Posts Categorized: News

Chili Babble #1: The History of Chili

Did you know…. America’s first chili was supposedly created by a group of women who emigrated from the Spanish Canary Islands?

Chili became a popular dish during the Gold Rush of 1848. By compressing all the ingredients into a brick, dried chili cakes could be easily transported then turned back into a thick stew by dropping into boiling water.

Women were again responsible for the introduction of chili to the Midwest during the 1893 Chicago’s World Fair at the infamous San Antonio Chili Booth!

Be on the lookout for more Chili Babbles as the 2017 Hashbrown Chili Cook-Off & Carnival approaches on Saturday, February 25. In the meantime, reserve your ticket for unlimited chili and print-themed carnival games!

2017 Hashbrown Chili Cook-Off & Carnival
Saturday, February 25, 2017
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Reserve Your Tickets

Meet The 2017 Hashbrown Guest Jurors: David Hammond & Pat Berger

The 2017 Hashbrown Chili Cook-Off & Carnival is around the corner on Saturday, February 25, and this annual event is gearing up to be the biggest and the best yet! With almost twice as many chefs and a new all-you-can-eat format, we decided to heat up the competition by inviting two of Chicago’s favorite foodies to visit the competition as Guest Jurors.

In addition to the “Best Meat” and “Best Vegetarian” Audience Choice Awards, the jurors will work together to determine the ultimate winner… The Chili Champ!

Reserve Your Tickets

Guest Jurors:

David Hammond

Dining and Drinking Editor for Newcity/Chicago

David Hammond is Dining and Drinking Editor for Newcity/Chicago, and a regular contributor of food/beverage-related articles to Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Men’s Book, Plate, Wednesday Journal, and Where Chicago. Between 2010-2014, he wrote weekly Food Detective and What to Do With columns for Chicago Sun-Times; since 2010 he has written weekly restaurant and product reviews for Wednesday Journal.

David has contributed chapters (Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand) to the Encyclopedia of World Street Food, as well as to the upcoming Encyclopedia of Chicago Food and Culture. He is the producer/host of You Really Should Eat This,” a cable television series done in conjunction with the Village of Oak Park; for WBEZ, he produced two seasons of Sound Bites, an examination of how chefs use sound to manage their kitchens. David is a founding member and moderator of, the 15,000 member Chicago culinary chat site.

Pat Berger

Owner of Paddy Long’s and Kaiser Tiger

“All cities have celebrity chefs, but great foodie cities have guys like Pat Berger, glue guys who hold communities together. Berger is a former rugby player who now owns his own bar, makes his own beer and serves as much bacon to customers as humanly possible. He started his college’s rugby program and now runs camps helping local kids get into the game. He works with a lot of local brewers and is a certified National Beer Judge. If you’re man enough — and you’re not — order the Whole Bomb, five pounds beef and pork deliciously weaved with brown sugar bacon.”

Reserve Your Tickets

Tickets Now Available for the 7th Annual Hashbrown Chili Cook-Off & Carnival

Chicago has a long connection with chili, beginning with The San Antonio Chili Stand at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago.  In keeping with that history, Spudnik Press is pleased to announce, for the seventh consecutive year, the 2017 Chili Cook-Off & Carnival to be held on Saturday, February 25th, 2017.

Purchase Tickets

This annual fundraiser has become a celebratory tradition among the Chicago arts community. Throughout the years, dozens of local organizations and businesses have contending for the coveted Golden Ladle. This year, guests can sample chili from up to 20 chefs, including previous champions and first-time competitors. New in 2017, Spudnik Press Cooperative members are forming chef teams and joining the competition!

The 2017 Hashbrown Chili Cook-Off & Carnival is also the first to include all-you-can eat chili, a guest jury, unlimited print-themed carnival games, and discounted tickets for youth.

While unlimted chili tastings (and the ability to cast a vote for their favorite) is what draws many guests to attend, The 2017 Hashbrown Chili Cook-Off & Carnival offers guests a varied of activities to round out their evening. Spudnik Press members have reinvented a variety of carnival games that turn the antique printing presses into festive hands-on printmaking games, fun for children and adults. Unlimited carnival games are included in all levels of admission.

Another exciting addition to this year’s battle is that chefs will have the opportunity to vie a “Best Of” award in addition to the “Best Meat” and “Best Vegetarian” Audience Choice Awards. The “Chili Champ” award will be selected by a Guest Jury including Chicago’s prestigious food writer, David Hammond and the owner of Kaiser Tiger and certified National Beer Judge, Pat Berger.

Each Chef Team featured in the 2017 cook-off is a critical contributor to arts in Chicago. This network of organizations, businesses, and generous individuals all work in harmony to provide resources and support Chicago many artists. The Hashbrown offers a unique opportunity to meet staff and volunteers from many of Chicago’s favorite local establishments. Confirmed chefs include Zine Not Dead, Metal Magic Interiors, Candor Arts, Chicago Alternative Comics Expo, Chicago Printmakers Collaborative, Fata Morgan Press and more.

The evening will be rounded out with DJ Pickled Beets spinning vinyl, a silent auction featuring artwork produced by some of Chicago’s most popular artists and gifts from some Chicago’s favorite culinary establishments. Sweet and savory tamales, also included in the price of admission, will help guests enjoy a well-rounded dinner.

Admission starts at $20 for adults and $10 for kids, with all proceeds supporting the mission and vision of Spudnik Press Cooperative. The VIP packages includes an open bar and a commemorative limited edition mug, affectionately known as “The Spud Mug”. Plus, VIP guests will stand out in the crowd by sporting their VIP-only golden tasting spoons! Tickets support the mission of Spudnik Press and can be purchased online at

Purchase Tickets

Download the Press Release


Join Our 10 Year Birthday Party Planning Team!

This June, Spudnik Press Cooperative celebrates a milestone: Our 10th Anniversary! 

Our staff, board of directors, and members are all teaming up to plan the birthday party of the decade, and are looking for more eager members to combine their passion for prints with their love of party planning.

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 19, 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.

What is Involved?

  • Attend monthly meetings,approximately once per month, Jan 2017 through August 2017.
  • Bring leadership to the planning and execution of the yet-to-be-planned event.
  • Stay connected between meetings through email and google docs through researching or brainstorming.
  • Act as a general ambassador for Spudnik Press (You probably already do this!)
  • Provide additional volunteer support during the 10 Year Birthday Party.

Who are we looking for?

  • Current members
  • Teaching artists and past students
  • Past fellows, residents, apprentices and interns
  • Artists and community members at large that have an investment in Spudnik Press Cooperative.
  • Individuals with a general interest in organizing, fundraising, and event planning

To Sign Up:

  • Email Please include your name and phone number.
  • Indicate if you are available for the upcoming meeting on Thursday, January 19, 5:oo – 6:30 p.m. 
  • (We understand the scheduled meeting might be inconvenient for those who work typical business hours. Just let us know your availability, and we will do our best to create a standing meeting time that works for all!)

New Weekly Crit Group for Members!

Exciting news! With hopes of establishing a regular space for artists to share their artwork and receive input from their peers, Spudnik will be hosting a FREE weekly critique group every Thursday night!

The Critique Group kicks off right off first thing in 2017 every Thursday from 8-9 p.m. with two to three members presenting artwork each week. Current Spudnik Press members can participate by signing up through our online sign-up form or in person.

The Details:

  • Each week two to three artists will present artwork (work in progress, finished work, what ever the artist chooses). Additional members are encouraged to sign up to contribute feedback.
  • Thursday night Open Studio attendees are encouraged to join the group as well, either getting feedback on new work or contributing feedback.
  • During the month of January, the critique group format will be tested out and tweaked as needed. In February, once we see what works best, the format will be finalized and we will invite more members to join the group.
  • The critique group is free. Participants are encouraged to bring snacks and beverages.

Spudnik Press is Hiring: Studio Coordinator

Spudnik Press Cooperative is now accepting applications for a Studio Coordinator position. This is a permanent part-time position.

The Studio Coordinator provides broad support for the Executive Director and Studio Manager across many Spudnik Press programs and efforts. On a daily basis, the Studio Coordinator will balance responsibility across many programs. This is a fast-paced job that requires strong organization, time management, teamwork, written and verbal communication skills, and the capacity to quickly learn new processes.

To apply:
Before applying, please downloaded and review the Studio Coordinator Job Description. To apply, please send e-mail with a PDF resume and PDF cover letter to Please direct any questions to this e-mail address as well. Interviews will begin the week of January 2, 2017.

Community Challenge: Help Us Reach $5K by December 31, 2016

What is the Community Challenge?

Each year, Spudnik Press supports thousands of people in our community— art-lovers, printmakers, explorers, academics, creatives, students, and dabblers, alike. You are part of the artistic community and the Spudnik Press family, and as 2016 winds down, we are seeking support from our friends and family to end the year in the black and keep our studio running smoothly.

We are in need of $5000 in donations by 12/31/16 to keep presses running smoothly and 2017 programs in full swing. The Board of Directors has set the pace for our fundraising:

They donated the first $1000…
and they challenge you to help us raise the rest!

We are already 20% there! Please help us complete the challenge!

Make a tax deductible donation

What Do Donations Support?

If we meet our $5000 goal, we will be able to cover the following costs:

  • One month of Studio Access supplies. In other words, 7 gallons of screenprinting ink, 8 lbs of oil-based ink, 4 tubes of risography ink, masking tape, newsprint, emulsion, and many other miscellaneous supplies.
  • Direct costs for 6 Exhibitions presented in the Spudnik Press Annex.
  • 5 Field Trips for 80 Chicago-area highschool students.
  • Ongoing maintenance of our 9 printing presses and 70 screens.
  • Sponsoring 11 local artists through our Studio Fellowship and Residency Programs.

Over the next few weeks, we look forward to sharing more details about each of these programs, and the value they provide our community.

A Few Inky Incentives:

First Time Donors:
A special offer for our friends and family who are making their first donation to Spudnik Press Cooperatve: Donate at any level to be entered in a raffle for any Winter 2017 class or workshop.  The winner can keep the class for themselves or pass it along to a creative friend!

Donors at $100+ Level:
You and a guest will be invited to our donor-exclusive Ink & Drink Art Party on January 13.

Rise to the Challenge:
Make a tax deductible donation


2017 Classes & Workshops: 28 Opportunities to be Creative at Spudnik Press Cooperative

Whether we like it or not, the year is winding down and at Spudnik Press, we are turning our attention to 2017 and another energetic year of making prints with our community! While each person that comes to the studio has their own goals, ambitions, and motivations, we all can rally behind the possibilities of printmaking as a creative outlet and a tool for community building.

Our 12 new classes and 16 new workshops present a wide array of opportunities for everyone from first-time artmakers to Spudnik alumni. Take a look at our new schedule. Sign yourself up. Or consider gifting a class or workshop to a friend who needs to spend more time being creative….

Brand New Super Special Classes: This Winter Only!

The Artist Book: Design & Construction NEW
Saturday Morning Zine Club  NEW
The Great Pronto Plate: Polymer Plate Lithography NEW

Giftable  DIY Workshops:

T-Shirts & Totebags Screenprinting Workshop
DIY Greeting Cards: Letterpress Printing
Illustrative Lettering: Combing Word & Image NEW
DIY Valentines: Screenprint Your Own Cards
Make Your Own Wall Art: Chicago Edition  NEW
DIY Letterpress Coasters
DIY Screenprinted Tea Towels

Core Classes & Workshops: Learn to Print at Spudnik Press:

Relief Printmaking
Screenprinting Explorations
Risography 101
Letterpress I: Wood and Metal Type
Printmaking Foundations

Build on Prior Skills: Special Topics and Intermediate Classes:

Offset Printing: High Speed Print Production
Screenprinting Refresher
Color Theory for Screenprinters
Risography 201: From Pre-Press to Publication (details forthcoming) NEW
Photoshop for Printmakers
Letterpress Finesse
Adobe Illustrator for Printmakers  NEW

Browse all Classes & Workshops

The Spudnik Press 2016 Gift Giving Guide

The holidays are upon us! It is time to search high and low for awesome gifts that feel great to give. We thought we would share a few ideas from our favorite local artists and our own humble studio.

To begin the guide, we have some gift options for people who just need a little push to be creative and make art. Here are a few ways to encourage your friends and family to make things with their hands:

1-Day Workshop | Hands-on art making for the DIY inclined
Annual Membership | 365 Days of Discounts & Member-Only Opportunities
Back to the Studio Special | Annual Membership + 3 Open Studio Coupons
$50 Gift Certificate | Good for classes, studio time, membership and more

Open Studio Plus Membership WEB

Shop Local at Spudnik Press

This fall, we spruced up our store area, and have an all new “Spud Shop” with some of our favorite giftable items including posters, shirts, chapbooks, totes and a $5 print bin. Come by during our business hours (Tuesday – Friday 12-5pm) or Open Studio hours (Mondays & Thursdays 6-10pm, Saturdays 1-5pm) to browse the store. A few highlights from the online version:

Ten x Ten Collection | LP and Publication
Whole Inventory for Future Earth Survival | Limited Edition Print by Sarah Hotchkiss
Swim Time T-Shirt, Totes, Tea Towels & Bandanas | Design by Jeanine Coupe-Ryding
Guide to Being Broke & Fabulous | By Julia Arredondo, 2015 Resident Artist


Shop Local From Our Members

The members at Spudnik Press are a talented group of artists with online shops that stock everything from handmade wrapping paper to illustrated maps of the midwest to jewelry and apparel to weird gifts with dark humor. If you like art and you like your community, show your support by shopping local!

Bred Press | Brad Rohloff
Current Location Press Raychel Steinbach Lauen
DrawAshleyDraw | Ashley Elander
Littlehahas | Heather Anderson
Perfectly Acceptable | Matt Davis
Radiator Comics | Neil Brideau
rovePrints | Alexandra DiVito
Takorika | Erika Harano
Tararchy Screenprinting | Tara Zanzig
TotesFerosh | Josh Epstein
Used Sweats | Gabe Howell
Vice Versa Press | Julia Arredondo
Who Cuts Your Jib | Miden Wood

Browse the Spudnik Press Cooperative Online Store

Winter 2017 Studio Assistant Internship: Priority Deadline is December 4

Internships at Spudnik Press focus on bringing students into every aspect of facilitating a community studio. Interns assist with daily maintenance of the shop, included cleaning, stocking, and ordering supplies, marketing, exhibitions, record keeping, fundraising, workshops, and classes, and more. Students typically work two days a week (Wednesdays, Thursdays, or Fridays) 10-5pm.

Responsibilities include:

Art Administration: Fundraising, accounting, event planning, etc.
Online and Print Marketing: Design and distribution for small non-profit environment
Teaching Assistance: For group classes, workshops, and field trips
Printing Assistance: For Publishing projects and promotional materials
Exhibition Assistance: Organization, installation, documentation, and promotion

Spudnik Press staff begin reviewing applications on December 4, 2016.

See all the Details or Download the Job Description.

The Fellowship Program: Past, Present, Future

The Spudnik Press Fellowship  is a flagship opportunity for young artists, emerging artists, artists in a transitional point in their career, and artists who are unable to utilize our fee-based Studio Access Programs to gain unrestricted access to the many resources at Spudnik Press.

This November, our Fellowship Program is in full swing with three exciting events that highlight our fellows (past, present and future), and offer unique opportunities for our community to meet and learn from Chicago’s up-and-coming printmakers.

First, this Saturday, November 13, outgoing fellows Rob Kelsey and Matt Wead present The Exquisite Risographic Flip Book! With donation-base tuition, all are welcome to come dabble with a new skill, including educators looking for new ideas, first-time artists, professionals, and everyone in between. We suggest $20 when able, but are happy to accept whatever amount works with your budget. Space is limited, so sign up soon!

Then, on Saturday, November 19, we welcome back 2014 Fellow, Kim Morski, for her first solo exhibition in Chicago! Now a resident of Denver, Colorado, Morski is flying in to present a short talk about her exhibition, Populace Mechanics, Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

Plus, coinciding with the Opening Reception of Populace Mechanics, the incoming and outgoing fellows team up to present The Fall 2016 Crossing of the Fellows. This is your chance to raise a glass to our Summer/Fall Fellows, Rebecca LothanRobert KelseyMatthew Wead, and Randi Stella, as they pass on the (inky) torch to our new Winter/Spring Studio Fellows, Betsy StoutMary ClimesCarolina Martinez, and Yasaman Moussavi.

With two cohorts each year and over 20 alumni , the Spudnik Press Fellowship Program has proven to be a critical resource for Chicago artist and printmakers:

“I found this program to be unique because it allowed me to work in several different modes: as an artist, a studio monitor, and a curator.”

“The experience strengthened my teaching skills and my artistic practice, as well as my applications to graduate MFA programs.”

“The program not only immersed me in Chicago’s print culture and broadened my professional network, but also gave me much needed access to a printmaking facility and the sustained time to develop a body of work.”

We invite our community to join one or all of our fall Fellowship events to celebrate and support these talented artists.

Support the Fellowship Program