Helping art happen: pt. I

The IMRC labs make equipment available to innovators, artists, and entrepreneurs that they might not otherwise be able to access.  If you’re a regular at the IMRC, you probably know that our 3D printers, lasers, CNC machines, and woodshop are often in the spotlight here.  Those are useful tools, no doubt, but they’re hardly all we have to offer.

One of the tools I’m really coming to appreciate is our Epson 9890 professional wide-format printer.  This guy can print up to 44″ wide, and uses 8 distinct pigments, making it capable of an extremely wide color gamut.  It’s also very high resolution, capable of 2880×1440 dpi.  That means it makes about as many dots in one inch as you’d find on a 1080p HD display.  Not only can it make beautiful, gallery-quality prints, it can do them on a huge variety of mediums: photo paper, hot press paper, cold press paper, poster paper, cardstock, even canvas.  Printing an 11×14 on the Epson is comparable in price to having a print made at your local big-box store, but offers much more flexibility. We’ve got a lot more options than basic glossy paper, you can make a small proof print to make sure you get the color just right, and of course there’s the quality.

This morning in the labs, we had UMaine’s own professor Laurie Hicks, taking advantage of the 9890 to make prints for her upcoming exhibition at the Hudson Museum, Documenting China. Her work features beautiful street photography of China, as well as shots documenting Chinese artists at work in their studios and workshops.  I love Asian street photography, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of her beautiful work coming off the Epson.

If you want to see Laurie’s exhibition, it opens March 25th, 2016, at the Hudson Museum at UMaine. Click here for more information.