Chicago Printmakers’ Collaborative

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The last stop of the Open house (for us) was the Chicago Printmakers’ Collaborative.

Chicago’s Longest Running Independent Print Shop lives inside an otherwise nondescript building. The large front windows face Western Avenue in Lincoln Square and are adorned with prints made by its members.

The collective has been around since 1989. CPC hosts classes, events, and also has a gallery. If you’re feeling artsy in Chicago, I’d recommend stopping by.

On the door was a nice, frosted logo that I couldn’t help but getting an artsy photo of.

Chicago Printmakers’ Collaborative

Chicago Printmakers' Collaborative

Inside the building are prints that look like old movie posters, motivational quips, and the occasional basset hound in the style of Andy Warhol. While some stops of the Open House were staffed almost entirely by randomly assigned Chicago Architecture Foundation volunteers, this one was staffed by those who knew the print shop well.

Chicago Printmakers' Collaborative

The Printing Floor

The main area isn’t that big. It’s maybe 20 feet across by 50 feet long. And while that sounds big, the room felt smaller because of the sheer amount of equipment in it. Printing at this level takes a lot of equipment that hasn’t changed much over the past few decades. The printing tables themselves were long, wooden tables with metal screen printing brackets on top, and emblems painted in silver letters. Members of the collective were on-hand, doing prints and showing visitors what the process entails.

Chicago Printmakers' Collaborative

Chicago Printmakers' Collaborative

There’s an irony to the photos I took in a graphics shop not turning out very well. I didn’t realize until I got home and started editing them that I noticed the ISO on my camera was up too high. As a result, they look noisy. This photo above is particularly bad. 

The Back Area

In the back lived studios where artists sketched their next print as well as some old machines. I’m not sure if they were in use still, but they very well might be. 

Chicago Printmakers' Collaborative

Chicago Printmakers' Collaborative

Chicago Printmakers' Collaborative

Before we left, I saw this sign hanging on the wall. It’s one of the most Chicago things I can think of: a sign from Mayor Daley.

Chicago Printmakers' Collaborative

2 Comments

  1. It must have been really interesting seeing how prints were made especially if you’ve got someone to tell you more about the process of printing. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

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