Benjamin Merritt

Resident Artist

My prints and drawings seek to challenge normative readings of the culturally and scientifically constituted body through the use of text. This body is a body that is complete and never changing, a body that is individual and closed, a body that is readable, and a body known through sight. These ideas are constructed by ideological structures such as language and objectivity, as well as cultural institutions like hospitals. In my work, I don’t seek to denounce these ideological structures and institutions (as my relationship to them is one of necessity) but rather to suggest ways of rethinking the constructed body that are more beneficial to, and understanding of, bodies that don’t fit into these norms.

I utilize processes of drawing and printmaking, such as copper plate etching, monotype, lithography, and artists’ books. These printmaking methods produce textures and marks that are very bodily, specifically the printed mark acting as an image relating to scarring, rubbing, or touching. My work utilizes the appropriation of medical imagery, such as dermatology textbook figures and diagrams of the body contrasted against textural mark-making. I also contrast forms of writing such as indexes and clinical documents with personal and theoretical writing that explores my own relationship to illness as well as themes of how the patient body is written and recorded.

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

Website:

benjaminmerritt.com/Home-2

Residency Period:

Feb 2020–Feb 2020

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Dutes Miller

Resident Artist (2008)

Dutes Miller’s collages, artists books and phallic sculptures examine the spaces where the artist’s inner life, queer subcultures and mass media intersect. Miller appropriates images from pornographic websites, magazines and his own imaginings to investigate alternative standards of beauty, visualizations of lust and desire found on the internet, and power dynamics in sexual relationships. Michelle Grabner wrote in ArtForum, “Miller’s mixed-media collages on paper incorporating penis figures striking silly states of repose and activity are enjoyable vignettes, demonstrating nimble material interplay.”

Miller’s work is driven by an investigation of queer male sexuality through a tactile exploration of materials, most often plaster, resin and paint and also including fabric, feathers, horns and other found objects. From a conceptual standpoint, he is interested in the notion of an object that is penetrable (orifice) versus one which penetrates (phallus). Appearing to be in states of transition, his sculptures attempt to find the potential conflation of the two.

Services Offered:

  • Printmaking Commissions

Website:

westernexhibitions.com/artist/dutes-miller/

Residency Period:

Sep 2008–Nov 2008

Project Statement:

Dutes Miller and Stan Shellabarger’s first collaborative show occurred at Western Exhibitions in the Spring of 2007 and was reviewed in TimeOut Chicago and the Chicago Sun-Times. The Chicago-based couple has been creating collaborative works since they starting dating years ago, this work creates a distinct body of work separate from their individual studio practices. Miller’s personal work is often paintings or collages with themes of hardcore gay, hyper masculine, body-centric images, rather than focusing on partnerships and domestic.

Classes by this Artist:

Introduction to Paper Marbling
Paper Marbling Workshop
Decorative Paper: Suminagashi, Paste Papers, & Paper Marbling
Techniques in Monoprinting

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Grace Novacek

grace novacek is an illustrator reveling in small fantasies. she welcomes playful comfort + youthful imagination + tender worldbuilding across mediums, including ceramics, crochet, animation, makeup, and poetry.

Services Offered:

  • Illustration
  • Printmaking Commissions

Website:

gnovs.com

Angelika Piwowarczyk

Design by Angelika

Design by Angelika is a multi-service design and print shop based in Chicago led by Angelika Piwowarczyk (and her trusted sidekick, Flora the German Shepherd). The projects that come out of this little studio vary from custom stationery to small business branding to commissioned artwork, and anything in between!

Services Offered:

  • Graphic Design
  • Illustration
  • Printmaking Commissions

Website:

www.designbyangelika.com

Classes by this Artist:

Screenprinting on Canvas: Make Your Own Wall Art (WI2015)
Screenprinting on Canvas: Make Your Own Wall Art
Card Making Workshop: Hand Lettering and Screenprinting
Screenprint Your Own Gift Set
DIY Gifts: Kitchen Tea Towels
Hand Lettering Workshop
Screenprinting on Canvas: Make Your Own Wall Art
DIY Greeting Cards: Screenprinting
Illustrative Lettering: Combining Word & Image
Make Your Own Wall Art: Chicago Edition
Adobe Illustrator for Printmakers
DIY Screenprinted Tea Towels
Screenprinting On Canvas: Make Your Own Wall Art (Dec 2017)
DIY Screenrprinted Tea Towels (Dec 2017)
DIY Screenprinted Tea Towels
DIY Valentines: Screenprint Your Own Cards
Hand Lettering
Make Your Own Wall Art: Chicago Edition
DIY Greeting Cards: Screenprinting
Illustrative Lettering: Combining Word & Image
Letterpress I: Movable Type + Polymer Plates
DIY Greeting Cards: Screenprinting (February)
Illustrative Lettering (February)
DIY Screenprinted Tea Towels (February)
T-Shirts & Totebags Screenprinting Workshop (November 2019)
T-Shirts & Totebags Screenprinting Workshop (December 2019)
Invitation Design: Hand Illustration + Digital

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Aron Packer Projects

Member

Starting in the late 80’s as an American folk art dealer, Aron Packer built his early career with an apartment gallery for many years, and he became known for a broad yet unusual vision. As business forces changed over the past 25+ years, Packer migrated to locations in River North and the West Loop. In 2015 he closed Packer Schopf Gallery on west Lake Street to pursue a lifestyle change. Packer now works for Toomey & Co Auctioneers as a Senior Fine Art Specialist. Currently Aron Packer Projects is only online and will resume some portable shows soon!

Website:

Packergallery.com

Nat Pyper

Nat Pyper is an alphabet artist. They make fonts, write sci-fi, design wearables for videos and performances, and research queer anarcho-punk zines of the 80s and 90s. They are currently a 2021-22 HATCH Artist Resident at the Chicago Artists Coalition.

Services Offered:

  • Graphic Design

Website:

www.natpyper.com

Katherine Rivich

Katherine Rivich is a multidisciplinary designer and illustrator based in Chicago.
Specializing in print, her work spans from brand, digital, print design. She loves developing designs with illustrative elements that explores bold ideas to translate core messaging into compelling visual systems.

Website:

K-rivich.com

Breanna Robinson

Administrative Assistant

Breanna Robinson is an interdisciplinary artist who lives and works in Chicago. She studied at the School of the Art institute of Chicago, where she earned a BFA in 2017. Her work manifests mainly through printmedia, although she often utilizes collage, painting, html, and object-making.

Website:

breanna-studio.github.io

Michael V. Russo

Member

Services Offered:

  • Graphic Design
  • Illustration

Website:

Michaelvrusso.com