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Ohio Northern students participate in print workshop in Chicago

October—ONU design students Tyler Jensen, Abby Brown, and Lauren Hector attended a weekend print workshop in Chicago this past Sat., Oct. 11. The workshop was led by Jay Ryan, owner of The Bird Machine.

Jay learned about screenprinting from Steve Walters at Screwball Press in late 1995, where they worked together until 1999, at which point Jay started The Bird Machine print shop in the basement of his apartment building. Jay's initial clients were his friends' bands, his own band, and the clubs where they played. By stumbling into the right place at the right time, he fell in with a new movement of screenprinted poster makers across the country and around the world.

The business grew slowly and organically, with the gradual addition of printing assistants and an office manager. For five years, the printshop occupied a commercial space in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago, before settling into a permanent home in Skokie, Illinois.

Jay established a reputation for hand-drawn text and a computer-free design process. His prints aim to attain the same goals as other concert posters, but using raccoons and toasters instead of skulls, breasts and hot rods.

From 2002-2007, Jay served as Vice President of the American Poster Institute, a non-profit group which manages the successful FLATSTOCK series of poster shows.

Jay now draws and prints daily, and often travels to conferences and universities to show and speak about his work.

Originally designated as the School of Fine Arts and later the College of Fine Arts, the art & design program was first established as an independent academic unit at Ohio Northern in 1878, largely as an outgrowth of course work in engineering and architectural drawing. Today, Ohio Northern offers both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with majors in advertising design, art education, graphic design and studio arts with concentrations in two-dimensional, three-dimensional and pre-art therapy. The department of A&D holds memberships in national organizations such as the National Art Education Association, College Art Association, Foundations in Art: Theory and Education, AIGA: The Professional Association for Design, and the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts. The department is recognized in the “Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers” as one of the best creative programs nationwide. For additional information about the department of art & design or the University’s 2014–15 Arts Exhibition Season, contact the department at 419.772.2160.