Concerning this Concern

As an artist and designer, Thriving Concern is founded on my curiosity for written and visual vernacular, and cultural ephemerality. I sense that what we typically disregard as passing and ignorable social detritus seems to often possess defining and recognizable cultural symbolism. For example, a high-yielding archeological dig will only be so because the team located and discovered that payload location where ancient inhabitants threw all their useless broken shit down a prehistoric hole in the ground. I’m working to discover similarly discarded contemporary objects, situations, and ideas— a few hundred years more in advance.

This practice expands to include the ephemerality and vernacular of the human condition as well, including commonplace gratitude, fallibility, and the obscurity of creative process. In the end, Thriving Concern works to cross-pollinate these elements and tell a story — to butcher James Joyce — wherein the banal lies the universal.

Dan Ibarra

Additional Current Concerns

Designer: Face of the Earth (2018–PRESENT)
Faculty: Augsburg University, Dept. of Art and Design (2016–PRESENT)

Notable Past Concerns

Principal: Aesthetic Apparatus (1999–2016)
Adjunct Faculty: MCAD (2005–2010)


  • Wendy Cooper Gallery (Two Person Show) Madison, WI · 2002

  • Flatland Gallery (Solo Show) Minneapolis, MN · 2003

  • OX-OP Gallery (Solo Show) Minneapolis, MN · 2004

  • “Plaster the Town”, Back Alley Gallery (Group Show) Minneapolis, MN · 2004

  • “Almost Elegant”, Carlsten Gallery (Solo Show) UW, Stevens Point · 2004

  • “ENORM-O-PRINTS”, Foundation Gallery (Solo Show) Chicago, IL · 2005

  • “The Birthday Show” (Group Show) SSCA, Minneapolis, MN · 2005

  • “Graphic Noise: Posters at 1,000 dBs” (Group Show) MCAD · 2006

  • “Poster Retrospective” (Solo Show) 9th St. Entry Gallery , St. Paul, MN · 2006

  • “Poster Retrospective” (Solo Show) Subliminal Galley, Los Angeles, CA · 2006

  • “Cheap and Derivative” (Solo Show)OX-OP Gallery, Minneapolis, MN · 2006

  • “Whose Piss Is This?” (Solo Show) First Amendment, Minneapolis, MN · 2008

  • Art Crank (Group Show) Minneapolis, MN · 2009-2011

  • “AAXI: Ten Years of Aesthetic Apparatus, One Year Late” (Solo Show) Minneapolis College of Art and Design · 2010

  • “Canktankerous Hellfighter” (Collaboration with Delicious Design League) The Family Room, Chicago, IL · 2010

  • “Dead Wood” Print Folio (Contributor/Organizer) MAPC Conference, Minneapolis, MN · 2011

  • “PRO/CONFETTI” (Solo Show) Rotofugi Gallery, Chicago, IL · 2012

  • “Graphic Design: Now in Production” (Group Show) Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN ·2012

  • “GIG!” Rock Poster Exhibition (Group Show) Warner Brothers Studios, Los Angeles, CA· 2012

  • “D.I.Y. PRINTING (Group Show) MMAA, St. Paul, MN · 2013

  • NATIONAL POSTER RETROSPECTICUS (Group Show) Touring Exhibition· 2013

  • NORTHERN SPARK (Print Workshop/Performance) MCBA, Minneapolis, MN · 2014

  • East Coast Screenprint Biennial (Group Show) Arts Center, Troy, NY · 2014

  • POP MUSIC 1967-2017 Graphism & musique (Group Show) Cité Internationale Des Arts, Paris, Fr · 2018

  • “Garnish” (Solo Show) Gage Gallery, Augsburg University • 2019