Artists create art with Roland DG UV Printers
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Imaginarium Artcademy 2017 – Making Fine Art With Fine Technology

Header image courtesy of Sean Teegarden

This year, Roland DGA is making an extra-effort to reach out to the artistic community to support the work of artists, photographers and multi-media designers to see how Roland DG machines can aid them in the creative process.

Partnering with famous artist, author and Roland DG user, Bonny Pierce Lhotka, we invited a group of fellow artists to our Roland DGA Headquarters in Irvine, California to spend three days making art with machines that included our VersaUV and Texart dye-sublimation printer technologies. 

 Imaginarium Artcademy 2017

The Imaginarium Artcademy group of Artists and Roland DG trainers (from left to right) Jake Weien, Garrett Smalley, Ileana Frómeta Grillo (below), Lily Hunter, Jay Roberts, Bonny Pierce Lhotka, Karin Schminke, Dorothy Krause and Sean Teegarden.

With help from Jay Roberts, Product Manager for UV Devices at Roland DGA and a Roland DG team of experts, the Imaginarium Academy of artists experimented with different media, machines, and processes to create stunning gallery art, photographic art, and experimental art pieces.


Roland DG Imaginarium Artcademy

A montage of the people, machines, materials and experimental art projects at Imaginarium Artcademy 2017.

Imaginarium 2017 Artcademy of Artists

Bonny Pierce Lhotka

Bonny Lhotka
(Top) Bonny Pierce Lhotka’s Finished art (bottom left) Bonny working on a dye-sublimated material art project (bottom right) close-up of VersaUV LEF-300 printing white onto metal.

Bonny Lhotka is a highly regarded artist and printmaker who has a long history with Roland DG and has worked with Roland DG machines for many years. Bonny was excited to use the large Roland DG flatbeds to make a new production piece for the Walker Fine Art Gallery in Denver—utilizing her caustigram print technique on metal that actually changes the properties of the media itself.

“I discovered that I can use UV printers to achieve my caustigram effect by printing white ink onto sanded metal creating an image within the metal through a “cooking” process that uses dishwasher detergent, water then alcohol to dissolve the ink. The Roland DG UV machines work flawlessly with this print process and I’ve greatly appreciated the opportunity to use the larger flatbed technology.”


Jake Weien

jake weien
(Top left/right) Jake Weien’s finshed art piece with gloss texture added, using the VersaUV LEJ-640FT (bottom) Jake inspects his dye-sublimated prints on metal ChromaLuxe.

Jake Weien is a graphic artist, photographer and illustrator. An experienced Adobe expert, he wanted to experiment with the images that he’d created in Adobe PS Express and Adobe Capture apps– transferring photos and multi-layered images onto canvas, film reels, birchwood and other unique media using Roland DG’s UV flatbed and dye-sublimation technologies.

“I’ve been experimenting with putting wooden images onto metal and putting metal images onto wood. It’s been a great experience for me and I’ve found it one of the easier printing processes – it all makes complete sense and I’ve been able to send many images to print quickly.”


Ileana Frometa Grillo

iliana Frometa Grillo artwork

(Top) Ileana Frómeta Grillo mixed media on canvas artwork (bottom) Ileana shows us the unique texture achieved by using the VersaUV LEJ-640FT to direct print onto painted, scratched and plaster-treated canvas.

Ileana Frómeta Grillo is a fine artist and illustrator who works in both traditional and digital media formats. Although new to UV printing, she explained how she quickly got to grips with the technology and produced a number of pieces that included her artwork printed directly onto a pre-painted and textured canvas.

“I’m a beginner with this technology but these UV machines are intuitive and I’m gradually learning how to adjust settings to be able to print how I want. It’s been a really fun, collaborative experience and with help from the Roland DG experts I’ve been able to unleash my creativity. I feel that there are so many possibilities with these machines.”

Karin Schminke

Karen schminke artist
(Top) A close-up of Karin Schminke’s wood panel with UV printed textures (bottom left) Karin presents some of her multi-layered abstract art (bottom right) the VersaUV LEF-300 in-action, printing Karin’s art.

Karin Schminke’s art combines digital technologies and traditional artist materials to create art that explores light and form. In preparation for Imaginarium, she pre-cut wood panels and UV printed her abstract art images onto them, adding tactile white ink and gloss textures and patterns.

“My goals coming in were to really push things that I haven’t been able to play with like glossy ink and white ink texture ideas. I didn’t know what was going to happen but the combined result of reflective, spot gloss texture with the deep black holes I cut-out in the wood are such unexpected and complementary effects.”

Sean Teegarden

Sean Teegarden

(Top) Printed on the VersaUV LEF-200, one of Sean Teegarden’s double-exposure layered printing results (bottom) Sean talks to Roland DG’s Jay Roberts about his file set-up and process.

Sean is a photographer and multimedia artist. Sean wanted to use this opportunity to print different image layers onto transparent material to build a “physical” double exposure effect as art pieces and also to use in combination with a video camera to create a double exposure effect while filming.

“Apps like Boomerang and Hyperlapse use the double exposure technique with great effect but force users to create these techniques inside their digital tools. Using Roland DG UV printers and specific print techniques I’m able to successfully bring these effects into the real world.” 

A rough experimental cut of Sean’s ingenious double-exposure filming— adding the printed image to the face of a video camera creates a supercool effect.

Dorothy Krause

Dorothy krause artwork

(Top) Dorothy Krause's project being printed on the VersaUV LEC-500 (center-left) Finished art books printed with the LEC-330 UV printer/cutter, revealing distinctive spot gloss effects (bottom left) “Ladies of the Night” project in-progress (bottom-right) Dorothy Krause discussing her art pieces with fellow artist, Karin Schminke.

Dorothy Krause is a painter, collage artist and digital artist. She wanted to use Roland DG technology to create some original art products that included a concertina-style, pop-out book entitled “Ladies of the Night” that shares some of her photographic art imagery and socially conscious point-of-view.

“The UV ink on the Roland DG flatbed is allowing me to create this project; made to either shrink or stretch, it doesn’t crack when printing onto the many folds of the concertina I’ve created. I’m also making use of the spot white and gloss effects to really make this idea stand-out.”

The Start of Something Big

At the first ever, Roland DG Imaginarium Artcademy, it was a pleasure to watch this talented group of artists at work and eye-opening to see what they did with our printer technology. At Roland DG, we have always understood the potential of our machines as fine art tools, so it was exciting to see first-hand, the print experimentation on media such as black velvet poly-coated material, plaster-treated canvasses and other unique media.

If you use Roland DG print machines or any of our other devices for original art production, please let us know in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you.

Ben Fellowes

Ben Fellowes

Ben Fellowes is Sr. Copywriter and marketing expert at Roland DGA. He's designed and produced content for some of the world’s top agencies and marketing companies. He's currently working (and getting his fair English skin burned) in Southern California! He loves art, punk rock, horror films, comic books, real beer, cooking, and eating too much!