Oh, close your eyes and you wake up / Face stuck to a vinyl settee / Oh, the line was starting to break up / What was that you were going to say? / 


issue 01: school’s out

breakfast 2020

This first issue of Plates: An experimental journal of art and culture presents seven pieces that scrutinise the educational institution. Across a range of forms including poetry, critical essays, and comics, the contributors to Issue 01: School’s Out critically reflect on the institution as we knew it, as we know it, and as we could know it.

Plates Issue 01 is available via our stockists. Though we also offer online editions of each contribution (available below), purchase the print edition for the full Plates experience. All sales go directly towards printing costs and contributor fees.


  1. Letter from the Editor
  2. Respect for Hands by Ree Sherwood
  3. NO MORE MR. NICE GUY by Itzel Basualdo
  4. To Each Generation a Campus is Born by Ali Tomek
  5. Resisting Education with The Simpsons by Theo MacDonald
  6. because if by Johanna Tesfaye
  7. An Interview with Compound Yellow by Leah Gallant
  8. Towards a Future Practice by Tomorrow-Mañana


Itzel Basualdo is an interdisciplinary artist from Miami, Florida. She hated the place for many years, severely missed it while she was away in graduate school, but has now returned to Miami and her disdain. Her practice often involves photography, video, installation, text, sometimes all at the same time. Her work has appeared in The Acentos Review, The MFA Years, Sinking City Lit Mag, Creative Nonfiction, Saw Palm Magazine, Ginger, and the documents folder on her laptop. She holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is currently the Youth Programs Coordinator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami.

Leah Gallant is an artist and writer from Cambridge, Massachusetts. She holds degrees from Swarthmore College and Illustrious Kumquat University, and is currently a master’s candidate in Visual and Critical Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Theo MacDonald completed a BFA (Hons) at the University of Auckland in 2016, and is now based in Toronto. His research interests include the formal histories of media technology and video collage. He co-hosted the radio program Artbank on 95bFM from 2016 to 2018, and co-founded the noise bands PISS CANNONN, 3 Chocolatiers, and LONDON DRUGS. He has contributed written work to SADO Journal, HAMSTER Magazine, and METRO Magazine. Recent exhibitions include Stop the World From Spinning (KNULP, Sydney), Heart of Glass (Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Wellington), and The Tomorrow People (Adam Art Gallery, Wellington).

Ree Sherwood holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and reads for Carve magazine. Ree comes from Western Pennsylvania and wants to tell you all about it. Find more work in Painted Bride Quarterly, Lavender Review, and Rivet.

Johanna Tesfaye is a Black conceptual artist from Central Illinois. With a background in communication design, her work uses text as a dynamic and performative structure to explore language, space, identity, and collective memory/experience. Patterning elements, such as repetition, play a key role in the forms she creates. The text loop, a recurring theme in her work, is an invitation to challenge the way the viewer enters the piece, considers their positionality, and makes meaning of the content. She is currently based in Chicago, pursuing her Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Ali Tomek is a writer, graphic designer, and educator living in Chicago. She is the author of the science-fiction novel When Something Solid Collapses Under Itself and has written about city anxiety, airplane design, and the Eclipse. She graduated from Northwestern University in 2016 and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2019.

Tomorrow-Mañana is a collective exercise in resistance against current dominating ideologies and manifestations of architecture in America and by reflection the world. The project, which results from the conflict between what we desire and deserve as compared to the world we find ourselves inhabiting, is a structured dissemination of discourse challenging our current practices, labour, and identity as both architects and citizens alike. Tomorrow-Mañana exists through interventions in physical space, questions posed to panels, graphic projects, and critical reflections; together we work to build the framework of tomorrow through a critique of today.

︎ ︎ ©Plates 2021
︎ ︎ ©Plates 2021