An exhibition of extra-large photographs can be a powerful way to tell important stories. Large, professionally produced photographs have the power to make people stop, look, and think.
When a photo exhibition is particularly well done, it’s wonderful when people in other cities can also enjoy the experience of viewing it. But the costs of shipping large, framed prints from city to city can quickly add up, making it impractical for photographers and non-profits or publicly funded groups to produce as many traveling exhibitions as they might like.
An article entitled Education in Fabric in Vol. 4, No. 5 of LexJet’s In Focus newsletter describes how photographer David DeJonge used an inkjet-printable fabric from LexJet to create a lightweight, easy-to-ship photo exhibition that honors veterans of of World War I. The exhibit is scheduled to visit 1,000 school districts and be seen by as many as 2.5 million schoolchildren, teachers, and other viewers.
DeJonge, who owns DeJonge Studio in Grand Rapids, Mich., started photographing the remaining veterans from World War I about 14 years ago as part of his Faces of Five Wars series, which depicts veterans from World War I through Desert Storm. The initial project led to vast amounts of press coverage, an exhibit in the Pentagon, and the drive to build a national WWI monument.
When the first exhibition was shown at Creekwood Middle School in Humble, Texas, DeJonge’s images were printed and framed. All together, the images weighed around 400 pounds and cost nearly $1,000 to ship round-trip.
The first exhibit was viewed by 3,000 people and raised more than $14,000 for the restoration and expansion of the World War I Memorial on the National Mall. Still, DeJonge realized that packing and shipping the framed prints to multiple sites would not only be expensive but cumbersome.
After DeJonge started researching ways to make it more feasible to present his photo exhibition at multiple sites, he chose LexJet Water Resistant Satin Cloth. He used the fabric to print 14 large banners that showcase the images and life stories of 13 Allied World War I veterans, including 108-year-old Frank W. Buckles who is the last living American veteran of World War I.
DeJonge printed the banners on his 44-in. Epson Stylus Pro 9880 wide-format inkjet printer. Each banner is 42 in. x 6-1/2 ft. By presenting the photos as fabric banners instead of framed prints, DeJonge eliminated about 330 pounds from the shipping weight of the exhibition. Plus, the banners can be rolled up for shipping, making it easy to transport the exhibition from school to school within the 1,000 school districts the tour is scheduled to visit.
As for the quality of the image reproduction, DeJonge says he was very pleased with LexJet’s Water Resistant Satin Cloth: “It provides good flesh tones and smooth transitions between the shadow and highlight areas.” He also praised the clarity of the text reproduction on each banner, adding that, “I have never experienced anything like it with a similar printable material.”
To read the full story in LexJet’s In Focus newsletter, click here.
To learn more about how to use Water-Resistant Satin Cloth to produce easy-to-hang photo banners, contact a LexJet account specialist at 888-873-7553.
For other creative ideas for using inkjet-printable materials and pro-model wide-format inkjet printers, subscribe to LexJet’s In Focus newsletter.