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Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009

Poster Artist Jay Ryan to Appear at Sugar Maple

Cadillac Jones exhibits at Landmarks Gallery

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“Don’t quit your day job” is a derisive cliché often used to dismiss the artistic individual of whom the critic disapproves, but such errant counsel would be ironically wasted on Jay Ryan. As owner/operator of The Bird Machine, his highly successful screen print poster workshop located in Skokie, Ill., Ryan makes a living designing posters for bands, concerts, theaters and art events across the globe, as well as artwork for such corporate clients as Patagonia clothing, Converse shoes and the British Broadcasting Corp.

“Renaissance Man” is a fawning adjective tacked on to just about anyone working in multiple disciplines, but in Ryan’s case it just might be apropos: In addition to his commercial artwork, Ryan also plays bass with Chicago’s indie-rock group Dianogah, lectures at universities and galleries throughout Europe and the United States, and published a 2005 compendium, 100 Posters, 134 Squirrels: A Decade of Hot Dogs, Large Mammals, and Independent Rock: The Handcrafted Art of Jay Ryan.

In an age when art, design, information dissemination and even basic social interaction are increasingly impersonal and digital, Ryan’s hand-printed artwork has earned him the “underground” label. His witty, humorous prints, often featuring rodentia, are featured anew in a new book, Animals and Objects In and Out of Water, a collection of his favorite pieces from the last three years.

Ryan will appear at Bay View’s Sugar Maple tavern (441 E. Lincoln Ave.) in support of that book, joined by fellow Chicagoan Paul Hornschemeier, an illustrator working primarily in comics, who will present his own impressive artwork in another collection, All and Sundry: Uncollected Work 2004-2009. The meet and greet with two extraordinary artists will commence at 7 p.m. Nov. 12.

Mono-prints by California multimedia artist Cadillac Jones will be displayed at Landmarks Gallery (231 N. 76th St.) in an exhibit called “Design and Abstraction,” Nov. 7-30. Often eclectic in his choice of materials, Jones draws his palette from found objects, rusty metal, handmade paper and organic fibers.

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