To express their appreciation to the artists who hire Fine Balance Imaging Studios (FBI Studios) to reproduce their work, co-owners Joe Menth and Nancy MacFarland hosted the Gratitude 4: Giclée Print Art Show in February. More than two dozen artists and photographers were featured in the show which was held at the Bayview Cash Store Hub from Feb 1-Feb 27 and from Feb 19-26 at the Open Door Community Gallery in Bayview Corner on Whidbey Island, Washington.
According to Joe, the show is unique for three reasons:
- The artists get to be in a gallery show, without the usual gallery fees. 100% of the sales go directly to the artists.
- All of the art on display are giclée fine-art reproductions, produced by Fine Balance Imaging.
- The featured artists represent all skill levels and different kinds of original mediums, including acrylics, watercolors, photographs, oil paintings, and mixed-media collages. Some of the artists are internationally famous and some are just beginning their career. The artists featured in this year’s show ranged in age from 10 to 80.
Fine Balance Imaging hosts the shows, handles the marketing, and advises the artists on how to finish and price their work. They also throw a big reception party for the artists.
FBI Studios uses the show as an opportunity to demonstrate that high-quality giclée printing can have the same visual quality as original art. On his blog post about this year’s Gratitude show, Menth pointed out that, “Works shown at the Seattle Art Museum for many exhibits (including reproductions of some paintings in the recent Michaelangelo exhibit) were created using the same process FBI Studios uses for local Whidbey artists. Many galleries offer these prints as viable alternatives to high-priced original works of art.”
He added that correctly produced giclée prints on certain types of papers will resist fading for over 200 years, which is decades longer than prints created with offset lithography: “In fact, most giclée prints will outlast original watercolor paintings and traditionally printed photographs.”
In addition to showcasing a variety of artists, the Gratitude show demonstrates how different types of print materials can enhance the look of different types of art. Eyescapes 6 by Ellen Martorelli was output on LexJet Sunset Photo Semimatte paper and Koi Attack by Chris Spencer was printed on Moab Moenkopi Washi Unryu kozo/mulberry paper.
For the Gratitude show, the piece entitled In The Canopy by Gaylen Whiteman was output on Ellie Poo paper a 100% recycled paper that contains elephant dung. Reprints were available on Epson Ultrasmooth Fine Art or Epson Somerset Velvet.
This is the fourth year FBI Studios has sponsored the Gratitude show. They do it because they both feel so fortunate to be working with artists. As Menth puts it, “We love talking with incredible artists, being inspired by the conversations and friendships, and getting the chance to make a living doing something we’re really passionate about.”
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