17th Street Archive

  • No Coast: Behind the Music


    Welcome to the 17th Street Archive, documenting No Coast's original incarnation as a collectively run screenprinting press, gallery, and consignment store in the Pilsen neighborhood on Chicago’s south side. No Coast's multi-use space occupied a former corner grocery at 1500 W. 17th Street from 2008-2010, founded by Anthony Decanini, Andrea Fritsch, Eric Haynes, Keelin Mayer, Anne Novotny, Aay Preston-Myint, Alex Valentine, and Danny Zaretsky. Later members of the collective include Dan Dunbar, Young Joon Kwak, Lindsay Powell, Wesley Stokes, Reba Rakstad, and Mel Treuhaft.

    Our mission was as such:

    We believe that the products and processes of creative practice should be accessible to whomever is interested in them. We strive to be generous with our time, our tools, and our talents in order to create a nurturing, open, & collaborative community. Our practice is inclusive of creating, showing, and discussing manydifferent media.

    We believe creative practice is a social act
    We are a chill space
    We provide a distribution point for art and ideas
    We believe in generosity
    We want to connect with other cultural producers
    We provide a venue for education and exchange
    We believe in getting our hands dirty
    We will change over time
    We are here, talk to us 


    In addition to being a working space for the collective, No Coast's modular studio served as the backdrop for workshops, classes, readings, and screenings. Workshops and classes were centered around printmaking and book arts and were all open to the community at a sliding scale cost or by donation. Our most popular event was the seasonal Screenprinting Lock-In, a 24-hour marathon session for anyone who needed a place to print or wanted to learn how. The last one standing/sleeping emerged with the coveted Golden Squeegee. Documentation of events and workshops can be found in the archive below as well as on our flickr page

    The No Coast store was a space dedicated to presenting and distributing artists’ publications, video, prints, posters, records, tapes, hand-crafted jewelry, altered and printed clothing. Our specialization was in affordable work by national and international artists, publishers, and collectives dedicated to fine craft, challenging ideas, creative design, and inspiring ideals. The storefront also served as a venue for live musical and artistic performance, and in the latter part of the space's existence, a fine art gallery. 

    A sampling of the artists, performers, publishers and labels exhibited includes: 

    Abby G. | Animental | Apenest | AREA Chicago | Marvin Astorga | Bongoût | Cinders Gallery | Club Lyfestile | Danimal | Drug Factory Press | Edie Fake | Featherproof Books | Rob Francisco | Free Drawings| Future Islands | Ghost Arcade | Alexis Gideon | Henry Glover | Golden Birthday | Green Lantern Press | Megha Gupta | Hooliganship | Keith Herzik | Kim Kelly | Li’l Howlin’ Wolf | Magical Beautiful | Massive Distribution | Mayor Daley | Rebecca Mir | Mister City Press | Museum Paper | Claire Nereim & Julie Cloutier | Obey Your Brain | The Oh Sees | Ozono Kids | Paper Monument  | Asher Penn | Picturebox | Mark Price | Mount Eerie | Rar Rar Press | Anni Rossi & Rollin Hunt | Marian Runk | Jes Seamans | Silky Shoemaker | Shelley Short | Tessa Siddle | Skeleton News | Dewayne Slightweight | Smittekilde | Space 1026 | Sweetie Pie Press | Scott Tankersley | These Are Powers | Zines Mate


    In 2010, No Coast discontinued their lease at the 17th Street space and entered into a (very) loose partnership with Roxaboxen, another independent artists space in Pilsen. The relationship yielded some joint programming, but was more of a hibernation for No Coast as a physical space. More about our hopes and dreams for that time can be read in this article, co-written by No Coast members Aay Preston-Myint and Young Joon Kwak, and Roxaboxen member Liz McCarthy: Nothing Great Gets Done Alone.

    In 2012, founders Alex Valentine and Aay Preston-Myint regrouped to ressurect No Coast in its current form, centered around production and distribution rather than physical space. 

    Below is a post-by-post import of No Coast's old website, with flyers, images, and reviews from events all the way up to the closing of the 17th Street space. Enjoy!