Album-art purists of Sacramento, unite!

Remember when you would go through your dad’s or older brother’s stack of dusty LP’s, flipping through the elaborate ’70s album jackets and sleeves? Triple foldouts, glossy 12-inch booklets, page after page of mind-blowing artwork, so complete it made the record itself almost … irrelevant?

Picture a magazine designed for a record crate rather than a bookshelf—shape, size and jacket included. Exit Strategy, the periodical stratagem of Sacramento artist and graphic designer Aaron Winters, debuts this month with 48 ultra-size pages of straight art, no text. It’s a product for a purist.

Gathered from the outer regions of graphic design, painting, graffiti, photography and drawing, the talent displayed in Exit Strategy’s premier issue is an eclectic mix from artists as impatient to make an impact as they are voracious for new visual possibilities. The result is a feast of album-worthy art with surprises at every flip of the page, rendered in razor-sharp, glossy grayscale.

Winters is also the driving force behind the Ultramega Art Conglomerate, an association of local artists whose group show in April at San Francisco’s 111 Minna Gallery forged new territory for Sacramento’s young artists—many of whom (Skinner, Kevin Price, Jay Howell, Adrienne Yan and Nathan Cordero) are showcased in Exit Strategy. Out-of-town big shots, like BuffMonster from Los Angeles and Christopher Sleboda from Connecticut, weigh in with powerful contributions.

Winters spent the last week chewing his nails, hoping Exit Strategy No. 1 would return from the printers in time for the release party scheduled for October 14 at Movement inside Club 21, only to find out Movement has been canceled. In a MySpace bulletin dated October 10, DJ Shaun Slaughter announced, “After much thought, debate, and after dancing on it last night … the crew and I have decided to cease operations on Friday nights inside Club 21.” Citing overlapping booking of the venue, which forced Movement customers to wait outside after the club’s start time, and “the staff’s inability to remain friendly,” Slaughter is pulling the plug on Friday nights unless or until another venue can be found. (However, the circus-themed Halloween party scheduled for October 28 is still on. Check for new venue info.)

Meanwhile, Winters has found his own exit strategy from dance-club drama with an Exit Strategy release party at the Toyroom Gallery, located at 907 K Street, on October 29 from 3 to 7 p.m. Visit for further details or pick up an advance copy of Exit Strategy at Flat Spot, Olipom or the Toyroom Gallery.