Lost in the shake and shuffle of SXSW this week is Flatstock 16, a showcase of the best and brightest (at times, literally) in concert poster design. Sharing crawl space on the liquor-lacquered streets and floors of Austin, Tex., are several Minneapolis graphic designers hoping to become the next John Van Hamersveld.
Among locals who made the trek down I-35 — cardboard tubes slung over their shoulders, no doubt, in place of guitar straps — are Dan Ibarra and Michael Byzewski of Aesthetic Apparatus (they’ve worked for Frank Black, the Hold Steady, and The New Pornographers, among many others). Other local poster designers postering and partying in Austin are the company Burlesque of North America (Arcade Fire, Rhymesayers), Dan Black and Jessica Seamans of the collective Landland, Amy Jo Hendrickson and an artist going by the name of DWITT. Hendrickson and fellow Minneapolis poster artists Tooth and Lonny Unitus (a vintage Baltimore Colts fan, I take it) recently opened a Northeast storefront (158 13th Ave. NE) featuring limited-edition screenprinted posters and art prints, an on-site design studio and a screenprinting shop.
In 2007, Eric Drommerhausen, an MCAD grad who lives in Albert Lea, Minn., was the grand prize winner of the first Student Flatstock Contest. Presented by the American Poster Institute, Flatstock is an annual series of exhibitions featuring work by leading concert poster artists.
IMAGE: “The Redwalls” by Aesthetic Apparatus