Thank you for checking out 22's Modular22 Kickstarter campaign. 22 is an independent design studio and gallery in Berwyn. We have two goals at 22: to showcase the work of emerging and established artists and designers from within the Chicago area, and to bring innovative and informative work to the Berwyn community from the rest of the world. So far in 2012 we've organized five gallery exhibits and displayed work from dozens of artists and designers. Now we're turning to you to help fund our most ambitious project yet: Modular22.
Modular22 is a free-standing structure that we want to build in our studio as a means to display work from well over a hundred artists. The structure, designed by 22's founder and director Jessica Calek, will be constructed from 360 nearly identical interlocking wooden panels, and these panels will be adorned with black and white artwork contributed by artists within Berwyn, the greater Chicago area, and beyond. You can see more of Jessica's work at calek.com.
Since 22 is basically a gallery run by designers, the projects and exhibits we've been developing in the gallery try to blur the line between art and design wherever possible. The Modular22 project is our biggest attempt so far to erase this distinction.
Basically, with Modular22 we're bringing the display infrastructure of a gallery to the foreground and treating it as being just as important as the artwork it's used to display. The idea is that we can move artwork off of the traditional "white cube" walls of a gallery and onto a monumental structure that people can gather around. This structure is not just a support system. It's an integral part of the exhibit, where art, design, architecture, and fabrication all come together in one installation. And that installation will be able to highlight the work of hundreds of artists and designers from Berwyn, Chicago, and beyond.
Here's how it works. The entire structure is made up of 360 1' x 2' wooden panels. Each of these panels will serve as the "canvas" for a piece of black and white artwork. The content of this artwork is entirely up to our collaborators -- we're hoping it will range from expressive artwork to typography studies, from architectural renderings to photography, and so on.
The artwork on the boards will be created by people who we will invite to participate and people we'll find through a general call for entries. The majority of this artwork will be sent to us digitally, and we'll print it and mount it to the wooden panels, and some of the artwork will be created directly on the panels, mainly by artists who live and work near the 22 studio. Since we have 360 panels, we potentially have room for work by 360 artists, although we're aiming for about 150.
UPDATE! Here's a list of confirmed artists and designers so far. These people will all be creating artwork for the panels in the installation. We're still looking for more participants and will update again with more people soon. If you're an artist interested in submitting artwork for the project, please refer to our FAQ below.
Participating artists so far:
Melinda Wind, Emily Baker, Charlie O'Geen, James Haddrill, Sean Walker, CJ Hungerman, Robin Dluzen, Erin McGuire, Emily Fundis, Erika Dely, Allison Wong, Jessica Calek, Dan Streeting, MAXBLR, Ron Hemphill, Kim Counes, Haynes Riley, Egon Selby, Kiel Mutschelknaus, Lilian Crum, Meaghan Barry, Anvita Jain, Seth Stephens, Julie Hoppner, Belinda Mattfolk, Sean Patrick, Chad McKinney, Trevor Edmonds, Dan Sinclair, Kevin Paolozzi, John Lui, Jesselisa Moretti, Tom Albaitis, Elle Kim, Nicole Killian, Michelle D'Cruz, Charlie DeLeonardis, Christopher Santoso, Andrew Coate, Mackenzie Schubert, Shalina Jaffer, Jennifer Hines, Miro Ledajaks, Kyle van Heck & Tommaso Lesnick
Once the panels are covered in images, we'll assemble the complete structure. This is based on a modular system of construction. Four panels are arranged in a square to create one module.
Those modules are then stacked together using a system of interlocking notches, ultimately resulting in a three-dimensional wall that's 27 feet long and 8 feet tall. This will fill the interior of the 22 studio with enough space for people to easily walk around the outside.
The result of all this is a giant wall of art that functions as a a piece of art itself. As a single structure, its large scale lends the installation a sense of monumentality, yet the fact that its made up of a lot of smaller, unique, detailed pieces of artwork gives the project a sense of approachability and intimacy. What's more, the structure can potentially be disassembled and reassembled in any number of different configurations, speaking to its modular nature and lending it an element of interactivity, as if it was a giant toy construction set.
The finished installation will be up in the 22 studio for three months, from October to December, with an opening reception in mid-October. The panels that make up the structure will all be available for sale throughout the duration of the exhibition, with the majority of money from those sales going to the artists who created the artwork on the panels. At the end of the exhibition, the modular structure will be dismantled, the purchased artwork will be sent to its buyers, and we'll move on to our next crazy scheme….
So, why do we need Kickstarter for this? Quite simply, this is the most ambitious project we've planned for 22, and we can't do it by ourselves.
At 22 we have an operating budget of practically nothing, and this means we need your help. Your money will help us buy the wood and other materials that we need to construct the structure, laser cut the panels into their modular shape, print and apply the artwork onto the panels, promote the exhibit to the public, and document the entire process. We're asking for $4000, which is enough for us to display work from 150 people, and the other 210 panels in the structure will be blank wood. If we raise more than $4000, we'll potentially be able to reach out to more people and display much more work, up to the maximum of 360 panels. We'll also be able to look at sourcing higher quality wood and other construction materials.
So what do you get out of this? Besides helping us put together the project of our dreams, we've got some exciting souvenirs and promotional material planned.
First, we'll be producing posters and postcards for the exhibition, which will be used to advertise the project in Berwyn and the greater Chicago area, and we'll send these to you if you donate. We're also making laser-cut acrylic Modular22 key chains in the shape of the structure's modular panels.
Here are some posters from our previous events at 22...
The most exciting souvenir is a comprehensive book cataloging the entire project, designed by Dan Streeting, 22's creative director. This will be a 6" x 9" perfect bound black and white book of at least 100 pages, which will feature details of the construction, images of all the panels in the structure, photographs from the final installation, and extensive essays about the project. You can see Dan's work at streetingdesign.com. He notoriously puts way too much time into everything, so rest assured that the book is going to be an overly extravagant project in itself and will be well worth your money -- it can be yours if you donate at least $50. The book will be designed and printed during the exhibition, so we estimate that you will receive it in December/January.
That's not all! We're also offering panels from the structure as donation incentives. We won't be able to send you artwork from the actual installation, but we'll customize them ourselves, with the Modular22 logo and other visual goodies. Four panels (one module) makes a really good fenced-off area for a rambunctious cat, as we've discovered….
If you order a book or some panels, we ask that you add a few dollars to cover shipping: $5 for shipping for the book, or $10 shipping for panels. If you live in the Chicago area and would like to stop by the 22 studio and pick up your souvenirs, that would be great -- we're open five days a week.
If you're really feeling generous, we'll give you a behind-the-scenes tour of the structure's construction, a private dinner, or some custom original art and design work.
We really appreciate all of your donations, and, however much you decide to donate, we'll throw in an extra couple of goodies -- posters and postcards from old shows, doodles, etc.
Thanks for taking the time to check out Modular22. We're really exciting about taking on a project this large, because we think it has the potential to bring a lot of people together. Since Modular22 can display work from literally hundreds of people at once, it's ultimately about building and supporting a community of creative people. We hope you're as excited about this project as we are, and we hope you'll consider donating to help us bring this dream to life. We can't do it without you!
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