2016 Residency Kick-Off Open House

The 2016 Residency kicks-off this September, and we are excited to introduce this year’s cohort of artists, Alex KostiwViraj Mithani and Jake Saunders. Each of these three local artists will have unfettered access to the abundant tools, equipment and resources at Spudnik Press through December 2016. Each artist will create a new body of print-based work. The residency culminates with each artist debuting new work in a series of 2017 solo exhibitions.

Spudnik Press Cooperative invites our community to meet these three artist, view and discuss selections from their portfolios and learn more about their upcoming residency projects. Members, students, board members, educators, fellow printmakers and past Resident Artists are all encouraged to join us Wednesday, September 7, 6-8pm for conversation and refreshments.

Alex Kostiw

Alex Kostiw is an artist and graphic designer in Chicago. Her practice combines short stories and experimental comics with book design and printmaking. She is interested in narratives that reveal something more felt than understood.  Her work explores how little can be given to a reader while still establishing meaning. Alex received an M.F.A. in visual communication design from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her B.A. in English literature from the University of Chicago.

Viraj Viral Mithani

Viraj Mithani is an interdisciplinary contemporary artist. His works derive from historic artistic cultures and worldly traditions. His practice floats between print, painting and sculpture. Native of Mumbai, India, he began with a traditional background in the arts. He graduated with a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015. He also holds a diploma degree from Chelsea Camberwell Wimbledon College of Art and Design (CCW) of University of Arts London (2012). Viraj Mithani currently works and resides in Chicago, IL pursuing his art practice and teaching at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Jake Saunders

Jake Saunders is a Chicago artist working in printmaking as well as drawing and painting. Hailing from Muncie, Indiana, Jake grew up with a love for a variety of narrative based art forms, which became his focus in his art practice. After becoming fascinated with the unique aesthetics of woodcuts and etchings and their aptitude for seriality and multiplicity, Jake earned a BFA and MA in printmaking from Ball State University and went on to earn his MFA at the University of Connecticut. He has since gone on to show nationally and internationally. Today, Jake’s work amalgamates narratives to explore the concept of tragedy in forms both grand and mundane.

Learn more about the Spudnik Press Residency Program


2016 Annual Member Meeting

What makes the “Annual” meeting so special? This is your chance to cast your ballot for our Board of Directors. That’s right, we need YOU to help drive the direction of YOUR printshop! This August, with your blessing, we are bringing on 5 new volunteer Directors. Take a peak below to learn what each person can bring to Spudnik Press.

This is also your chance to chat with fellow Spudnik members, share artwork, share opportunities, and share your enthusiasm for printmaking. On the agenda for the evening is discussion about Fall Clean Up Day, The Suffragette Social : A Benefit for Spudnik Press, The Spudnik Member Art Sale, and the 10-Year Anniversary Steering Committee.

As an added bonus, our teaching artists Leila Abdelrezaq and Janice Cho will both be presenting their work!

Please rsvp to info@spudnikpress.org or become a Spudnik Press member.

The Board of Directors Ballot

This August, we will vote to expand the size of our board from 3-8 board members to 5-10. With this change, we are able to bring on up to 5 new folks to help us achieve our ambitious plans for the future. We think we have found an amazing group of individuals with tons of relevant experiences AND a passion for printmaking and the arts:

Stephen DeSantis

Stephen DeSantis lived in New York for twenty-six years working as a commercial still-life photographer (including commuting between NY and Paris for two years) for clients including Estee Lauder, Revlon, The Wall Street Journal, the NYC MTA, People Magazine and Coopers & Lybrand. Moving to Chicago in 2005 he earned his MFA in Interdisciplinary Book & Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago in 2008. Stephen’s photographs and artists’ books have been exhibited internationally including at the Seoul Artist’ Book Fair, Printworks Gallery in Chicago and the Kinsey Institute. His work is included in the Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection and the University of Iowa Library Special Collection. As Director of Academic Initiatives at Columbia College Chicago, his responsibilities included special projects including exhibitions of student work and conferences, and is the advisor for the Art + Activism program and student organization.

In Stephen’s words: “Having spent thirty-four years as a freelance photographer, during my eleven years living in Chicago I’ve become a huge fan of the environment, facilities and the passionate support Spudnik offers.”

Bert Green

Bert Green has pursued a path that has focused 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. His gallery, Bert Green Fine Art represents and exhibits emerging and mid-career artists. They also work with specialty print houses to produce unusual and rare limited edition lithographs, letterpress, and photographic prints for both the primary and secondary market.

In Bert’s words: “I am especially interested in printmaking’s place in the art world, and how Chicago can raise its profile in that world. Spudnik strikes me as the kind of place where a lot of amazing, quality growth potential is apparent.”

Raquel Ladensack

– A practicing photography with gallery experience, including database implimentation.
– Experience implementing arts databases and dealing with diverse students and clients
– Editing Certificate, University of Chicago Graham School, Chicago, Illinois
– 2011 Master of Fine Art in Photography, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
– 2003 Bachelor of Arts in Art and Philosophy, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan

Raquel brings to Spudnik her arts background and administrative expertise in the areas of editing, publishing and grants writing.

Bianca Marks

Enthusiastic Marketing Manager with 10+ years of proven expertise driving brand awareness through compelling campaigns and multi-channel communications integrating social media, website content, public relations material, advertising, media, and team collaboration. Adept at event planning and project management as well as building mutually beneficial partnerships with various stakeholders including business and community partners. Well-versed with guiding effective campaigns from conception to fruition using strategies to get the attention of the target audience.

In Bianca’s own words: “It’s with a desire to apply my passion for art and aptitude in marketing communications and that motivates me to express my interest in obtaining a board member position at Spudnik Press Cooperative. I offer my skills in marketing communications, event coordination and a deep love and respect for artists and their creative process. One of the reasons that I am drawn to Spudnik is your commitment to providing access and insights to new artists. I would consider it my absolute pleasure to contribute the organization’s continued growth and success.”

Adrienne Quint

– Currently managing HR processes at MCA.
– She brings experience at a large arts institution, as well as extensive understanding of processes related to on-boarding, training, and recruiting.
– She has BFA in printmaking from Grand Valley State (MI) and thus is familiar with and fond of the kind of work being produced at Spudnik Press Cooperative.

In Adrienne’s own words: “With my both my printmaking background and my professional experience in Human Resources at a non-profit museum, I can contribute to the growth of the organization and help to realize Spudnik Press’s strategic plan.”



Rules, Tools, and Fools–Opening Reception & Artist Talk

Artists respond to the Whole Earth Catalog with various media and teach-ins.

Spudnik Press Cooperative presents “Rules, Tools, and Fools,” featuring Chicago-based artists ACT Collective, Alberto Aguilar, Jesse Malmed, Jaclyn JacunskiJason Pallas, Ryan Thompson, Hui-min Tsen, and national artists Sarah Hotchkiss (San Francisco), Jen Smoose (Seattle), and Leah Wolff (New York). This exhibition will feature the artists’ various responses to a key piece of printmedia – the Whole Earth Catalog.

Whole Earth Catalog is a counter-cultural touchstone that presaged many of today’s artistic and social modes of engagement. Rules, Tools, and Fools serves as a vehicle for artists to be provoked by and respond to the Whole Earth Catalog using a range of materials and conceptual strategies. The exhibiting artists all have a relationship with at least one of the themes explicitly embedded within the Catalog–alternative education, off-the-grid living, self-sufficiency, do-it-yourself culture, ecology, utopian ideals, communal action, holism, and access to tools.  All of the artists are crafting new responses and activities to the Catalog for the exhibition.

The show is presented in The Annex, an educational and exhibition space within the non-profit printmaking studio, Spudnik Press Cooperative. The show is not only a response to all that the Whole Earth Catalog embodies, but is a visual manifestation of the role that Spudnik Press plays in the Chicago ecosystem.

The organization of Rules, Tools, and Fools mimics the strategies that drive Spudnik Press as a collectively managed and cooperatively run printshop.  The progressive ethics used to bring the artists together and create programming mirror the spirit of the Whole Earth Catalog.  This equitable effort puts trust in artists’ voices to shape how the show manifests.  Rather than a nostalgic revisiting of a bygone era, the show offers poetic and practical solutions from our contemporary relationship to the Whole Earth’s problems.

Stay hungry, stay foolish.

The Rules, Tools, and Fools Reading Library

The artists and exhibition organizers have collaborated to compile a selection of books and related ephemera to augment the exhibition with a reading library. This reading area, currently on view at Spudnik and continuing  throughout the exhibition, serves as a public resource for deeper investigations of the source material and other scholarly works.  As part of the opening reception, a short artist talk will feature many of the participating artists discussing their practice and contributions to the exhibition and their reflections of the Whole Earth Catalog. There will also be additional programming associated with the exhibition, including a film program hosted at The Nightingale, and a series of teach-ins with community partners at Spudnik.  All events are free and open to the public.

Rules, Tools, and Fools is organized by participating artists Jaclyn Jacunski and Jason Pallas in collaboration with Angee Lennard, Founder and Director of Spudnik Press.


Rules, Tools, and Fools will kick-off with an Artist Talk featuring a panel of exhibiting artists at 6:15 p.m. on August 12, followed by the Opening Reception.

The exhibition runs through September 24th, 2016. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, noon to 5pm, or by appointment.

Scratch an Etch (2 Day Workshop)

Learn the age-old art of etching as the Smart Museum and Spudnik Press team up in this two-day printmaking workshop.

On the first day of the workshop, August 11, we’ll tour the Prints and Privacy exhibition at the Smart with curator Anne Leonard and then retire to the “studio” to etch our on our own copper plates! On the following Thursday, August 18, join us at Spudnik Press, as Founder Angee Lennard takes us behind the scenes as we finish our plates, wipe them, and send them through the press!

Free, but space is limited. Please register in advance through the Smart Museum.

Above: Boetius Adams Bolswert, After Abraham Bloemaert, Landscape, c. 1614, Etching on laid paper. Smart Museum of Art, Bequest of Ruth Philbrick, 2010.37

Drink & Draw: August 2016–Collage Night

It’s Summer-summer-summer time, and we invite you to join us for a night of doodling, cutting & pasting, layering and creating experimental “drawings” from magazine clippings, photographs, fabric scraps, discarded print ephemera, image transfers and much much more!

Multi-media artist, Emily Moorhead, will lead guests through various approaches to assembling found material with handmade doodles on paper. We’ll stock the studio with mark-making and collage materials, but guests are more than welcome to bring their favorite magazines and printed ephemera to cut up and share!

Drink and 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 $10 suggested donation. The event is BYOB, but we do have some wine and beer available with a donation.

Finding Your Audience; Gaining Recognition

A discussion of resources, individual drive and what it means to be a part of the emerging artist scene in Chicago.

In the academic setting, the classroom acts as a vehicle for constant critical discourse. On campus galleries provide students opportunities to exhibit artwork, often in a “white cube” gallery space. Parameters are provided, as are peers to attend the reception, and professors to provide feedback.

What happens when you leave the institutional bubble and continue to make artwork that should be seen? How do you find your audience within a city of roughly 2.7 million people? Who should you be reaching out to? How do you create opportunities for yourself? What are your available resources?

We’ve brought together three contributors to the Chicago art scene to take a close look at our city in particular. What are Chicago’s strengths within the “emerging artist” scene? What are Chicago’s weaknesses or challenges? There are many platforms for exhibition including apartment galleries, coffee shops, neighborhood festivals and local boutiques yet few direct avenues to gallery representation. How can artists navigate this unruly network of opportunities? How can artists best utilize continuing education, professional development programs, residencies and collaborations to further their career and their place in the Chicago artistic community?

Join Spudnik Studio Manager, Nicolette Ross, in conversation with Britt Skaathun, MK Meador, and Michael Ryan to investigate possible road maps for emerging artists to find their audience and gain recognition.

Presenter Bios:

Britt Skaathun is the cofounder of Open House Contemporary (OHC). OHC gallery focuses on young, new, and emerging talent whilst providing a unique opportunity to display artwork in an outstanding, lofty space in the bustling neighborhood of Chicago’s River West.

MK Meador is a writer and curator living in Chicago, IL.

Michael X. Ryan is a Chicago based visual artist and has been the Faculty Advisor to Student Union Galleries at SAIC since 1993.  



Finding Your Audience; Gaining Recognition is a free event kicking of our 2016 Professional Development Series What You Didn’t Learn in Art School:

Part I: Finding your Audience; Gaining Recognition 
Part II: How to Talk About Your Art
Part III: Documenting Your Artwork for Under $100
Part IV: The Start Up: A Beginning Guide to Being Self-Employed
Part V: Contracts for Creatives: How to Protect Yourself and Your Artwork 


The Spudnik Picnik

A Positively Palatable Printing Party

Hands-on Printmaking Tours / Community Cyanotype Portraits / Member Print Sale / Delicious Eats / Sweet Treats & Root Beer Floats / Metropolitan Beer / Dark Matter Coffee / & More

$5 Suggested Donation / Open to the Public

Join Spudnik Press printmakers on Saturday, July 9, 12pm – 5pm at the Hubbard Street Lofts for a gathering with food, friends and art. Grab your blanket and a friend (or three) for an afternoon that combines the best of Chicago’s neighborhood festivals with a hearty side of hands-on printmaking.

This is not your typical picnic! The Hubbard Street Lofts outdoor parking lot will transform into our printmaking and picnic paradise. Bask in the summer sunshine to help Spudnik create large-scale cyanotype banners with an interactive all-ages community art project. Plus, a $10 Tour Pass gets you an all-access pass to the Spudnik Press studios, an introduction to a variety of unique printing presses, and you’ll print your own swag with the hands-on guidance of expert printers.

When you are done making art, don’t miss the Spudnik Press member pop-up art sale. Their affordable and diverse artworks make unique housewarming gifts and brighten any corner of your apartment.

These unexpected artistic treats will be balanced by casual, conventional picnic fare: hotdogs, root beer floats, a bake sale, coffee from Dark Matter, and beer from Chicago’s own Metropolitan Brewery. Jennifer Greene (DJ Pickled Beets) and Ian Dinsmor will be spinning vinyl, showcasing her unbeatable collection of funk, soul, disco and boogie records.

The Spudnik Picnik is presented by Spudnik Press with support from Metropolitan Brewing and Dark Matter Coffee:

metropolitannightlogojpeg260kb    Dark Matter

View The Spudnik Picnik Press Release.

Temporal Tantrum–Opening Reception

The passage of time is a universal yet highly subjective experience that can be measured in countless ways. From time travel theory, to poaching an egg, to sleeping, all have vast temporal implications. In art, time is often addressed through the medium of film, but how does one confront it in a static medium such as printmaking? Temporal Tantrum examines the concept of time and how time is perceived.

The exhibition features a print portfolio of the same name that include new artworks by ten Chicago artists. Each printmaker has examined the universal, yet highly subjective, experience that is the passage of time. Dana Johnson’s illustrative print depicts a missed opportunity, waiting in anticipation, and the let down or frustration of this experience through the typical urban experience of just missing a bus. Other contributions utilize time as a material in the art-making process. Stan Shellabarger began his print by repetitiously walking on a wood plank. Over time, his footprints left grooves worn into the wood. Through the process of inking then printing from this block of wood, Shellabarger was able to create a record of both this activity and a discrete unit of time.

In addition to the print portfolio, the exhibition includes a series of etchings by Jeremy Lundquist, Notice – Closed. Using only a single copper plate to create his entire body of work, the plate itself has been transformed into a physical representation of memory. The prints created from that plate are a documentation of memory as an active entity. Through depicting fragments of historically significant landmarks, Lundquist calls attention to how remembrance evolves, and previously significant events become obfuscated, buried, or re-contextualized across time. Calling attention to the fickleness of memory and our susceptibility to the present and its affect on our perceptions of the past, Lundquist’s 21 prints will not simultaneously be on view. Instead, each of the 21 states of Notice – Closed will only be displayed for a limited time. Every few days, newer states of the print will replace old.

Featured Artists:

Heather Anderson, Margaret Hitch, Dana Johnson, Jeremy Lundquist, Margaret McGill, Angelika Piwowarczyk, Ashley ShaulStan Shellabarger, Randi Stella, Mario Valdivia, Tara Zanzig

Temporal Tantrum will kick-off with a Gallery Talk featuring a panel of exhibiting artists at 6:00 p.m. on June 17, followed by the Opening Reception.

The exhibition runs through July 30th, 2016. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, noon to 5pm, or by appointment.

Volunteer Open House, Mixer and Birthday Party


The Volunteer Mixer is two events in one: a thank you party for all our amazing past volunteers, and a fun prelude for future volunteers!

Our new volunteer program provides ample opportunities to support through assisting with studio innovations, organization, exhibitions and community outreach. Our volunteers support our ever-growing studio and programs, become part of our thriving community of printmakers, artists and art supporters, and (if desired) get to learn about arts administration and what happens behind the scenes at Spudnik Press Cooperative.

If you love what we do, and want to contribute to our year-round efforts to keep printmaking affordable, accessible and vibrant, please join us for this event of community, conversation, drinks and even a little art-making! If you are a Spudnik Member, a friend or colleague of the studio, a current student (here or elsewhere) or simply a curious neighbor, you are invited to stop by, check out the studio, meet our awesome staff, fellows and interns, and learn more about how you can help support our mission. Did we mention that snacks and drinks will be plentiful?