Creative Resistance: “Stay Positive” at Rotofugi Gallery in Chicago

Stay_Positive_@_Rotofugi Stay Positive @ Rotofugi

“2017. Sigh. There’s been plenty to complain, protest and worry about…but sometimes it’s nice to step back from the edge and look for some optimism. With that in mind, guest curator Jay Ryan has done something quite admirable — he’s gathered together an amazing group of artists, illustrators and designers with one goal in mind…stay positive!

The exhibit features new prints by Aaron Draplin, Amy Martin, Anne Benjamin, Ashley Elander, Ben Blount, Bobby Dixon, Bryn Perrott, Diana Sudyka, Jason Polan, Jay Ryan, Jen Corace, Jenna Blazevich, Jenny Schmid, Judge, Keiler Roberts, Landland, Little Friends of Printmaking, Molly Costello, Nicole Gustafsson, Rachal Duggan, Ryan Duggan, Sage Perrott, Sara Parker and Sonnenzimmer.”

New Prints Now for This 2017
First Annual December Print Exhibit
Curated by Jay Ryan
December 9-31, 2017 / Rotofugi /
2780 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614

DDC_Peace _Fingers_Sign_©_Aaron_James_Draplin
DDC Peace Fingers Sign | Aaron James Draplin | Screenprint On Cardboard | 18 x 24 in | $14 Edition of 250

Aaron James Draplin Located in the mighty Pacific Northwest, the Draplin Design Co. proudly rolls up its sleeves on a number of projects related to the Print, Identity and Illustration categories. We make stuff for Coal Headwear, Union Binding Co., Richmond Fontaine, Esquire, Nike, Wired, Dinosaur Jr, Timberline, Chunklet, Eaux Claires, Poler, Incase, Giro, Cobra Dogs, Jill Soloway, Sasquatch Music Festival, Rhett Miller, Old 97s, Nixon Watches, Patagonia, Target, Megafaun, Ford Motor Company, Woolrich and even the Obama Administration, if you can believe that. We’ve traveled the world telling our story, with over 300 speaking fiascos under our belt and counting! We co-created Field Notes with our older brother Jim Coudal, and our memo books are sold in over 2,000 stores worldwide, with limited-edition special editions shipped quarterly to a booming subscriber list. Our first book titled Pretty Much Everything came out on May 17, 2016 on Abrams Books, which incredibly, is in its fifth printing. We pride ourselves on a high level of craftsmanship and quality that keeps us up late into the wet Portland night.

Slow Tickles | Keiler Roberts | Screenprint On Paper | 16 x 20 in | Edition of 32 | $15

Keiler Roberts’ autobiographical comic series, Powdered Milk, received an Ignatz Award for Outstanding Series in 2016. Her latest book, Sunburning, was published by Koyama Press in 2016. She was included in The Best American Comics and has been reviewed by Publisher’s Weekly, The Comics Journal, Vulture, The Globe and Mail, and more. She recently exhibited at the Naughton Gallery in Belfast, Northern Ireland and the Cleve Carney Gallery at the College of DuPage in Chicago. Roberts teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and DePaul University.

Persist | Jen Corace | Letterpress On Paper | 9.5 x 14 in | Open Edition | $40

Jen Corace, born in New Jersey, happiest being left alone in my room to draw, graduated with a BFA in Illustration from RISD in 1996, traveled a chunk, worked a lot of day jobs, quit them, became serious about illustration at 27, worked on some gallery shows (Portland OR, Seattle WA, New York NY, Tokyo Japan, Philadelphia PA, Los Angeles CA, Providence RI), worked on some children’s books (Little Pea, Mathilda the Orange Balloon, Sweet Dreams, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, Telephone … ), dabbled in other illustration projects (Crate and Barrel, Real Simple, Polygon, Smithsonian Magazine, Shambhala Publications, Tin House), learned about boundaries around the mid thirties (that was a REAL moment, everyone), lives and works in Providence RI, loves her house, loves her dog, loves her friends, loves her family, loves breakfast, loves breakfast for dinner more, loves biking, loves walking more, currently fully realizing and embracing that NJ kid who is most content* in a room, at a desk making sense of lines and shapes and colors.


Centered Equator | Sonnenzimmer | Screenprint On Paper | 20 x 24 in | Edition of 50 | $110

Sonnenzimmer’s bio is a building, one sitting atop two columns. The building sways in the wind. Sometimes a thing or two slips out of a window that has been left open for fresh air. These things glide, flip, stretch, and twist until they reach the ground, where they make a curious impression in the sand below.

Sonnenzimmer is the collective work of artists Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi. Their collaborative practice was established in 2006 in Chicago, Illinois. Initially recognized for their idiosyncratic commissioned screen-printed posters, their practice has since morphed into an interdisciplinary toolshed spanning multiple platforms, including exhibitions, publishing, performance, graphic design, and exhibition design. Equal parts balancing act between art and design and radical reclamation of all aspects of visual expression, the studio is grounded in the lasting potential of the graphic arts, while exploring the physical and conceptual friction between abstraction and communication.

Their work has been exhibited in the United States, China, and Europe with recent exhibitions at the Arts Club of Chicago, Vebikus Kunsthalle Schaffhausen (Switzerland), and Texas Sate University. They have been commissioned by various clients including U.S. Soccer Federation, Morningstar, Intelligentsia Coffee, China Eastern Airlines, Veto Records, and Sub Pop Records and they lead lectures and workshops in academic and commercial settings, including visits to California Institute for the Arts, The Art Institute of Chicago, Pratt Institute, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and Aalto University in Helsinki.


and blooming will be my delight | Sara Parker | Screenprint On Paper | 11 x 14 in | Edition of 50 | $35

Sara Parker is an artist and textile designer living in Athens, GA. Her work features lighthearted botanical and avian illustrations inspired by her surroundings and her love of gardening. In her home studio, she prints organic fabric by the yard with her partner, Simon Hunt, and offers a line of letterpress stationery and screen printed art works.


Build For This | Molly Costello | Giclee On Paper | 16 x 20 in | Edition of 100 | $45

Molly Costello Through my work I explore concepts of connectedness; with our whole selves, with each other, our communities, our social/ political systems, with the natural world, and the divine of the universe at large. Everything is interrelated. Exploring and studying these themes of connectedness can help us better understand our place in the larger picture and what part we play in sculpting this world and the communities we live in.

Having spent many years working on programing around sustainability and community solutions to injustice, my art is also reflective of the themes I encountered in that work including; community, struggle, healing, brokenness, resistance and love. There are many things broken about our world and its social structures and we are each called to play a part in creating and revisioning a more beautiful and healing society. Art is where I practices that at visioning and healing in hopes that from there, it can more easily manifest in our everyday lives.


Hold On Everybody | Jay Ryan | Screenprint On Paper | 18 x 24 in | Edition of 100 | $40

Jay Ryan has been making screenprints in and around Chicago since 1995. He guest curated this exhibit.

Always Forward | Bobby Dixon | Screenprint On Paper | 18 x 24 in | Edition of 25 | $45

Bobby Dixon is a designer with over 20 years of screenprinting, gig poster, hand-lettering, and print design experience. As the owner of KLCTVE (Instagram @KLCTVEfusion) and Creative Director of Industry Print Shop, Bobby has worked with Nike, Zoo York, SXSW, Austin City Limits, Paramount Pictures, Upper Playground, and Toyota. He graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelors of Fine Arts and likes tacos.

Stand Up, Speak Out | JUDGE | Screenprint On Paper | 12 x 18 | Edition of 50 | $80

JUDGE hails from the midwest. Judge works in multiple mediums from printmaking, animation, storyboarding, performance, video projection, and installation arts.

Stay Wild | Jenny Schmid | Screenprint On Paper | 13 x 17 in | Edition of 40 | $45

Jenny Schmid lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota where she runs bikini press international and is an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota. She is represented by The Davidson Galleries in Seattle and her prints have been purchased for collections including The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The Detroit Institute of Arts, The Block Museum, The Spencer Art Museum and the Library of Congress. She received the Fulbright, the McKnight Fellowship, the Bush Artists Grant, a 2010 Jerome Film and Video grant and a 2013 and 2017 Minnesota State Arts Board grant. 2017 projects include a live animation performance with Ali Momeni at the Vertice Festival in Mexico City, a residency at Frans Masereel Center in Belgium and a forthcoming series of four-color mezzotints “The Four Humours” published by P.S. Marlowe Editions.


Help | deerjerk | Silkscreen On Paper | 11 x 17 in | Edition of 25 | $25

derejerk, Here am I, rock you like a hurricane.


I LOVE YOU VERY (after Sister Corita Kent) | Jason Polan | Stamp And Ink On | Lightweight Paper | 18 x 24 in | Open Edition | $20

Jason Polan is an artist living in New York City. He has exhibited work all over the United States, Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia. He is a founding member of Taco Bell Drawing Club. He has made over 100 books including The Every Piece of Art in the Museum of Modern Art Book (twice). He has done projects with The Criterion Collection, Nike, Warby Parker, the Whitney Museum, and The Ford Foundation. Polan makes a drawing every day for The New York Times. He is currently drawing every person in New York (he has drawn over 50,000 people so far). Polan is from Michigan.


Happy Dogs | RADillustrates | Ink/Pen On Bristol | 11 x 17 in | Edition of 25 | $30

Rachal Duggan (RADillustrates) is an illustrator living in Madison. She spent the last decade living and working in Chicago. Her work is consists of accessible and whimsical line drawings. Rachal draws from daily life observations, current events, personal experiences and pop culture. Each line has a purpose and invites the viewer to join in on the joke rather than ask the viewer to contemplate its meaning. Rachal regularly participates in art shows, live-drawing sessions, selling events and illustration workshops.


Advice from the H.R Dept | Vichcraft | Screenprint On Paper | 18 x 24 in | Open Edition | $40

Vichcraft is the independent and collaborative, multidisciplinary studio of Jenna Blazevich. With a focus on visual storytelling, she strives to craft charmingly unique lettering experiences. Combining hand craft processes and tactile mediums with a digital design skill-set, Jenna strives to work right around the line between art and design to build a collection of activist-driven products. Her background in textiles and pattern-making continues to inform her approach as a graphic designer and feminist artist.


Nest | Anne Benjamin | Screenprint On Paper | 18 x 24 in | Edition of 55 | $40

Anne Benjamin is an illustrator, designer and printmaker from Chicago, Illinois. After earning a degree in graphic design from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Anne learned letterpress, screen-printing, and other print methods through the vibrant Chicago printmaking community. From film posters to stationery design to editorial illustration, her design sense is broad and playful, drawing from the art deco, art nouveau, and pop art movements, classic children’s book illustrations and vintage animation. She’s done work for the Washington Post, Random House, Mondo, Disney, Cartoon Network, Paramount and Highlights Magazine.

Stay | Ben Blount | Letterpress On Paper | 12 x 16 in | Edition of 30 | $40

Ben Blount is a designer and printer that uses books, posters and installations to explore notions of race and identity in America. Shaped by two decades of experience in design and advertising, his work draws on a common cultural language of objects, stories and experiences to draw attention to the differences between what we see, and how we are seen. He has exhibited his work nationally and taught book arts courses at The Cleveland Institute of Art and Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago. A native of Detroit, he earned an MFA in Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts from Columbia College Chicago and currently lives in Evanston, IL.


Ordinary People | Ashley Elander | Screenprint On Paper | 16 x 20 in | Edition of 50 | $30

Ashley Elander is an illustrator and screen printer living in Chicago. Her favorite things to draw are letters, mountainscapes, and anything coffee-related. She also designs and prints wedding invitations for like-minded couples.


Mini Golf | Ryan Duggan | Screenprint On Paper | 18 x 24 in | Edition of 75 | $35

Ryan Duggan is an illustrator and printer working under the name Drug Factory Press. He resides in Chicago, Illinois with his wife and fellow screen printer, Elizabeth.


© Sage Perrott (Haypeep) | Acrylic On Canvas | 12 x 16 in | Edition of 30 | $30

Sage Perrott, aka Haypeep, is a printmaker and educator originally from West Virginia. Her artwork features grumpy, lumpy, ghost-like creatures situated in cramped, often humorous circumstances. Perrott’s preferred process is screenprinting. She has degrees in printmaking from West Virginia University (BFA) and from Ohio University (MFA). Her prints, drawings, and zines have found their way into the hands of folks all over the United States and the world.

Plant a Seed | Diana Sudyka | Giclee On Paper | 16 x 20 in | Edition of 30 | $50

Diana Sudyka (pronounced soo-dee-kah) is a Chicago based illustrator. She started out by designing and screenprinting posters for musicians including: Andrew Bird, St. Vincent, The Black Keys, Neko Case, and The Decemberists. Examples of this early poster work can be seen in Gigposters Volume 1: Rock Show Art of the 21st Century (Quirk Books). Following, she began illustrating YA books, illustrating several volumes of the award winning and NYTimes bestselling series The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, The Secret Keepers also by Stewart, and Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley. She is currently illustrating the first of several upcoming children’s picture books to be released in 2018 and 2019. Working mainly in gouache, ink and watercolor, subject matter and aesthetic choices for her paintings are largely informed by a deep passion for the natural world, and inspired by a love of various folk art traditions.

Peace Flowers | The Little Friends of Printmaking | Sikscreen On Paper | 18 x 24 in | Edition of 25 | $30

Husband-and-wife team JW and Melissa Buchanan are The Little Friends of Printmaking, a pair of award-winning illustrators and designers. They first made a name for themselves by designing and silkscreening concert posters but soon branched out into further fields, designing fancy stuff for whoever would pay them money. In addition to their work as illustrators and designers, they continue their fine art pursuits through exhibitions, lectures and artists’ residencies worldwide, spreading the gospel of silkscreen to anyone inclined to listen. The Little Friends currently live in Pasadena, California with too many animals.


Together_We_Roar_©_Nicole_ Gustafsson
Together We Roar | Nicole Gustafsson | Giclee On Paper | 12 x 16 in | Edition of 40 | $50

Nicole Gustafsson works as a full time illustrator, specializing in traditional media paintings featuring everything from woodland characters to fantastical environments. Nicole currently lives in the Pacific Northwest.


Always Find the Beauty | Landland | Silkscreen On Paper | 16 x 20 in | Edition of 75 | $30

Landland is a very-small-but-very-capable two-person studio based in the Midwest of the United States of America (specifically, Chicago, Illinois & Milwaukee, Wisc., and formerly Minneapolis, Minn.). We specialize in hand-built illustration, graphic design and working on all sorts of things constantly. We are also a fully-functional screen-printing laboratory, enabling us to handle all steps of most projects, from ideation & conception to production of relatively largerun editions.


Good Morning | Amy Martin | Giclee On Paper | 18 x 24 in | Edition of 25 | $50

Amy Martin is a Portland-based art director, illustrator and author. Her first illustrated picture book, Symphony City, was published by McSweeney’s in 2011. She’s an art director at Portland Monthly magazine. She lives with her boyfriend, three cats and puppy in Portland, Oregon.


Stay Positive | Jay Ryan | Screenprint On Paper | 18 x 24 in | Edition of 125 | $35

Jay Ryan has been making screenprints in and around Chicago since 1995. He guest curated this exhibit.