Guest post by Julia V. Hendrickson
Notes on a Conversation.
With—Angee Lennard (Founder, Director, and President of the Board of Directors at Spudnik Press)
In—my car, driving to a printmaking workshop at the Marwen Foundation in River North
Commenced—on Wednesday, February 9th, 2011, 8:30–9:15am
The moment I mentioned the word “printmaking” when I moved to Chicago, someone told me to visit Spudnik Press. Time and again I was encouraged by friends and new acquaintances alike in the art community to get in touch with Angee Lennard, to ask her questions, and to get involved in the print shop. When I finally met Angee and stopped by Spudnik Press, it dawned on me what the hubbub was all about; Angee is a quietly welcoming person, and her tireless efforts to maintain and promote a community print shop are inspiring. She is an educator who has chosen her cause, and the harder she works, the more those around her are energized to keep up. [Photo credit C.J. Mace, during Art on Track, 2010].
The last year has been a busy one for Angee, and for the Spudnik Press Cooperative community. In January 2010 Angee was the artist-in-residence at AS220, a community print shop in Providence, RI, where she focused on perfecting the art of mezzotint (a 17th century drypoint etching technique). Spudnik also hosted a few of its own artists-in-residence last year; early in the 2010, Lilli Carré made a small suite of illustrative screen prints recalling classical Greek ceramic decoration, as well as boldly colored, hand-printed artist books (one of which was featured in the MCA’s January New Chicago Comics exhibition).
Throughout the summer Jessica Taylor Caponigro (who is also an instructor at Spudnik) printed a subtly complex edition of etchings; wallpaper patterns inspired by class differences in George Eliot’s Middlemarch (1874). Most recently, Sanya Glisic has finished the 2010 residency program. Her stunning production is an edition that begs for a publisher and wider distribution: over 50 illustrated, hand-screen printed, and hand-bound artist books reinterpreting cautionary German children’s tales from Der Struwwelpeter (1845).
R: Sanya Glisic, “Der Struwwelpeter,” 2010-11
All of these projects are a testament to a hard-working and supportive print community at Spudnik. Be sure to keep an eye on the residency program, because the newest artist-in-residence is about to get the ball rolling: Dawn Gettler is slated to start printing etchings and a wallpaper installation in March. Other artists who have been utilizing the space include Liz Born, who just finished a series of complex reduction woodcuts called Dimorphisms; comic artist, book maker, and illustrator Edie Fake, who is printing the Chicago Zine Fest poster (which takes place on March 25th-26th); and Stan Shellabarger, who is creating a second “walking book.”
Future printmakers are bound to have a very different experience of Spudnik, however, because over the next few weeks, Spudnik is rapidly expanding. The shop began in 2007 in Angee’s Ukrainian Village apartment, and in 2008 (in order to make it a more egalitarian space), Spudnik moved to the third floor of the 1821 W. Hubbard building. Now, over three years later, Spudnik’s rapid expansion warrants another new space. It’s just down the hall, but it’s much bigger, and the exciting part is that it means the shop can now offer letterpress and offset printing.
Spudnik Press’ former studios spaces in 2007 (left) and 2008-2010 (right). Images from Flickr.
Fund raising (under the tag line, “Space Race: an epic mission to expand the boundaries of community printmaking”) is currently under way through the $50 membership program and the $250 subscription program (limited and exclusive access to Spudnik published prints throughout the year). Angee and the other board members hope to keep the shop sustainable by taking commissions and publishing editions for artists who don’t typically work in print.
Coming up this weekend is the Hashbrown, an annual fun-fund raiser and celebration. You can catch a glimpse of all the Spudnik activity at 1821 W. Hubbard St, #302 this Saturday, February 26th, from 7:00-10:00pm. Tensions are already high surrounding the printmaker’s chili cook-off, so be prepared to witness a little friendly competition. Representatives from One Horse Press, Screwball, The Post Family, Hummingbird Press, Rar Rar Press, Ork Posters, Anchor Graphics, Jetsah (Dan Grezca), and the student printshops at Columbia College, SAIC, and Harold Washington City College will all vie for the title of chili royalty while helping support Spudnik’s efforts to expand into a new studio space.
Julia V. Hendrickson is a native of eastern Ohio who lives and works as a visual artist, writer, and curator in Chicago, Illinois. In 2008 she graduated with a B.A. in Studio Art and a minor in English from The College of Wooster (Wooster, Ohio). Julia is currently the gallery manager at Corbett vs. Dempsey, as well as the office manager and design assistant for Ork Posters. She is a teaching assistant at the Marwen Foundation, an active member of the Chicago Printers Guild, and has taught at Spudnik Press. A freelance art critic and writer for Newcity, Julia also keeps a blog called The Enthusiast, a documentation of the daily things that inspire, intrigue, and inform. She is currently exhibiting at Anchor Graphics (Columbia College Chicago) in a solo show titled FANTASTIC STANZAS, on view through March 26th.
This week: This is the second of two interviews with German artists conducted by Mark Staff Brandl on the island of Elba, Italy. Alexander Johannes Kraut is an artist who concentrates on drawing and printmaking, sometimes reaching installative proportions. He has also created an amazing thirteen chapter wordless graphic novel. Kraut comes from a farming village in the Allgäu, and is now based in Kreuzberg in Berlin. He has lived in many places and exhibited widely in important museums and other venues including in Mexico City, Paris and New York as well as several places in Germany.
The artist was in an invitational retreat in July as a working guest of a foundation on the island of Elba along with Viennese jazz pianist and composer Martin Reiter, New York playwright Sony Sobieski, Ruessellsheim artist Martina AltSchaefer (the interviewee in part one) and Mark Staff Brandl, the Bad at Sports Continental and now also islandal European Bureau. As a note to English speakers: Kraut’s name is not only amusing as the English-language slang for ‘German,’ but also means ‘herb’ in German, and ‘Johannes Kraut,’ called ‘St. John’s wort’ in English, is a plant traditionally used to combat depression and, in ancient times, to ward off evil.
Nathaniel Stern (USA / South Africa, born 1977) is an experimental installation and video artist, net.artist, printmaker and writer. He has produced and collaborated on projects ranging from interactive and immersive environments, networked art and multimedia physical theater performances, to digital printing and collage, stone lithography and slam poetry.
He’s won many awards, fellowships, commissions and residencies between South Africa, America, and all over Europe. Nathaniel holds a design degree from Cornell University, studio-based Masters in art from the Interactive Telecommunications Program (NYU), and research PhD from Trinity College Dublin. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art and Design at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.
Nathaniel has held solo exhibitions at the Johannesburg Art Gallery, the Johnson Museum of Art, the Museum of Wisconsin Art, the University of the Witwatersrand, and several commercial and experimental galleries throughout the US, South Africa and Ireland. His work has been shown at festivals, galleries and museums internationally, including the Venice Biennale, Sydney Museum of Contemporary Art, South African National Gallery, Kunsthalle Exnergasse, International Print Center New York, Milwaukee Art Museum, Modern and Contemporary Art Center (Hungary) and Grahamstown National Arts Festival (South Africa). Public collections include the Johannesburg Art Gallery, The Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media (Cornell University), turbulence.org, Contemporary Irish Art Society, and the Universities of South Africa (UNISA) and the Witwatersrand; he is in private collections all over the world. Recent features on Nathaniel’s work can be seen in the Leonardo Journal of Art, Science and Technology, Leonardo Electronic Almanac, NY Arts and Art South Africa magazines, Rhizome.org, PBS.org, the Wall Street Journal and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
This week: Duncan talks with Rochelle Feinstein.
Rochelle Feinstein, Painter and printmaker
Ms. Feinstein received a B.F.A. from Pratt Institute in 1975 and an M.F.A. from the University of Minnesota in 1978. She lives and works in New York City. Her work is exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions in galleries and museums in the United States and Europe, and is included in numerous public and private collections. Among recent awards and grants she has received are a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Fellowship, a Joan Mitchell Foundation grant, and a Foundation for Contemporary Performing Arts grant. She was appointed to the Yale faculty in 1994 and is currently professor of painting/printmaking. Read more
If you listened to this weeks epically long show then you might know that the Southern Graphics Council:Global Implications Conference starts today. If your into printmaking and are in the Chicago area go check out the conference this week, and say “Hi” to Duncan.
Southern Graphics Council: Global Implications Conference
March 25 – 29, 2009 / Chicago
“Printmaking is the artmedium that is most responsive to changing technologies, while also retaining many otherwise obsolete techniques. As print artists, we find ourselves uniquely situated. We employ the latest digital imaging tools and centuries-old techniques for hand mark-making. We make exquisite, precious objects and democratic gestures. We are able to share our imagery and processes with anyone, anytime while also creating community, dialog and collaboration in our own shops.
As our world becomes increasingly interdependent, local practices are at once threatened, celebrated, worthy of preservation and dangerously divisive. As printmakers, our medium is likewise evolving, its borders increasingly permeable. Our traditions are a source of strength, but also a source of isolation. We now realize that our resources are limited, that what is done in one location will probably affect someone, somewhere else.
The 2009 Global Implications Conference features exhibitions, demonstrations, lectures, panel discussions, private collection viewings, and special events at over 40 locations around Chicago.
Keynote speakers include Kathan Brown, Enrique Chagoya, Anne Coffin, and Jane Hammond.”
For more information including the schedule go here.