Furthermore, based in Washington, D.C., is on its way to being much more than a print shop, thanks to the vision of its founder, Jose Ruiz, and Bridget Sue Lambert, Director & Digital Print Specialist for Furthmore Print, the company’s production studio. The goal is to make Furthermore an alternative incubator for comtemporary art in D.C., New York and beyond. The first step in that goal is to make printing more accessible to those artists.
Furthermore recently kicked off the concept with an open house at its studio, an event that drew hundreds of artists from the surrounding area. Though Furthermore opened its doors late last year, they took time to execute a creative printing project for the open house to show artists all the different possibilities they can explore with inkjet printing and the variety of printable media available to them.
“We recruited artists from New York and Washington, D.C., and we assigned those artists to work on a specific paper,” explains Lambert. “One artist used LexJet Sunset Photo Metallic Paper, another used Sunset Cotton Etching, and so forth, for 18 prints on 12 different papers and materials in all, including Photo Tex and LexJet 7 Mil Absolute Backlit film. We matched their work with the medium we thought would work best.”
Using mainly LexJet materials and a smattering of Hahnemuhle papers, the work was produced on Furthermore’s Epson Stylus Pro 9900 through the ImagePrint RIP. The aim, says Lambert, was to show the broad spectrum of inkjet printing possibilities and how each artist’s work can be reproduced to either stringent specifications or into something completely new and different.
One artist, Patrick McDonough, reproduced his work as a windsock with LexJet Water-Resistant Satin Cloth. Another, Isabel Manalo, whose work is originally created on Mylar, had theirs printed on the 7 Mil Absolute Backlit film. The result was a wall of diverse, unusual and innovative work that was the highlight and focal point of the open house.
“The whole idea of the print shop is to provide more economical pricing that’s still high quality and archival on nice papers so that artists have a chance to experiment more and make this part of their studio practice, instead of just for exhibitions,” says Lambert. “Before we created this wall of art and photography it was difficult to demonstrate all of the possibilities with just stock samples. Now they can see everything and all the possibilities in a loose exhibition format.”
Lambert estimates that 200 to 300 artists and art appreciators attended the open house. MillerCoors donated about 20 cases of Peroni and Blue Moon to help with the event, underscoring the widespread community support Furthermore has for its overall concept of being a support system for the arts.
“We wouldn’t be in the position we’re in without the help of LexJet and our customer specialist, Rob Finkel. If I was having trouble with the software or the printer he was right there to help me get it set up. I’ll call him up and tell him what I’m trying to accomplish and he lets me know about the hottest papers and what will work best for the situation,” says Lambert. “I had a lot of struggles with the software I originally chose to use, because I didn’t listen to Rob. He kept telling me to use ImagePrint and I was against it, but then I finally came around and it’s been so much easier.”