Featured Member: Thomas Agran

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NAME: Thomas Agran

MEMBER SINCE: October 2017

PROFESSION/VOCATION?: Artist and Director of Public Art for the Iowa City Downtown District

Q0.  TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:  I am a painter and a muralist, at times a teacher, always a cook and gardener. I went to school to study painting, and I certainly identify as a painter, but I’m always happy when I’m working with my hands, whatever the medium or the tools. I am a native Kentuckian, grew up in Ohio, went to school in Iowa and Indiana, and have lived in Iowa City since 2009. Other than my debut south of the Mason-Dixon Line, I’m pretty much Midwestern to the core.

Q1.  YOU x YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO PS1:  Outside of attending shows, I have only taken one class (intaglio) at PS1. I really missed out on printmaking in school, and I would love to get more involved at the ICPC. 

Q2.  THE FIRST IMPRESSION: To be honest, when I first came to Iowa City I wasn’t really sure about PS1 – what exactly it was about, where it was, who it was for, or whose taste it served. I’ve come to recognize it as a backbone of the art scene in Iowa City, populated and perpetuated by those artists in Iowa City who care deeply about community, accessibility of space and tools, and a building a welcoming and supportive environment for making and exhibiting art.

Q3.  THE BEST (AND WORST!?):  I had a great time at the intaglio class I took with Emily Jalinsky last year. It was a nice way to pick up some fledgling skills while getting to know the ICPC better. I have no interest in going back to school again, but it was nice to be in that kind of environment for a short course and hope to take more.

Q4.  WHY THE LOVE!?!?  Many in Iowa City lament the lack of a community arts center, and have worked for decades to try and make a physical space a reality. PS1 has grown within its means, on a solid and expanding foundation built of the support and investment of its guiding members. I really respect that. There wasn’t a 15 million dollar capital campaign, but instead 15 years of slow and steady work to grow in a sustainable way. I still think that the creative community in Iowa City deserves more (and more visible) space, and while through my role at the ICDD I am working toward those goals, it starts with investing in those groups who have been slowly and effectively building those resources on their own. Whether it’s an independent bookstore, a cooperative grocery, or your favorite restaurant, it’s important to support those things you want to see in your community. I am proud to support PS1 and the sincere, dedicated, and warm folks that I have come to be friends with over the years, and excited to watch the organization continue to evolve and grow.

Q5. PS1 x FUTURE: I feel like there are two major things missing in Iowa City right now in regards to the arts – some kind of non-profit run or municipally sponsored community art gallery with ground floor visibility, and affordable studio space. Iowa City is a community stuffed with artists, writers, musicians, and other creatives, but it is also a place far more stuffed with students, and those market forces combined with a lack of industrial past in Iowa City have made it challenging if not impossible to find affordable studio space. Large community studio facilities are coming online in cities across the country, and Iowa City needs to get their act together and make that resource a reality in our own community. I would love to see a community driven, co-operative model for a large studio facility in Iowa City, with a satellite gallery space in the heart of downtown. If this happens, it’s hard to imagine PS1 won’t have played a large part. Join me?

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Featured Member: Pena Lynn

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NAME: Pena Lynn
MEMBER SINCE: March 2017 (with no regrets)
PROFESSION/VOCATION?: Speech-Language Pathologist; Writer; Artist

Q0.  TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:  I’m a speech-language pathologist helping figure out how to help children and adults communicate and learn. Part of what brought me to my profession is my interest in languages and learning about them. At work, I evaluate, gather information, collaborate with other professionals and we come up with a diagnosis/explanation. We work in teams, for example, autism team, behavior team.

Most weekends, I’m in my home studio writing and making things. I like to read and see how writers use words. I decided to become a writer at a young age and now I’m pursuing it with the help of my tutor and friend, our local author Bart Yates aka Noah Bly. I’m learning to write my first novel and I’ve been working on it for a few years, getting better from year to year.  

Making things with paper and fabric gives me immediate reward and satisfaction from finishing a project in a short time. 

My current projects are:
-finishing first draft of my novel
- I’m teaching myself to sew and making more tunics from dress shirts I got from thrift stores. I’ve “lost” 4 of them to my sisters, mother, and sister-in-law on my recent trip to the Philippines.
-using up scraps of fabrics by making crazy quilts I call “halo-halo” quilt (after the Filipino “halo-halo” dessert typically made of a mix of ingredients: sweet beans, gelatin, coconut, candied bananas, tapioca pearls, jack fruit, sugar, in shaved ice and milk, topped with leche flan and ice cream)

Q1.  YOU x YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO PS1: My big project with PS1 was a co-show with my husband Dave Dugan titled “Scrap Happy Panels.”  He showed his cartoons drawn on his handmade paper. I showed my quilts made from scraps of fabrics leftover from various projects, friends, and the lady on the bus. I also showed tunics I sewed from recycled kimonos and from men’s dress shirts. I called the dress-shirts-turned-tunics “Lolo’s Tunics” in honor of the grandfathers who probably owned the dress shirts I got from the thrift stores. (Lolo= grandfather in Tagalog and Ilocano, both Philippine languages). 

At the time of our “Scrap Happy Panels” show, I wasn’t a member yet, and that was when I decided to become one).  I’m a proud supporter and attend shows when I can.

Q2.  THE FIRST IMPRESSION:  I was introduced to PS1 by my husband who is a member of the IC Press Coop. I was impressed by the many activities on the board the first time I visited.

Q3.  THE BEST (AND WORST!?): PS1 is a wonderful resource in our community. I’d like it to be more well-known so I don’t have to explain what and where it is. 

Q4.  WHY THE LOVE!?!? Art is beneficial to the community because it keeps people like me, who go crazy without it, out of trouble. I’m inspired by seeing works of other artists and knowing artists with the same interests, such as the Sew Good Sew Fun group, book makers.

I’ve experienced the presses when my husband worked on his projects. He had taken different courses and had introduced me to the intaglio and letter presses. I’ve been to different shows and met many of the artists. I’m glad that we have this resource and venue in Iowa City. 

Q5.. PS1 x FUTURE: I would like to see PS1 in a brighter place and have it open for longer hours so that it is a ‘constant’ resource. I would also like PS1 to become more physically visible (like a gallery downtown???) and more well-known in the community. 

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Featured Member: Kelly Moore

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NAME:  Kelly Moore
MEMBER SINCE: 2017
PROFESSION/VOCATION?: Director of Exhibits at the Iowa Children's Museum

Q0.  TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:  I like to make stuff!  all kinds of stuff!  I've never been able to settle into one groove, which I think has it's pros and cons.  All I know is that it feels compulsive, I'm always thinking about the next project. It doesn't turn off and I'm okay with that.

Q1.  YOU x YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO PS1:   I have been aware of PS1 for some time but really started to get involved when I met Sayuri. She is an active member and kept me in the loop. I have taken several classes and gone to fairs and performances.  I am always happy with my experience.  So many inspiring people and projects.

Q2.  THE FIRST IMPRESSION:  I really like the openness of the space.  it doesn't feel like a private club.  It feels like it's there for everyone.

Q3.  THE BEST (AND WORST!?):  One of my favorite performances was a shadow puppet play.  The lights were off and the artists had used colored cellophane, It looked like moving stained glass.

Q4.  WHY THE LOVE!?!? I love that the goal is always to be part of our community.  All are welcome to come in to the space but, there is also an effort to bring art and ideas to the public.  The overall feel seems to be one of unity and growth through creative expression.

Q5.. PS1 x FUTURE: my dream is that more people take advantage of this wonderful resource.

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Featured Member: Taylor Yocom

Taylor in front of her exhibition Guarded at PS1 in 2015

Taylor in front of her exhibition Guarded at PS1 in 2015

NAME: Taylor Yocom
MEMBER SINCE: May 2015
PROFESSION?:
 MFA Student

Q0.  TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:  I'm a 24 year old artist living with my massive orange tabby cat named Ivan and pursuing my MFA in Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. My work focuses on memory and my personal archive and how what we hang on to speaks to who we are. This takes the form of mixed media, photography, and installation work. My life focuses on talking about said cat too much, coffee, and creating strange inside jokes with pals.

Q1.  YOU x YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO PS1:   I moved from Iowa City once I graduated from University of Iowa in 2015, but PS1 still holds a near and dear place in my heart and I've continued to be involved. I'm a cheerleader of PS1's events with major FOMO and supporter from long distance!

Q2.  THE FIRST IMPRESSION:  I was a new art student in Iowa City and trying to find my way and get my voice out. The Works in Progress fest was going on and I had a polaroid camera. Kalmia pitched the idea of me taking shots of the events (such great events and fond memories!) and posting them on a bulletin board to be viewed during the event. This was the first time I really interacted with PS1 and I felt so welcomed and was thrilled with how fun of a community this is.

Q3.  THE BEST (AND WORST!?):  The best memory would have to be my Guarded exhibition in May 2015. PS1 was so supportive and accommodating during the entire process leading up to and during the show.  During the install, my photography series went viral. It was so wild to see so many people coming to the gallery for the opening. The support of the community was surreal---only to be topped by my parents secretly traveling to surprise me at my opening!

Q4.  WHY THE LOVE!?!?  To me, PS1 is such a supportive, validating community that leaves a void in my heart in the communities I've moved to since. To have access to such affordable printmaking resources, an artistic community, and all forms of shows and events was something Iowa City is so lucky to have.

Q5.. PS1 x FUTURE: A darkroom! Multiple galleries! More events! All my wildest dreams!

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Featured Member: Emily Jalinsky

NAME: Emily Jalinsky

MEMBER SINCE: 2014

PROFESSION: Artist

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF: I am a printmaking and mixed media artist who loves being in community with others.

YOU x YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO PS1: I got involved with PS1 immediately after moving to Iowa City about two years ago. I received the free studio residency, worked to re-open the print shop, and jumped into other art groups going on at the time. I am now on the board for Public Space One, continue to work with the Iowa City Press Co-op, and started a low-key sewing group, Sew Good Sew Fun!

THE FIRST IMPRESSION:  I found PS1's website while scoping out prospective places to live. I loved how experimental and inclusive it was. After visiting to see the space it was a major factor in our decision to move here. I am so glad we did! Being a part of PS1 is an integral role in my life, and I'm so thankful for it!

THE BEST (AND WORST!?): There are so many memorable experiences! I loved the ICPC Birthday Party. The energy was high- we were all enjoying each other, the art, the pizza, the photo booth! We also left the party decorations up for a long time in the lobby, which seemed to fit the space really well!

WHY THE LOVE!?!? I love this space because it allows artists to do what they do. I would not be able to make my work without this facility, but I also would not do what I do without the encouragement and support from this community. All the people are caring and want to experiment with each other, hear about new projects, or help problem solve new methods. We want to experience other people's art/creative expression, teach new people who want to learn, and live an artful life together!

PS1 x FUTURE: The first thing I would like to see for PS1 is a sustainable budget that can continuously provide income for our director and program director. They do so much, it's incredible! I want to make sure we are able to support them! In the future I would love to see a new space with more room for studios and shop space. Maybe even expand to have a photography area and a wood shop!

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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.

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