Instructor Directory

Our instructors are drawn from a wealth of talented teachers, including nationally known artists from across the country and across the street. They are innovative craftsmen and artists who enjoy trying new techniques and love sharing what they do with their students.

If you are an experienced art, craft, writing, or performing arts instructor and are interested in teaching at Shake Rag Alley, click here for more information.

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Justin O’Brien

Photo of Justin O’Brien

Justin O’Brien is a freelance writer who received his bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Illinois at Chicago. For most of his 42-year career, he practiced the craft of typography, a subject that he also taught and wrote about. Concurrent with his 9-to-5 job he wrote extensively about blues music over a forty-year period, and for several decades has been associated with Living Blues magazine of the University of Mississippi. His writing—on blues and other subjects—has also appeared in Juke Blues, Sing Out!, Irish Music, UIC Alumni News, Chicago Parent, The Typographer, Digital Chicago, Southern Graphics, and The Minneapolis Review of Baseball. He was a contributor to the Encyclopedia of the Blues (Routledge Press, 2005), Armitage Avenue Transcendentalists (Charles Kerr, 2009), and Base Paths: The Best of the Minneapolis Review of Baseball (Wm. Brown, 1991).

Workshops

Alternatives in Publishing Panel Discussion – Writing Retreat