Spudnik Press Residency Personal Statement

Mission

The production of new print-based artwork plays a central role in the Spudnik Press Cooperative Residency Program. The program provides artistic and financial support to each resident artist. Equally important, each resident artist provides our members and our community at large public programming and professional development opportunities.

Vision

The Spudnik Press Cooperative Residency Program supports a broad range of artists including those working outside the discipline of printmaking and in communities outside of the Chicago area. Resident Artists will bring new resources, perspectives, and professional connections to the various audiences that Spudnik Press serves, including first-time printmaking students, emerging artists, professional artists, art collectors and supporters.

Through integrating the production of innovative and well-executed print-based work with public programming and educational opportunities, the Residency Program strives to increase public awareness and appreciation of printmaking and its role in contemporary art practices.

Program Overview

The Spudnik Press Cooperative Residency Program provides mid-career to established artists one to six weeks of full studio access and the support necessary for the production of new print-based artwork. The Residency Program supports a broad range of artists, including those working outside of the discipline of printmaking and in communities beyond Chicago. Each residency will be modified to adapt to the interests and needs of the individual artist.

The Resident Artists also play an integral role in the Spudnik Press community, bringing new perspectives, experiences and resources as they partake in a variety of public programs and professional opportunities throughout the duration of their residency. These activities vary from one artist to the next and may entail participating in artist talks, private events, and critiques, teaching master workshops, or presenting an exhibition.

Expectations

  • Residents are expected to regularly utilize Spudnik Press facilities. The scheduling and duration of each residency will be determined based on the needs of each project and each artist.
  • Based on the technical skills of each resident, the production of new work will take the form of self-directed use of facilities or a publishing project facilitated by Spudnik Press staff.
  • Each resident will present or partake in one or more additional activities customized to meet the needs of the artist and the organization.
  • Spudnik Press requests that a portion of the artwork produced through the residency is retained by the organization. Sales of these artworks provide the critical funding needed to sustain this program.

Download details and call for proposals: 2018 Residency Information Packet

 

Molly Berkson

Fellow

Molly Berkson is a multi-disciplinary artist working primarily in paper, print, book, and fiber crafts. She has a fondness for the subcultures and subcultural practices that employ amateur and anti-authoritarian ideologies, and an appreciation for craft in all its forms–in its distinct and intermingling boundaries. In her practice, she patchworks together these specific aesthetic practices and do-it-yourself methods.

Berkson lives in Chicago and is a teaching artist with After School Matters and ElevArte Community Studio. She recently exhibited work at After School Special in Milwaukee WI, Femme4Femme in Chicago as part of 2nd Floor Rear, and at the Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY, where she was a studio intern in 2016. Berkson graduated with her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015.

Services Offered:

  • Exhibition Opportunities
  • Printmaking Commissions

Website:

www.mollyberkson.com/

Project Statement:

While working at the Women’s Studio Workshop last year, I learned about processing plants for papermaking and using different print processes on handmade paper. I collected plants from the roadside, made them into pulp and played with couching different fibers on top of each other. I then experimented with woodcut, letterpress and silkscreen on top of crispy, smooth, or soft fibers.

At the same time, I began sewing my first quilt. By working in these methods simultaneously I felt the ways that these distinct skills are connected. Couching shaped sheets was like piecing quilt squares, building compositions from variations in texture and color of plant material. A woodcut printed on the surface was the top stitch connecting the pieces together.

Like quilting, these paper works used a type of waste material: ruderal plants and weeds were like the plant world versions of collections of unused textile scraps in the quilter’s studio. Fundamental to my work is an understanding that fiber craft and print media facilitate exchange, tell stories, and can occupy categorizations of both expert and amateur distinctions. Making quilt-like paper works at the Women’s Studio Workshop began to touch on these ideas.

At Spudnik, I want to push these quilt-paper pieces further. I envision this project developing over three parts: 1. Experiment with the handmade paper I already made, building up layers of prints, collaging techniques together, and developing concept. 2. Using this first step as research to make a new batch of ruderal plant quilt-paper, and then 3. Editioning prints.

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