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'Printpalooza' Celebrates Indie Fine Art Print Innovation

Block Museum print fair offers printing demos, affordable original prints, T-shirts and more

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January 14, 2011 | by Judy Moore
Printpalooza
Copyright Drive By Press

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Cutting-edge independent printmakers and graphic artists from the Chicago area and around the country will show off their skills and their work at “Printpalooza,” a print fair and sale at Northwestern University’s Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art.

Admission-free and open to the public, “Printpalooza” will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, at the Block Museum, 40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus.

Attendees can take part in live demonstrations and purchase original prints and other graphic works by contemporary artists -- with some items priced below $20. “Printpalooza” will feature a rocking-horse-style printing press, on-the-spot T-shirt printing, a screen print vending machine, fine art temporary tattoos, music provided by two local disc jockeys and more.

Participants include:

Drive By Press, the design duo of Greg Nanney and Joseph Velasquez known for DIY (do-it-yourself) woodblock print and apparel creation at concerts and festivals, will draw, carve, ink and print original woodcuts on site. Attendees can participate in the printing process by selecting designs, colors and image placement on T-shirts that Nanney and Velasquez will ink and print at the event. Guests can purchase plain T-shirts at the event or bring their own.

• Eric Fuertes, an artist and graduate student at Northern Illinois University, will create prints by riding his custom-made “Dumbo Press,” a portable printing press that operates like a rocking horse. (To view a video that demonstrates this offbeat printing process, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?y-_b62DomkXPO/.) Fuertes also will exhibit other unique printing equipment and show videos of his projects.

• Martin Mazorra of Brooklyn’s Cannonball Press, which organizes New York’s annual Prints Gone Wild! events, will participate in printmaking demonstrations and display and offer original prints from Cannonball priced from $20 to $50.

• Angee Lennard, operator of Chicago’s Spudnik Press, will feature fine art prints priced below $20 and a $1 screen print vending machine.

Comix Revolution, an underground comic book and magazine retailer with locations in Evanston and Mount Prospect, will sell one-of-a-kind graphic publications by Chicago artists.

• Disc jockeys Chris Widman and Luke Stokes of “abstract science,” a modern electronic music program on independent Chicago radio station WLUW-FM (88.7 FM), will provide music during ‘Printpalooza.”

The Block Museum will provide print coloring activities for children, a limited supply of free temporary tattoos, and at 3:30 p.m., a guided tour by senior curator Debora Wood of the exhibition “The Satirical Edge in Contemporary Prints and Graphics.” Drawn primarily from the Block’s collection, “The Satirical Edge” opens Jan. 14 and runs through March 13. It  features work from the 1950s to the present by artists, including R. Crumb, Sue Coe, Enrique Chagoya and Tom Huck, who use printmaking to scrutinize society and lampoon individual shortcomings.

Free parking is available on Northwestern’s Evanston campus after 4 p.m. weekdays and all day on weekends. For more information, including directions from Sheridan Road as well as the CTA Purple Line and the Metro/Union Pacific North Line, visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu or call (847) 491-4000.