Featured Member: Jeremy Chen

NAME: Jeremy Chen
MEMBER SINCE: 1959
PROFESSION?:  Adhesives industry

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:  Born in the Year of the Dog and an Earth Dog I am loyal, obedient and house trained.

YOU x YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO PS1:  Currently I am on the PS1 board and a sustaining member. I believe PS1 diverse programming options are vital to the arts community in Iowa City. PS1 generates an accessible but smart and vibrant arts dialog.

THE FIRST IMPRESSION: I'm always been attracted to basements. Perhaps it is the idea of an underground or sub-altern?

THE BEST (AND WORST!?):  Too many highlights... Center for Afrofuturist Studies, Maintenance Mode, Exuberant Politics, Post Facto Future, ICPC, Cheap Art Sales, Hamburger Kitchen with Matt...

WHY THE LOVE!?!?  PS1 is artist run. It is for artists and non-artists. It is open to our entire community but the dialog, art and events range from very accessible and participatory to intellectually rigorous. We can all make PS1 what we want it to be for us. I can't think of another art space in our community where members and the community have that much agency.

PS1 x FUTURE: As a board member I'd also love to hear ideas from the people who currently activate PS1 in any way but also those who are new to PS1 and want to be involved or start something. Feel free to email me: chenjerem@gmail.com

Featured Member: Violet Austerlitz Virnig

NAME: Violet Austerlitz Virnig  
MEMBER SINCE: 2013

PROFESSION?: Artist/cartoonist/screen printer

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:  I love books and every part of the process of making them. I love to write and draw, but I also love to print and sew bindings and stare at cool cover fabrics and think about the kinds of stories I could put in between them. So at the moment I’m trying to figure out the best way to make the kinds of books I want to make, and what to put in them, and the possibilities are endless and bewildering, and the world has never felt quite so big as it does now. I’m finding an unexpected joy in that.

YOU x YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO PS1: I’m primarily a member of the Iowa City Press Co-Op, and I’ve been one since it was Zenzic Press. As an ICPC member I monitor open hours and teach workshops, but I have also built some shop equipment and helped move the Vandercook letterpress from its old basement home to its new basement home.

THE FIRST IMPRESSION: The first time I can to PS1 I was looking for a studio space, and had some interest in joining Zenzic press and making more prints. What is now the shop space was the main gallery space and there was a kind of immersive installation going on, with the walls painted black and the floor space filled with exploded televisions. I thought “Well, this is weird.” And then I thought, “Good.” It was a sign that this was the kind of place where curiosity and experimentation were as important as execution, and that it was a space to grow in. And it has very much lived up that promise!

THE BEST (AND WORST!?):  I’ve helped bring in a number of Very Heavy Things over the last year or so, which as proved very memorable. Handing a 600 pound piece of steel (the press bed of the Vandercook) through one of the back room windows is probably something of a peak experience. Actually getting the whole press back together and operating as it should is even better.

WHY THE LOVE!?!? The existence of an organization like PS1 has become a really important part of my life. When I graduated from college I was faced with what felt like a vacuum of opportunity to still make art and be part of an artmaking community. PS1 and ICPC have not only filled that gap of shop space, but have given me a way to meet and learn from artists of all kinds in a low-key but deeply committed and curious community environment.

PS1 x FUTURE: I have no idea what PS1 of the future looks like (except perhaps a magical expansion of the Wesley building that allows for more studios, etc.), except that it will still be at the nexus of the lives of Iowa City’s many art-makers and thing-doers, forming a malestrom of creativity, skill-sharing, and dumplings.

Featured Member: Desiree Dahl

NAME: Desiree Dahl
MEMBER SINCE: May 2015 or maybe a few months before?
PROFESSION?: Graphic Designer

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:  I am a visual artist from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I'm a chronic doodler and a lover of creative exploration.

 YOU x YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO PS1:   I've been involved with PS1 for about a year and a half. After I graduated from UNI, I didn't have access to printmaking equipment. I heard about the Iowa City Press Co-op, a project of PS1, so I moved to Iowa City to become a member of the printmaking community here.

THE FIRST IMPRESSION:  I fell in love with PS1 immediately. I was so excited to find a place that brings together creative people from all experience levels and backgrounds and gives them the space to work it out. I also love the philosophy of keeping everything as low cost and accessible as possible. It's a really special and inclusive place.

THE BEST (AND WORST!?):  There have been so many incredible events that I don't think I could pick just one as the best. I do particularly like when music, performance, and visual art come together.

WHY THE LOVE!?!? I love that anyone can get involved at whatever level they choose and put their own spice into the PS1 soup. It's really an organization shaped by individuals, and it's very interesting to watch it evolve as new members come to the group.

At the Iowa City Press Co-op specifically, I love that I can learn new artistic techniques in a non-academic setting, and that everyone at the Press Co-op is very open about sharing their knowledge and resources.

Through PS1, I love being exposed to art and events that I wouldn't have access to any other way.

PS1 x FUTURE: I want PS1 to grow and evolve and keep spreading the creative magic. Also, having our own space and a couple more full time staff members would be awesome. John and Kalmia do an amazing job, like, I-don't-know-how-they-do-it amazing, but it would be really cool to have even more people who can devote their whole days to this stuff.

Primarily, I just want PS1 to keep existing. Forever and ever.

Featured Member: Jenny Gringer

NAME: Jenny Gringer
MEMBER SINCE: 2015
PROFESSION?:  Special Projects Manager for Iowa, Midwest AIDS Training + Education

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:  My life is a crazed mix of work in public health, parenting, family, cat/dog herding, and a devotion to honing my skills/voice as an artist.  Having just received an AARP card, I'm reminded that life is short and death will offer unlimited opportunities for sleep.  Armed with this mindset, I'm actively pursuing new challenges in art and saying "YES" way too much.

YOU x YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO PS1:   I'm primarily a self-taught linocut printer who loves learning about different kinds of printing processes through classes at the ICPC. I've been involved in group exhibitions, the dumpling team, teaching the art and science of political button making, and recent fundraising projects.  I'm delighted to be involved and happy to aid in advancing the mission of PS1.

THE FIRST IMPRESSION:  My love for the Press Coop was solidified after my first class in reduction printing with Britta and Louise.  The magic of learning the power of a press and how the process works from experienced printers was such a thrill.

THE BEST (AND WORST!?):  Disappointments, for me, typically involve screen printing...struggling with slipping screens, mucked up registrations, and the sinking feeling of blowing out a screen with a power washer.  /Sigh/. I'm going to get there yet.

WHY THE LOVE!?!?  A vibrant arts center is absolutely essential, in my mind, to the Iowa City community.  It provides an opportunity for growth through instruction, opportunities to exhibit work, and an opportunity to be a part of a supportive arts community.  PS1 has provided invaluable opportunities to connect with other artists, explore new possibilities, and to try things I never would have had the courage to attempt.  It's definitively buoyed my confidence and taken me in new directions.

PS1 x FUTURE: My vision for the future of PS1 is a secure, stable home with enough financial resources to support staff without losing the cooperative, team-based, heart of the center.

Featured Member: Martha Monick

NAME: Martha Monick
Member since:  2015 (I think)

Profession: Retired scientist and printmaker wannabe

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:
I am a long time Iowa City person (since 1968) and have recently retired from the University.  My life there was full of science, colleagues and students.  I will be forever grateful to the University for the lessons learned and the opportunities for my family.  However, from my hippy days, I have always loved to make things, which is where ICPC entered my life.

Q1.  YOU x YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO PS1: 
With work no longer taking up all the free corners of my life, I am exploring the joy of creating things (it isn’t any more specific then that).  I first took a bookmaking workshop from Kalmia and since then have been ICPC's most enthusiastic workshop attendee.  I always learn something; I always have fun.  Sometimes I take home a skill to be used again and again, but sometimes not – it’s all good.

Q2.  THE FIRST IMPRESSION: 
I think I would call it love at first sight.  The members are interesting and enthusiastic and by taking workshops, I get to hang around the gallery.  The exhibits are eclectic and if I wasn’t taking a workshop, I would probably never come down to the basement of Wesley house to see what was going on.

Q3.  THE BEST (AND WORST!?):
One of the early workshops I took was prontoplate lithography with Allison Rosh.  It was my first time to use a printing press…and I fell in love.  Worst???  I don’t know that there is a worst, sometimes what I was trying to do fell flat or the workshops were more talk and less doing, but what a great way to spend an afternoon or evening they have been.
 

Q4.  WHY THE LOVE!?!? 
I love the people who are committed to community and art and willing to share their skills.  I love that there is space for people who can contribute a lot and space for people who can only be involved every now and then.  I think the community is richer for the diversity and wild and crazy that PS1 adds to our lives.  I am happiest when Iowa City is not too stodgy.

Q5.. PS1 x FUTURE:
I love what PS1 does, all of it from the workshops to the shows and exhibits to the fundraisers.  My great desire is that they could move into a space with natural light.  I’m a light freak and think some windows and light would make PS1 about perfect.