Accessibility in the Studio: An Evening with Resident Artist Benjamin Merritt

Meet Benjamin MerrittResident Artist from Minneapolis, MN, for a conversation addressing disability in the arts, his own artistic practice, and considerations and strategies to make studio arts like printmaking more accessible for people of all abilities. Printmakers, teachers, and those working in academic settings are all encouraged to learn about and discuss what accessibility means and some challenges and solutions to creating accessible classrooms and studios.

Part artist talk and part participatory conversation, Benjamin will lead a group conversation addressing how to make arts and academic spaces more accessible. He will share various sensory and adaptive modifications of printmaking tools and projects for the benefit of everyone involved in the arts, including people with various disabilities. 

As an artist and writer, Benjamin Merritt challenges the normative idea that the body is something individual, unchanging, and fully knowable by objective means. His prints and drawings combine imagery and text from his medical records and personal writings, exploring his own experience with chronic illness as well as how patient’s bodies are written about and recorded. His work asks us to rethink the medicalized constructs we apply to the body, and suggests alternatives that are more beneficial to and understanding of bodies that don’t fit these norms.

Image: from Constant, Immediate, Benjamin Merritt, Etching, monoprint, 2019-2020

Charlie and the Hashbrown Factory: 10th Annual Spudnik Press Chili Cook-Off

All-You-Can-Eat Chili | Hashbrowns | Open Bar | Games | Music

Take an unforgettable, uniquely magical journey through the deliciously delightful, whimsically wonderful world of Spudnik Press Cooperative at our 10thAnnual Chili Cook-Off. The world of pure imagination is the limit for our 16 chefs competing for the admiration of our guests and the coveted prizes of “Best Chili”!

Because nothing goes better with chili than chili, admission comes with unlimited tastes of chili. Plus, for the first time in the event’s history, we’ll proudly be serving an everlasting supply of our Famously Mysterious & Eponymous Hash Browns!

Between tastes of chili, enjoy Wonka-themed games and activities, drinks for both kids and adults, candy-inspired tunes, and more.

“After all, a little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest of them.”

Featured Chefs:

2x1y Studio
Art/Work
Bad at Sports
Barrel Maker Printing
Candor Arts
Chicago Printers Guild
Chicago Printmakers Collaborative
culture/math (and the Visualist)
FATA MORGANA PRESS
Hyde Park Art Center
One Design
Platform Studios Chicago
Rohner Press
The Cabbage Water is Not Chili, Charlie Team
The We Make Good Chili Team

Ticket Details:

All levels include unlimited chili, hash browns, drinks, and games. 
Kids 5 and under: Free

Sponsors:

Thank you CHIRP Radio, Metropolitan Brewing, and Virtue Cider for being sponsors of this event!

Metropolitan Brewing - Chicago, IL

Drink & Draw: Exquisite Animations | April 2020

Enter the fourth dimension at our animation themed Drink & Draw this April. Inspired by the surrealist exquisite corpse parlor game in which a collection of words and images are assembled by a group of people, we will create a collaborative animation centered on the theme of time.

Guest Artist, Lisa Armstrong, will share how the element of time can turn simple drawings into playful juxtaposition, abstract stories, and unexpected visual delights. Drawn animation frames can take the form of comics, storyboards, patterns, color fields, photo collage, or type-based images. The evening will culminate with everyone photographing their frames to create and a collaborative stop-motion animation. Popcorn will be ready for the big debut screening!

Scheduling Note: April Fool’s! This Drink & Draw is April 8 (2nd Wednesday)! On the first Wednesday of the month, we recommend you head to Art on theMART, the largest permanent digital art projection in the world, projecting contemporary artwork across the 2.5 acre facade of the historic Merchandise Mart, to get inspired by the debut of Lisa’s animation made in collaboration with the Arts of Life.


Lisa Armstrong is a multi-disciplinary designer, artist, and educator. Her research focuses primarily on the study of empathic design, time-based media, and tensions between artificial and emotional intelligence. As a designer, she mainly works with clients in the non-profit, arts, and cultural sectors.

Drink & Draw is a low-key drop-in social workshop devoted to drawing practices. There are no pretensions, no prerequisites, and newcomers are always welcome. Bring a sketchbook and basic drawing materials, and invite your friends! Drink & Draw occurs the first Wednesday of every other month and features a special theme and a guest artist. Admission to Drink & Draw is a $15 suggested donation. The event is BYOB, but we do have some wine and beer available with a donation.