while building connections between artists’ work and the interests of city communities. At Gallery 400 she has organized and curated over 50 exhibitions, including solo projects with David Leggett, Rubén Ortiz Torres, Jenny Perlin, Karen Reimer, Edra Soto, Stephanie Syjuco, and Edgar Arceneaux, whose 2006 exhibition The Alchemy of Comedy…Stupid won the Joyce Award and was presented in the 2008 Whitney Biennial. She has been a juror and reviewer for 3Arts Artist Awards; Artadia; Chicago Artists Coalition grants and residencies; the Evanston Biennial; the Institute for Museum and Library Services; Mary Nohl Fellowships; and the Hunting Prize, Texas, among others. She teaches in UIC’s Museum and Exhibition Studies program, for which she was the founding director, and co-founded Propeller Fund, an Andy Warhol Foundation funded granting organization that has, since 2010, awarded Chicago artists nearly half a million dollars. She holds a BA from Smith College, a BFA from Corcoran College of Art and Design, and an MA in Curatorial Studies from Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.

Registration Details:
Space is limited to 12 members. Advanced registration is required. The non-refundable registration fee can be paid online. Please note, transportation to Gallery 400 is not provided. Registrants are responsible for providing their own transportation to and from Gallery 400 and for arriving on time. An itinerary of the off-site visit, including instructions on where to meet upon arriving at Gallery 400, will be sent to all registered participants on Tuesday, November 13, 2018.

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

Image: General Motors, Phil Morton, Video, 1976. Courtesy of the Phil Morton Memorial Research Archive and VGA Gallery. Video to be featured in the upcoming exhibition Chicago New Media 1973–1992 at Gallery 400.

Professional Practice: Portfolio Review with Bert Green

Saturday, November 3, 2018
12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Spudnik Press, 1821 W Hubbard, Suite 302

$20 for Spudnik Press Members
$10 for Resident Artists and Studio Fellows
Register Online

Guest Reviewer: Bert Green

In an effort to continue our mission to unite our community of printmakers with art professionals throughout the Chicagoland area we are launching a revised edition of our portfolio reviews this 2018. Professional Practice: Portfolio Review will consist of a 30-minute, individual portfolio 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.

Bert Green Bio:
Bert Green is the director of Bert Green Fine Art gallery in Chicago. He has lived in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Bert Green Fine Art focuses on fine art marketing, sales and curation, with an emphasis on art’s role, impact and interaction with trends in urban economic development and revitalization, technology and culture. The gallery represents and exhibits emerging and mid-career artists, and works with specialty print houses to produce unusual and rare limited edition lithographs, letterpress, and photographic prints.

Registration Details:
Space is limited to six artists. Advanced registration is required. The non-refundable registration fee can be paid online. The registration deadline is Friday, October 26, 2018 or when all spaces are full. Exact time slots will be assigned by Tuesday, October 30, 2018.  Registrants are encouraged to arrive 10-15 minutes early to their scheduled appointment.

Announcing the Juried Selections for our 2018 Annual Benefit: Bad Wedding

Our 2018 Annual Benefit: Bad Wedding is just around the corner and we are thrilled to present an art auction line-up like no other, with work by some of the most notable and rising artists of Chicago, including Spudnik Press’s very own members!

Congratulations to Julia Arredondo, Elke Claus, Ben Garbus, David Krzeminski, Lialia Kuchma, Carron Little, Dutes Miller, Yasaman Moussavi, Jill Ruzicka, Emily Shopp, Junli Song, and Tara Zanzig, whose artwork was selected by guest juror and esteemed colleague Oli Watt to be featured in the Member Section of our benefit. Member work selected for the auction on Saturday, October 20th will be professionally framed and photographed for inclusion in our online auction via Paddle8, to be released October 1st.

Don’t delay and purchase your tickets today!

The Annual Benefit Auction is our largest fundraiser of the year, which raises upwards of $20,000 to be invested in our studio and programs.  This year’s event, Bad Wedding, promises to be a light-hearted art party that incorporates campy adaptations of all the best matrimonial traditions. This carefully curated reception-style event will feature craft cocktails, live entertainment and exceptional art.

2018-2019 Studio Fellowship: Call for Applications

Deadline to Apply: Sunday, October 14, 2018

Spudnik Press is now accepting applications for our November 2018 – May 2019 Studio Fellowship program.

The Spudnik Press Cooperative Studio Fellowship is committed to providing promising emerging artists in the Chicagoland area with comprehensive artistic and professional development support. The Studio Fellowship packages a multitude of opportunities for artists to advance their artistic practice.

During this seven-month program, fellows receive unfettered access to Spudnik’s expansive printmaking facilities. By working in our print shop and monitoring weekly Open Studio sessions, fellows regularly engage with our community of printmakers and benefit from ongoing guidance and feedback from staff and peers.

Additionally, the Studio Fellowship’s weekly professional development seminar equips our fellows with the tools and resources to be able to set personal and financial goals, strengthen their proposal writing and teaching artistry, learn how to promote themselves and their work, and much more. Fellows also have the unique experience of planning and presenting up to two culminating public projects.

Fellows also receive advanced notice and discounted registration for all Professional Practices Programs offered to our members. Opportunities include portfolio reviews with curators, off-site visits to resources and arts professionals throughout Chicago, exhibition opportunities, and more. By gifting each fellow a complimentary one-year Studio Membership, fellows can continue to take advantage of all member opportunities for the five months following their fellowship.

Studio Fellowship Mission

The Spudnik Press Cooperative Studio Fellowship is an intensive seven-month program that provides emerging artists opportunities to develop the artistic and professional skills needed to build a successful career in the arts. Key program components work in conjunction to provide mentorship, technical training, meaningful interactions with art professionals, public programming experience, and leadership opportunities. These key program components consist of the following:

  • Access to professional printmaking facilities.
  • Weekly seminars addressing various elements of professional practices.
  • Leadership experience through regularly monitoring Open Studio sessions.
  • Presentation opportunities through two culminating public projects.

Furthermore, as ambassadors of Spudnik Press Cooperative, Fellows play an important role in ensuring our members and studio users have a welcoming experience at our shop and also help us grow our community. The contributions Fellows make to our day-to-day operations are invaluable and help shape the future of our facilities.


The Studio Fellowship program best supports:

  • Emerging artists, typically recent college graduates.
  • Artists with substantial printmaking experience, such that they are able to perform all monitoring duties.
  • Artists whose current art practice requires access to printmaking facilities.
  • Artist who have are already dedicated to a regular studio practice.
  • Artists who are able to commit about 8 hours a week to the fellowship program in addition to maintaining their art practice.
  • Artists whose goal is to create or sell art a primary source of income.
  • Artist in transitional points in their career.
  • Artists seeking opportunities to meet Chicago-based arts professionals.
  • Artists interested in building meaningful connections with a creative community.

To Apply

Please thoroughly review the SPC Fellowship Information Packet. Download and complete the 2018_2019 Studio Fellowship Application Form. Return this application form and all requested materials to no later than Sunday, October 14, 2018.

Important Dates

Deadline to Apply: Sunday, October 14, 2018
Fellowship Period: November 1, 2018 – May 31, 2019
Weekly Professional Development Seminar:  Most Wednesdays from 2 – 4 p.m.
Individual Monitor Shifts Begin
: Saturday, December 1, 2018

Any inquiries regarding our Studio Fellowship can be directed to Marcela A. Serment,

2019 Call for Exhibition Proposals

Deadline to Apply: Sunday, November 4, 2018

Download the 2019 Call for Exhibition Proposals

The Spudnik Press Exhibitions Program invites exhibition proposals from artists and curators. This is our annual opportunity for individuals or collaborators to submit proposals for solo or small group exhibitions. Proposals may be for existing or new work. Membership at Spudnik Press is not required to submit proposals.

In 2019, Spudnik Press will present a total of five exhibitions. Of these five exhibitions, three will be juried selections. Additionally, new in 2019, one of three juried exhibition spots will be awarded to a distinguished proposal submitted by a Spudnik Press member, whether that is a solo or small group exhibition.

Exhibition proposals are reviewed by a committee of Spudnik Press active members, as well as guest curators. Final selections are made using the organizations’s curatorial statement (below) as a guidepost. Strong proposals will resonate with the curatorial priorities of Spudnik Press Cooperative.

Please note, while installations and performances may be included in proposals, 2-D or wall-mounted artwork is typically best suited for the gallery, which functions as a multi-purpose space. Additionally, we welcome proposals from beyond Chicago, however, applicants should be aware that there is a very limited budget per exhibition and they may be responsible for much of the shipping costs and travel to and from Spudnik Press.

Spudnik Press Cooperative Curatorial Statement:

Spudnik Press exhibitions amplify the impact of our resources by providing opportunities for artists and audiences to move through a variety of creative roles: from making to experiencing, and learning to teaching.

Spudnik Press showcases work that has ongoing relevance to our mission and vision, while also encouraging a breadth of community participation. Exhibitions create an active platform to expand and diversify our cooperative.

To achieve these goals, Spudnik Press Exhibitions:

  • Are selected by a curatorial committee that includes active members.
  • Emphasize printmaking and print-based projects within contemporary art practices.
  • Showcase the creative, analytical and/or technical process of art making.
  • Feature exceptional projects, whether produced at Spudnik Press or beyond.
  • Engage diverse levels of professional experience.

Spudnik Press Exhibitions offer participating artists opportunities to:

  • Produce new fine art prints.
  • Present corresponding educational programming.
  • Present Artist Talks.


  • Proposals due: Sunday, November 4, 2018.
  • Applicants will be notified by Friday, November 16, 2018.
  • Exhibitions will occur between January 2019 and January 2020. The first juried exhibition for 2019 is scheduled for January 11 – March 16, 2019.
  • Exhibitions typically run for 9 weeks with two weeks in between shows for gallery preparation.

Additional Exhibition Resources:

Archive of Past Exhibitions
Guide for Curators
Download the 2019 Call for Exhibition Proposals*

*Please note, while not required, we appreciate exhibition proposals that give consideration to our gallery’s capabilities and limitations. For this reason, we highly recommend that you make use of the gallery floor plan in developing your exhibition, especially if your proposal will include any installation-based work.

To Apply:

Please e-mail the following proposal materials to with “2019 Exhibition Proposal” in the subject line.

1) PDF including the documents listed below in the following order:

  • Applicant(s) contact information. Please include your address, phone number, and email address.
  • Working title for the exhibition.
  • Exhibition/Curatorial Statement.Description of the exhibition, both conceptually and visually. (500 words max)
  • Artist Statement(s) and Bio(s). Brief statement for each artist and bio for each artist. Include websites, blogs, notable artistic achievements, other relevant material.
  • Resume or CV. Please only submit a resume or CV for the applicant(s), not each individual artist.
  • Three professional references. Please include relationship to the applicant(s).
  • Image List. Including artist name, title, year of completion, medium, dimensions, and name of file.
  • Public Program (optional). Applicants are welcome to submit a brief description for a public program related to the exhibitions, i.e. an artist talk, workshop, etc.

2) Sample Images:

  • For both solo exhibitions and small group exhibitions, include up to 10 images of work that will be included in the exhibition.
  • Sketches may be included for forthcoming work.
  • Images need not exceed 1 MB each.
  • Work samples files should be labeled as follows: LASTNAME_01.jpg, LASTNAME_02.jpg, etc.

Accepted Exhibition Proposals

Accepted applicants will be notified by Friday, November 16, 2018. Spudnik Press staff will work with the accepted applicants to determine the exhibition’s dates, layout, timeline for the production of the small-run micro publication, and other programming details. Artwork on loan to Spudnik Press may be available for sale at the discretion of the artist(s). The artist(s) may request that purchasers contact them directly. Spudnik Press kindly asks for 25% of the proceeds from sales made be donated to the studio.


Please direct any questions to Incomplete exhibition proposals will not be considered.

Above photo by Robert Chase Heisman.

Collective Ground | 2018 Annual Member Exhibition

Featured Artists:

Julia Arredondo, Molly Berkson, Emma Bilyeu, Jennifer Burak and Dan Spielman, Elijah Burgher, Mary Clare Butler, Jessica Christy, Ben Garbus, Orr Gidon, Colleen Hardison, Margot Harrington, David Krzeminski, Carron Little, Grace Makuch, Dan Manion, JJ McLuckie, Miller and Shellabarger, Yasaman Moussavi, Catherine Norcott, Emily Shopp, Veronica Siehl, Junli Song, Amanda Ware


September 7 – October 20, 2018


The Annex @ Spudnik Press
1821 W. Hubbard St., Ste. 302

Gallery Hours:

Monday – Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Corresponding Events:

Opening Reception
Friday, September 7, 2018
6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

EXPO Chicago’s Art After Hours 
September 28, 2018
6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Hubbard Street Lofts Open House
Friday, October 19, 2018
6:00 – 10:00 p.m.

2018 Annual Benefit: Bad Wedding
Saturday, October 20, 2018
6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Press Release:

Spudnik Press Cooperative is pleased to present Collective Ground, our 2018 Annual Member Exhibition. Collective Ground opens on Friday, September 7th at The Annex at Spudnik Press and will have a public reception from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. All are welcome.

In The One and The Many: Contemporary Collaborative Art in a Global Context, art historian Grant H. Kester writes: “The workshop has emerged as a significant nexus of creative production in a wide range of collaborative and collective projects.” Inspired by the work of our own community, Collective Ground is an exhibition that highlights collaborative projects by members of Spudnik Press. This exhibition is a response to our layered and multi-generational community, comprised of creatives from different backgrounds, fields of study, and stages in their careers. It is the amalgamation of their unique perspectives and voices that allows our print shop to be a space for social, educational, and artistic exchange.

Through this exhibition, we witness work that is playful and humorous, socially conscious, or explores the boundaries of print media. The outcome is a spacious celebration of the different artistic approaches and ideas shared in our community of printmakers. This in turn, yields a transformative vision and helps craft a deeper understanding of our art practices, each other, and our surrounding communities.

We grateful to our participating artists who embarked on this project with us, and to our 140+ active members. It is their contributions that enrich our community day in and day out.

Participating collaborators include:

Julia Arredondo and JJ McLuckie
Molly Berkson and Orr Gidon
Emma Bilyeu and Dan Manion
Jennifer Burak and Dan Spielman
Elijah Burgher and Dutes Miller
Mary Clare Butler and Veronica Siehl
Jessica Christy and Spudnik Press Studio Users
Ben Garbus and Grace Makuch
Colleen Hardison and Margot Harrington
David Krzeminski and Amanda Ware
Carron Little and Spare Rib Project Contributors
Miller and Shellabarger
Yasaman Moussavi and Catherine Norcott
Yasaman Moussavi, Emily Shopp, and Junli Song

Please note, Collective Ground will have extended viewing hours on September 28th during EXPO Chicago’s Art After Hours, on Friday, October 19th during Hubbard Street Lofts Open House, and on Saturday, October 20th during our 2018 Annual Benefit: Bad Wedding.

Member Interview: Grace Makuch

Grace Makuch is an artist living and working in Chicago, Illinois. She is interested in the dissemination of language and information amongst fellow millennials. Makuch makes work that is a call and response to being a young person feeling helpless, manic, and confused in the 21st century. Makuch holds a BA from Columbia College Chicago and is an alumna of the Spudnik Press Studio Fellowship Program. She is currently a studio holder at Spudnik Press, where she continues to work in various printmaking techniques.

Lydia James: What was your experience like as part of the Studio Fellowship at Spudnik Press?

Grace Makuch: The experience was awesome for me. I was four months out of school, twiddling my thumbs, thinking: “what am I going to do?” I didn’t have studio access and I knew I loved printmaking, but I didn’t really know how to keep doing it. After school you go from having so many resources to none at all, so I applied for the fellowship at Spudnik Press and I got it! During those seven months, I was able to structure and lay the foundation for the work that I am making now. I didn’t really produce huge concrete things during my fellowship, but it definitely opened up a career path for me.

LJ: You said the Studio Fellowship allowed you to lay the foundation for projects you’re working on now. What does that look like?

GM: So this is a print that I made during my fellowship.

I had been doing the @polenta_girl thing, which is my drawing project and I had been trying to figure out how to move forward from there. It was not serving me anymore, so I started thinking more about writing as a practice, and then I made this print during my fellowship, which perhaps is nothing and everything at the same time?

I was really interested in exploring the finality of the monoprint in congruence with the finality of language. I started writing, and if I messed up I had to scratch it out and keep writing and writing and I did it all in one take.

LJ: It’s almost like an exercise.

GM: Yeah, for sure. I started making more of these writing pieces, or exercises, and then I created a series of work in response to the thought: “if I could talk to God, what would I say?” First I made the monoprints, and then after my fellowship I made a triptych of paintings called Conversations With God.

LJ: Oh wow! I hadn’t realized those were paintings.

GM: Yeah, they are about 4 feet by 9 feet when they are all hung up together. The paintings are from my perspective talking to God, from a businessman’s perspective talking to God, and from a baby’s perspective talking to God—but in the end it’s all me, calling out to God. The conversations get cut down to be abstracted, which makes it difficult to decipher for the viewer. I’m still figuring out why, but I have these two constant conflicting urges to either make something really confusing or make something abundantly clear. So this was me doing a visually confusing project.

LJ: As a viewer, it’s such a natural response to want to be able to finish the sentence, to figure it out.

GM: Yeah! I’m so glad you said that. That’s a huge part of my practice now. I’m currently making work that revolves around the idea of making one good sentence. If I could just make one ‘good’ sentence, what would it look like? What would the language be like? How would it sound coming out of someone else’s mouth? I think it’s a very millennial urge to want to be brief about something – 140 characters or less.

LJ: You said you’re working on a new etching series. How is that going?

GM: These are the plates for my etchings. They’re in the Twitter font, Helvetica Neue Light, but it’s hand lettering that I’ve done. They read “You took a shower” and “I watched a 20 minute Vine compilation on my phone,” and it’s about feeling sad after you have sex.

LJ: Why is it important that you replicate the font by hand?

GM: For me, the Twitter font is super important because […] I think of it as my number one source of inspiration. The people who know me best are the people who follow me on Twitter. I’ve had a Twitter account since I was 14 in 2009. I’ve tweeted nearly 25,000 times. I treat it like an encyclopedia of every thought I’ve ever had that I felt was important enough to share. I think a lot about the millennial disposition of knowing that the people who read my twitter might be able to speak more to my daily state of being than my employers, family members, and even certain close friends.

LJ: Beyond Twitter, what are your biggest inspirations or driving forces behind your work?

GM: Right now I’m reading all of Maggie Nelson’s work and she’s blowing my mind constantly. The way she writes and her ability to move from one thought to the next are effortless. People have referred to her writing as genre-bending and I agree. People need to read The Argonauts!

Also, meme culture is a big influence for me. I think people of different generations are really quick to discredit memes as an important and unique form of communication. I think the way that our generation disseminates crucial information and knowledge is really incredible because it’s visual now, and I think about that all the time. We shouldn’t discredit memes.

LJ: I agree.

GM: Thirty or forty years down the line I don’t know if people will still be making memes, but right now it’s this creative burst of: “Let’s only talk to each other in pictures!”

LJ: Let’s talk about Chicago. Are you from Chicago originally?

GM: I’m from a suburb about 30 minutes north called Northbrook. I went to school in Austin and I really missed Chicago the entire time I was there. There are some things about this city that are super unique to it that I just really missed. I think it’s a great place to live especially if you’re into printmaking.

LJ: Yeah, it seems like there’s a lot going on here.

GM: There’s a ton of printmakers everywhere! I went on the Chicago Print Crawl recently and was blown away by the number of printmaking spaces that exist here! I love living in Chicago. I have a small 5 year old dog and we love the city, we’re just two city girls.

LJ: You already touched on this briefly, but I’m pretty interested in the role your identity plays in your work. You mentioned striving for this sort of intense clarity and when I was looking at your drawing projects some of them struck me as very vulnerable. Yet the way that you’re putting your work out there sometimes makes it seem more like a statement. It’s an interesting balance that I also struggle with in my own work—how intimate do I get with this anonymous audience, the Internet?

GM: It’s interesting that you say that because I get super vulnerable on Twitter and then I refine it with my art. When I say Twitter is a big part of my process, it’s huge. I really do use it like a personal encyclopedia.

Touching on the humor as part of my identity, I come from a family that is really goofy and makes fun of each other a lot. There have also been a few really traumatic things that have happened in my life within the past five years. My dad got diagnosed with Parkinson’s when I was in High School and when I turned 19, I ended up becoming his primary caretaker. So, in addition to working two jobs, and trying to be an artist, and going to school, I was taking care of my dad. That’s a huge part of my identity that a lot of people don’t know about and informs a lot of my personality, and who I am, and how I carry myself. I have this blind optimism all the time because—and this is why I think a lot of my work is funny or really vulnerable—I always think you have two options: you’re either going to laugh or you’re going to cry. And for me, I always prefer to laugh. I make a lot of work where I can open up about things to an extent, but leave it after getting to a certain point and then I cover it back up with humor. It’s a really fine line.

LJ: Right, how much do you give, and…

GM: …how much do you keep to yourself […]. Yeah, my dad, has this great phrase that I think everyone should hear. He says: “It’s all going to be okay, how could it not be?” It’s not necessarily good advice [laughs], but it’s that sort of blind optimism thing can really get people through the heavier stuff.

LJ: Right, sometimes you kind of have to lie to yourself a little bit to push through things.

GM: I’m actually working on a new painting right now that’s just going to be the words “faith beyond reason” over and over again. It’s going to start out as a regular font, and then I’m going to make it italicized, and then bold it. I’ll keep adding layer after layer, which represents my total mentality that sometimes you have to do things without asking why.

LJ: How do you juggle all the different mediums you work in?

GM: That’s a great question. I used to be really scared of sculpture, but for the first time this past year I’ve started to make work that’s not 2D and it’s blowing my mind to be honest. I don’t know if I’m just doing it with faith beyond reason.

LJ: Sometimes it just takes being out of a classroom setting to explore other things.

GM: Yeah, there’s so much pressure in school. Honestly, I think a big turning point for me has been this recent piece I made out of children’s letter blocks.

You know how I was talking about this overwhelming urge to make one good statement or sentence? So far I’m just getting fragments, but I think that’s okay. I’ve decided to allow myself to just keep making fragments.

LJ: Maybe it’s not really a fragment because you are the subject of everything you’re writing.

GM: Yeah, I think it’s interesting. It says: “In a rush to find comfort,” but it’s also not easy to read and that kind of goes back to the paintings I made. I want to say something, but then I feel the need to mask it either through humor or confounding it some other way.

LJ: Do you have a favorite memory associated with Spudnik?

GM: There’ve been a lot of good times, but the most memorable I think was during the 10th Birthday Bash when me, Yewon, Jess, and Jazmin (they were part of my fellowship cohort) were competing against Hoofprint Workshop in a screenprinting competition with a mini squeegee and a big screen. We did the worst job ever! It was pitiful and we were all trying pretty hard, too. That was pretty funny.

LJ: Do you have an artist(s) that inspired you to want to become one?

GM: I don’t think there’s a specific artist that inspired me. My parents met in grad school in an MFA writing program. My dad’s a painter and my mom writes and is actually writing plays right now which is so cool – she’s really getting back into it. I grew up around all that energy and my parents did a really great job of taking us to museums. I remember seeing my mom’s favorite painting, Time Transfixed by Rene Magritte, at the Art Institute of Chicago when I was young. I’ll always remember her asking me these wonderful and specific questions about it while we stood there looking at it together. My parents did an amazing job educating me about art and they just really wanted me to be an artist. I know that [my family] will blindly support me no matter what. I say that from a place of incredible privilege and I’m very thankful for that. Also, I’m thankful for my family’s goofiness in general.

LJ: What are your current obsessions?

GM: Oh, yes! Here we go: anti-inflammatory diets, Phoebe Bridgers, reading Barron’s SAT vocabulary flashcards, following mid-century modern antique companies on instagram, my dog, Oscar Chavez’s show Fashion Nova Presents: Carpe DM at Chicago Artists Coalition, and of course, Dolly Parton.

If you want to find out more about Grace and her work you can visit her website or follow @gracemakuch on Instagram.

DEADLINE EXTENDED! 2018 Annual Benefit Call for Artwork | Juried by Oli Watt


This opportunity is for members of Spudnik Press only. If you are not currently a member please join or renew prior to submitting artwork.

The Annual Benefit is our largest fundraiser of the year, which raises upwards of $20,000 to be invested in our studio and programs. Each year, the event’s art auction draws upwards of 150 collectors, curators and arts professionals to support Spudnik, bid on art, and discover emerging artists. Past benefit attendees include curators from the MCA, DePaul Art Museum, AIC, Hyde Park Art Center, as well as dozens of gallerists and private collectors.

Building on the success of last year, the auction will once again feature a juried selection of artwork by our members. This year’s member section will be curated by esteemed artist and educator Oli Watt. Each member featured in the auction will have their work framed and receive complimentary admission to the benefit.

This is an exciting and wonderful opportunity for our members to have their work reviewed by an established artist and reach new audiences, as well as a way to support your studio. 100% of the sales from the Benefit Auction will support Spudnik Press Cooperative.

To Participate:

  1. Drop off up to 5 pieces of artwork by Saturday, August 11, 2018.
  2. When dropping off your work, fill out and attach an artwork submission form to each piece. Ask staff or studio monitors for assistance.
  3. All artwork will be reviewed by Oli Watt for inclusion in the Annual Benefit auction.
  4. Members will be notified of acceptance by Friday, August 31, 2018.
  5. Save the date for the October 20th Annual Benefit! Artists selected to be featured in the auction will receive one complimentary ticket and access to discounted tickets for their guests.


  •    Participating artists must be current Spudnik Press members.
  •    There is no participation or entry fee.
  •    Participants may submit up to 5 artworks.
  •    Artwork dimensions must not exceed 22 × 30 inches.
  •    Recent artwork is preferred.

Guest Curator Bio:

Oli Watt is a Chicago-based artist, educator and the curator of Free Range Gallery. Watt received his BFA from the University of Florida and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he currently serves as Assistant Professor in the Printmedia Department. His work has been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Spencer Brownstone, New York, Rocket Gallery, London, and the Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago, to name a few. Watt’s work has also been published in Art on Paper, Art US, New Yorker, New Art Examiner, and the Village Voice. He is the recipient of the Maxine and Stuart Applebaum Award of Excellence and the Tweed Museum of Art Purchase Award.

Corresponding Events:

Bad Wedding Annual Benefit
Saturday, October 20, 2018

Please direct any questions you may have to

DEADLINE EXTENDED! Call for Artists: Collective Ground | 2018 Annual Member Exhibition

Collective Ground | Annual Member Exhibition
September 7 – October 20, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, September 7, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.


This fall, our Annual Member Exhibition will provide an insider view on the art of collaboration, with a focus on the free form exchange of ideas, skills and know-how that takes place daily at Spudnik Press. More specifically, we seek to highlight work that is created collaboratively by our members, whether that is a fine art print, gig poster, zine, or mixed media piece that includes print.

Through this exhibition we celebrate the coming together of different artistic approaches and ideas that emerge from these collaborations, which in turn help craft a deeper understanding of our art practice, each other, and our surrounding communities.


  • The exhibition is not juried and is open to all Spudnik Press members.
  • There is no entry fee to participate.
  • Participants may exhibit up to 2 collaborative artworks.
  • If work is available for sale, Spudnik Press retains 50% of income from the sale of artwork during the exhibition.


  • Participating artists must be current Spudnik Press members.
  • All artwork must have been partially or fully produced at Spudnik Press.
  • Artwork must be ready to hang.
  • Artwork dimensions must not exceed 22 x 30 in. 
  • Recent artwork made within the last two years is preferred.

To Participate:

  1. Complete the Online Sign Up Form by Saturday, August 11, 2018.
  2. Email with 2-3 hi-res images of your work by Friday, August 3, 2018 to be considered for inclusion in the promotional materials for the exhibition. Please include artist names, title, and year of completion in file name. Images should not exceed 1 MB each.
  3. Drop off artwork by Friday, August 24, 2018.
  4. Pick up artwork by Saturday, October 27, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.

Please direct any questions you may have to Additionally, if you are interested in participating in the exhibition, but do not yet count with a collaborator, our Member Directory and Member Interviews are great ways to help you get started and learn more about our community of printmakers. 

Professional Practice: Private Tour of EXPO CHICAGO 2018 with Susan Musich

Sunday, September 30, 2018
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Navy Pier – Festival Hall
600 E. Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

$15 for Spudnik Press Members
$5 for Studio Fellows
Register Online

Art fairs can sometimes be an overwhelming experience due to the sheer amount of artwork on display and the large crowds that they draw. However, don’t let this deter you from being part of the excitement this fall art season and join us for a private tour of EXPO CHICAGO (September 27-30, 2018), led by esteemed colleague Susan Musich.

Susan will orient our group of Spudnik Press members to the fair’s layout and highlight specific galleries among the 2018 exhibitors (Spudnik included!), as well as top artists and artworks. Additionally, during our 60 minute tour, our members will have personalized access to gallery owners and representatives and tailored information about site-specific artworks and exhibitions. The 2018 edition of EXPO CHICAGO will align with Art Design Chicago, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art, to present various programs and events throughout EXPO ART WEEK (September 24–30, 2018) including panel discussions, performances, and activations across the city. For more information about EXPO CHICAGO visit

This program is part of our Professional Practice: Off-site Visit series, intended to introduce members to the numerous and diverse art spaces and individuals that contribute to Chicago’s vibrant arts landscape. In addition to connecting with other professionals in the city, these visits present our members with a range of resources and career paths.

Susan Musich Bio:

Susan Musich is Executive Director of Homeroom, a collaborative, multidisciplinary arts organization. In addition to her role at Homeroom, she manages the tour program at EXPO CHICAGO and is an independent contractor providing content-based, communications, philanthropic, and board development services to arts organizations and foundations. Musich spent 20 years at the Museum of Contemporary Art as an educator and programmer. She was the MCA’s primary lecturer, managed the docent program, created interpretive materials, and worked with art historians, artists, and curators to produce public programs.

Registration Details:
Space is limited to 25 members. Advanced registration is required. The non-refundable registration fee can be paid online. Please note, transportation to EXPO CHICAGO is not provided. Registrants are responsible for providing their own transportation to and from the art fair and for arriving on time. An itinerary of the off-site visit, including instructions on where to meet upon arriving at Navy Pier, will be sent to all registered participants on Thursday, September 27, 2018.

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

Spudnik Press Welcomes 2018 Resident Artists

Spudnik Press Cooperative is excited to introduce the recipients of the 2018 Residency. This summer, we welcome Carris Adams, Holly Cahill, and artist couple Tom Christison and Anita Jung. Each residency will be modified to adapt to the interests and needs of the individual participants, while providing them with the artistic and financial support necessary to create new bodies of print-based artwork.

During their time spent with us, the four artists will partake in a variety of public programs and professional opportunities, as well as activate our space with different happenings during the Chicago Print Crawl on Sunday, June 24, 2018.

2018 Resident Artists

Carris Adams

Carris Adams is a visual artist whose practice visually investigates markers of “domesticated space”. The conceptually multi-layered works seek to inform and position viewers to recognize their assumptions, recall an experience and perhaps note how societal markers materialize in the landscape. Adams received her BFA from the University of Texas at Austin (2013) and her MFA from the University of Chicago (2015). Adams’s work has been exhibited at The Studio Museum in Harlem ( New York, NY) , The Logan Center Exhibitions at The University of Chicago (Chicago, IL), Produce Model Gallery (Chicago, IL) Tiger Strikes Asteroid Gallery (Chicago,IL) and The Courtyard Gallery at The University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX).

Holly Cahill

Trained as a painter, Holly Cahill uses an exploration of materials and process to engage with ideas connected to choreography, landscape, hyper-dimensional phenomena, and architecture. Her work has been shown at Penn State University, DEMO Project, Chicago Artist Coalition, the David and Reva Logan Center for the Arts, D Gallery, The Franklin, the Hyde Park Art Center, and the Walter Philips Gallery in Banff Canada, among others. She received her BFA in painting from Syracuse University and an MFA from the University of Cincinnati. She has been an artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center, 8550 Ohio, the Banff Centre, and Ox-Bow. Holly is an artist member of the newest branch of Tiger Strikes Asteroid in Chicago.

Tom Christison & Anita Jung

Tom Christison and Anita Jung are an artist couple who maintain separate studios and studio practices. Both artists explore an aesthetic and political practice that involves recycling and fragmentation. Their work comes from a dedicated practice of making in a world that seems to continuously be on the brink of self- destruction.

Tom Christison is a master of lithography and monotype processes, which he uses to create detailed fantastical prints about life cycles, passages of time, regeneration, and the food chain. Christison’s work may be found in numerous permanent collections including the Corcoran, Washington, DC, The National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C., the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Dresden Academy of Fine Art, Kupferstichkabinett, Germany, Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Paris, India Habitat Center, New Delhi, India, among others. He has taught printmaking and drawing at McNeese State University in Louisiana, Ohio University, The University of Tennessee- Knoxville, Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and the University of Iowa. He has also been part of the Master Printmaker in Residence Program at the Robert Blackburn Print Workshop in New York City and a resident at the Plain Museum of Art in Fargo, North Dakota. He maintains a private print workshop, Sandhill Press in Iowa City, Iowa, where his investigations into printmaking take place. Christison studied printmaking and drawing at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Arizona State University in Tempe, where he received an MFA in printmaking.

Anita Jung is a professor at the University of Iowa. She previously taught printmaking, drawing and installation courses at Illinois State University, Ohio University and University of Tennessee. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Arizona State University where she majored in painting and drawing. The Master of Fine Arts was awarded to her from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she worked with Bill Weegee as a printer at Off Jones Road and Tandem Press. Jung has also participated in the international IMPACT conferences in Poznan, Berlin and Tallinn. She was awarded a residency at the renowned Proyecto’ace atelier in Buenos Aires, Argentina, culminating in the exhibition Cuentos de Hadas (Fairytale). Her works of art have been exhibited throughout the United States in juried, invitational and solo exhibitions. Her art has been widely exhibited in juried, invitational and one-person exhibitions throughout the U.S. as well as India, Argentina, Iceland, Puerto Rico, China, England, Germany and Poland.

Image (left to right): Holly Cahill, Through the Eaves, 2013 (detail); Tom Christison, Turnbuckle, 2014-2015 (detail); Anita Jung, Jali Sunyata 27, 2017 (detail); Carris Adams, Bone No. 12 (Abassi), 2016 (detail).