By: Almeera Anwar
It’s far from a typical art studio; it’s actually not much like one at all. In fact, Dead End Press is more like a community center that happens to have the infrastructure for artists.
Lucky Barnard, Jordan Giarratano, Nate Stottrup and Seth Goodkind at Dead End Press.
This idea was exactly what co-founders Nate Stottrup, a printmaker, and Jordan Giarratano, a cartoonist, opened their studio in October of 2011 after finding that many local artists were trapped in their own cliques and only working in their own area. They wanted to break down those barriers and expand artists’ horizons – so they created the Dead End Press.
“It’s not your stereotypical art studio; people walk in and are surprised at how comfy it is.”
Dead End Press is a shared printmaking and graphic arts workspace where artists are encouraged to interact with each other and build a community among themselves. The location has couches, a full kitchen, space to work and store projects and the location is open 24/7.
Anna Savoie and Nate Stottrup working in the studio
Stottrup said that when he was working as a printmaker he was always surrounded by other people and often spurred him to do better work and push himself, so he wanted to create that environment for other vibrant, working artists.
But they’re not just looking for seasoned artists with Ph.D’s, they want newbies as well. People who can grab a sketch book, a regular pencil and just start drawing for the love it; those are the people they are also after.
It’s, “all about trying to engage the public,” said Stottrup. “We don’t want to be just another gallery that people come into, walk around and don’t talk to each other.”
They’ve already begun creating an interactive art show that they host every six weeks called Sketch Jam, a five-hour session to create projects fitting a theme followed by a public gallery in the evening.
Their last one was themed Zombie Founding Fathers which combined the 4th of July and the Zombie Walk. Their next one is on August 19th and is themed Cthulhu, in honor of HP Lovecraft’s 122nd birthday. The after-parties usually have a performance or interactive piece as well.
“Ultimately, we want people to engage with their life and to create a space that allowed creative people to try this or that and expand their horizons, even if they haven’t had the chance to before.” Said Stottrup. “No stuck up fine artist mentality here!”
Photos courtesy Dead End Press