A Memorial of Photography and Light: Three Seasons at Black Forest Farm

Light Pillars by Karen GiustiStephen Schwarz was a New York City firefighter and a first responder on 9-11. He was injured early that morning, but would return to Ground Zero to help in the rescue effort.

Artist Karen Giusti, who was his fiancé, says the cumulative effect of breathing in the airborne debris at Ground Zero led to his death in June 2010.

“Many 9-11 first responders have chronic health problems or are passing away very young. Stephen was not even 50 years old,” says Giusti.

Giusti channeled her grief into a series of art pieces called Three Seasons at Black Forest Farm, which will be displayed at the Katzen Arts Center at the American University Museum College of Arts and Sciences in Washington, D.C., and will also travel to sites in New York City.

Three Seasons at Black Forest Farm is essentially a series of light pillars using photographs Giusti captured at Schwarz’s farm in upstate New York composed together to communicate the essence of her memorial art. So far, Giusti has built five pillars, but is contemplating up to 20 more as the exhibit begins to travel.

Light Sculptures Printed on LexJet Absolute Backlit
Models that Karen Giusti built as guides for potential future configurations of her exhibit, Three Seasons at Black Forest Farm.

“It’s about keeping time and the concept of time standing still; things you think of when someone passes away and how you respond, grow and what occurs to you during that time,” explains Giusti. “It’s also an artistic interpretation of scientific concepts of time where the photos are strings of time.”

The pillars are composed of hundreds of photos from Black Forest Farm stitched together, printed on LexJet 8 Mil Absolute Backlit in 40″ wide by 175″ long panels with her Epson Stylus Pro 9890, connected to each other with Velcro, suspended from the ceiling, and supported underneath by a slow-turning motor.

“At Stephen’s farm I stood in one place and shot at the ground and up, and then turned very carefully and came back down and around. I had a chart I stood on to make sure I would get the entire farm photographed in the round, almost like a holograph,” says Giusti. “It’s very fitting that it’s esoteric and ephemeral with the beautiful photographs stitched together, and I thought that using a hanging light pillar would be a beautiful effect to work with the imagery.”

Instead of building a tubular framework to hold the prints in place, Giusti found that the Absolute Backlit material was both flexible and rigid enough to be used as the structure itself.

“I was considering what kind of framework to use, but it turns out that the Absolute Backlit works fine because it is so durable and user-friendly – it doesn’t scratch and you can handle it pretty roughly – and you can get a beautiful shape out of it,” says Giusti. “Only an artist would get so excited about a print material.”

Working the Windows with LexJet Tyvek

Window Graphics by Legacy GraphicsFrom the inside out, Jan Berte, owner of Legacy Graphics & Design, has found the ideal window graphics solution when Carter’s needs to hide the progress inside its stores as they’re being built or remodeled.

Carter’s specializes in clothing for babies and kids and has hundreds of stores across the U.S. in the process of being built or remodeled. Berte, based in Carroll, Iowa, says she’s been working with a store designer in Cleveland for the past dozen years to provide the graphics that both hide and promote.

Window Graphics by Legacy Graphics & Design“We had been using adhesive vinyl, which was a nightmare from all sorts of angles, especially removal and the adhesive residue. Then we came up with the idea to use Tyvek. It’s recyclable, which is a big thing for me since the graphics are temporary and thrown away after they’re used. A note goes with every single panel to recycle the material when they remove it,” says Berte. “The graphics are all applied second-surface, inside the windows using LexJet Heavy Duty Banner Tape. There is very little adhesive removal – just a quick swipe with a razor blade and they’re done. Back before we discovered Tyvek, removal was more of a pain than the application.”

Berte uses LexJet TOUGHcoat 3R DuPont Tyvek and says it’s one of the most versatile print materials she’s found.

“LexJet Tyvek is so adaptable. You lay it flat for ten minutes and it stays flat. I’ve used it for permanent wallcoverings with wallpaper paste for Oshkosh stores. I wouldn’t have even attempted to use it for an indoor permanent wallcovering if it didn’t print great, because people see it up close and personal,” says Berte. “I love the way it prints; it prints beautifully. It has a good level of bright white, and the inks just pop on it. I print straight out of Corel right out of the box and I get excellent color results with it. Either the print gods smiled on me, or I just found a combination that works well.”

Berte prints the images that can range up to 80 inches wide and 9 feet tall on an Epson Stylus Pro 9890. The prints are paneled according to the size of the windows and marked on the back in order so the installers simply place the panels in the windows according to the directions.

“I create an image the size of the window and then print it in panels to accommodate either 36″ or 42″ material. I use a function within Corel to create the individual panels, usually with about a half-inch overlap for fudge factor. The two pieces of the image are exactly the size they need it to be for whatever window. If the installers are really ambitious they can go outside and look at it to make sure,” laughs Berte. “Even if I had a wider printer I’d split them anyway just from a shipping and handling standpoint. I almost always put them inside a plastic sleeve, then in the carton. With the handling and mishandling I don’t want them to get scratched or dirty during the shipping process.”

Masterful Combination: Bill Barley’s Giclee Printing and Jim Harrison’s Fine Art

Giclee Printing on Canvas
Renowned fine artist Jim Harrison checking out canvas gallery wrap reproductions of his coastal scenes, faithfully reproduced on LexJet Instant Dry Satin Canvas by Bill Barley, Studio BB&A.

It takes a master to reproduce a master’s art. Bill Barley, owner of Bill Barley & Associates (aka Studio BB&A), Lexington, S.C., recently had the unique privilege of printing giclees for one of South Carolina’s top veteran artists, Jim Harrison.

Canvas Gallery WrapsHarrison’s work typically depicts South Carolina’s natural beauty, especially its grand coastal areas. Harrison began his career as a sign painter in the days long before the advent of any vinyl-cutting or printing technology, then turned his talent to fine-art painting.

Now in his late 70s, Harrison has dived into the digital world with Bill Barley.

“You might call him the artist emeritus of South Carolina,” says Barley. “He’s doing a series of coastal scenes and I’ve been doing a tremendous amount of canvas printing for him. He’s a traditional artist, who for most of his career has sold only litho prints. Now he’s jumped into giclee printing big time.”

Photographing Fine Art
Capturing one of Jim Harrison’s beautiful South Carolina fine art landscape paintings at Studio BB&A.

Barley’s print process using an Epson Stylus Pro 9890 and the ImagePrint RIP fully and faithfully reproduces Harrison’s masterpieces.

“I’m using LexJet Instant Dry Satin Canvas. It looks like real artist canvas and the artists I work with love it. That canvas is worth every penny,” says Barley. “Jim Harrison is exacting in the landscapes he creates, and demands the same of me for his reproductions.”

Barley adds that the gallery wraps are custom built in collaboration with his framer since artists like Harrison don’t paint at standard sizes and prefer not to crop their work. Most of the gallery wraps shown here are 1 1/2″ thick.

Epson Stylus Pro 9900 Inkjet Printer Setup: How To Videos

Inkjet printer installing ink Epson 9900When purchasing a new wide-format printer, a little extra help with setup never hurt. The manual that accompanies the Epson Stylus Pro 9900 does a great job, but being able to actually see how everything comes together can be even more helpful.

These videos can also be extremely useful for setting up the Epson Stylus Pro 9890 and the 24-inch wide Stylus Pro 7890 and Stylus Pro 7900. Keep in mind that the stand assembly is slightly different with the 24-inch models.

The Epson Stylus Pro 9900 Printer Setup videos embedded below in the order shown include:

  • Stand Assembly
  • Paper Basket Assembly
  • Removing Packing Materials and Connecting the Power Cord
  • Installing Ink
  • Loading Roll Paper

If you have any questions about setting up or using an Epson Stylus Pro 7900, 9900, 7890 or 9890 or other Epson Stylus Pro Printers, please contact a LexJet Account Specialist at 800-453-9538.

Epson Introduces Epson Stylus Pro 7890 and 9890 Printers

Epson’s new Epson Stylus Pro 890 series, scheduled to ship around the end of the year, combines its MicroPiezo TFT  printhead with its eight-color Epson UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta, including auto-switching  Photo and Matte Black inks.

The 7890 is 24 inches wide and the 9890 is 44 inches wide, with prices starting at $2,995 and $4,995 MSRP respectively.  Some of the features of both new printers include:

  • Epson high-precision MicroPiezo TFP printhead with automatic printhead alignment
  • Automatic nozzle verification and cleaning
  • AccuPhoto HD screening technology for fine blends and photographic transitions
  • Maximum resolution of 2880 x 1440 dpi and variable-sized droplets as small as 3.5 picoliters
  • High-capacity-ink system
  • ePlaten media-loading technology for accurate and automatic media handling
  • Roll media length tracking and identification system with auto bar code tagging for faster reloading
  • Included one-year of coverage under the Epson Preferred protection plan

For more information and the latest on when these new printers will be available, contact a LexJet account specialist at 800-453-9538.