Over the course of 2010, Homeroom Chicago and Spudnik Press, two non-profit organizations dedicated to the arts in Chicago, developed a project called Ten x Ten that brought together 10 Chicago bands and 10 Chicago artists/printmakers to cultivate a creative collaborative relationship. Printmakers were invited to select a musician or band to collaborate with. Each band recorded an original song for inclusion on a compilation. Print artists then created a 10-inch by 10-inch, 3-color print design inspired by the commissioned song that would be both part of the final package of the compilation and a show poster. In January 2011, the release of the collaborative project was celebrated by a series of music shows by participating musicians hosted at the Whistler in Logan Square as well as an exhibition of the prints at Living Room Gallery. The final culmination of the project was a compilation of ten fine art prints and a ten-song album of exclusive tracks.
The impetus for the project was rooted in creating opportunity for artists and musicians to collaborate more intimately. Founder and director of Spudnik Press, Angee Lennard cites Colin Palombi as the mastermind of the project. “Colin pitched the idea to me and Seth Vanek of Homeroom and we both really like it. I had been talking at Spudnik for a while about wanting to do more collaborations with non-print organizations or artists. Homeroom was interested in creating opportunities for artists to be brought together in new formations and more tangible and intimate ways.”
Palombi has independently worked with both Spudnik Press as a printmaker and studio member and Homeroom Chicago. He says, “ Years ago, the Homeroom guys were running a venue called The Ice factory, together we produced a music compilation called The Survey. We had a big party where we administered a standardized test to the bands and those tests turned into the liner notes for the compilation. It was a lot of fun and I liked the community that The Survey helped build among the participating bands.” Palombi had the idea to redevelop The Survey, though this time around by pairing musicians and artists together intentionally. “For me, the package of the project was what excited me,” said Palombi. “Spudnik and Homeroom really made it all work. I’m really proud of the project and thankful to the two organizations for making it happen. It makes me want to do it again.”
The Project concludes this week with the closing of the print exhibition at Living Room Gallery. The Project reached a wide and diverse audience and was hugely successful for both organizations and artists. The amount of work and resources for both organizations was tremendous and took nearly an entire year to coordinate and complete. Though there have been a lot of musicians, artists, and buyers that have expressed interest in participating in a future Ten x Ten Project, both Spudnik Press and Homeroom have no plans to do it again as of now.
Ten x Ten included Prints by Dee Clements, Sanya Glisic, Kathleen Judge, Angee Lennard, Onsmith, Colin Palombi, Joey Potts, Grant Reynolds, Tom Smith and Sonnenzimmer. And songs by: Locks, Max Alexander, The Late Model Races, Strictly Jug Nuts, Sky Event, Netherfriends, Nones, Christine Kick, Blasted Diplomats, Jason Adasiewicz.
Strictly Jug Nuts the package is available at Reckless Records and Quimby’s in Chicago