Imaginarium Artcademy 2019 | Roland
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Getting Experimental with UV Printing at Imaginarium Artcademy 2019

Last month, Roland DGA had its annual Roland DG Imaginarium Artcademy workshop where fine artists from North America gathered at our Roland DG headquarters in Irvine, California to experiment with VersaUV flatbed technology. It was organized and hosted once again by author, printmaker and fine artist, Bonny Lhotka, who uses Roland DG print equipment in unique and experimental ways to create original art. 
Bonny Lhotka UV artwork

A selection of Bonny Lhotka’s experimental and inspiring print work that was on display during the workshop— (top) UV artwork she created using her caustigram process (center) UV printed image on sandpaper— (bottom) UV printed and slump-molded sculptural pieces.

The artists at this year’s workshop consisted of traditional artists, gallery consultants, multimedia artists, photographers and art educators. They were all excited to get hands-on experience with Roland DG UV technology— focusing on using White and Gloss UV inks as design elements and applying them to artwork as unique textures. In addition to getting creative advice from Bonny who introduced them to brand new material concepts and UV printing ideas, they were given excellent instruction from Roland DG representatives, Jay Roberts and Kevin Rosen who showed them how to correctly prep their designs and print “layered ink effects” with White and Gloss inks. 

Roland DG Imaginarium Artcademy

(Top) Roland DG instructor, Kevin Rosen shows Imaginarium Artcademy attendees the inner workings of the new VersaUV LEF2-200 flatbed printer (center) Imaginarium Artcademy hosts, Bonny Lhotka and Connie Dines assist attendees with their creative projects— (bottom) Roland DG instructor, Jay Roberts helps attendees set-up their files in VersaWorks 6 for LEF flatbed printing.

Time to Experiment
Some of the artwork this year was particularly experimental and unique. Imaginarium Artcademy presents fine artists with an opportunity to work with advanced VersaUV printing technology— the ideal machines to test new ideas on unconventional media. It also gave Roland DGA an opportunity to see the creative process in-action at a very high-level, and to witness these extremely talented artists find new ways to use our machines as a major tool in the production of art. 

(Top) Artist, Heidi Mraz created a collage that she printed on-top of in Black ink with a VersaUV LEF flatbed printer— (center) Photographer, Cathy Aronson used a sunflower image to create a White ink-layered art piece on metal— (bottom) mixed media artist, Katrina Revenaugh added a photo-print to acrylic with different graffiti elements in contrasting raised ink textures. 

The experimental artworks by attendees included a collage in which various Roland DG brochures and other paper textures were cut-up and used to create a colorful design on card that was then placed in the LEF where an image of Marilyn Monroe was printed on-top. There was a selection of UV prints on metal, including a print on metal that utilized layers of White ink to create a monochromatic photo-print of a sunflower that had an ethereal, other-worldly feel— the texture of the flower was highlighted in raised ink to produce something that was not only visually compelling but also tactile in its composition. Acrylic materials were also popular at this year’s workshop with one attendee adding physical depth to a black and white photo of graffiti art in which the contrasting graffiti elements were separated into spot color layers and printed on the LEF in different Gloss ink textures.

The Wood Panel Project
At this year’s workshop, Bonny introduced the attendees to an artistic solution for using VersaUV LEF flatbed technology to create wooden art pieces. She brought a supply of 12.7” x 19” reclaimed wood panels to the workshop that maximize the print area of VersaUV LEF2-200 or LEF-300 flatbed printers. Attendees created some outstanding art with this three-panel art solution. 

Uv printing on wood panels

(Top) Artist, Christine Ellinghausen and her wood panel artwork printing onto textured wood with VersaUV technology maintains the wooden grain and texture of the wood— (center) attendees photograph being printed on wood with the VersaUV LEF-300 flatbed printer— (bottom) wood panel art of Heidi Mraz that illustrates how three panels come together to form one art piece.

The Imaginarium Artcademy Class of 2019 
Attendees not only achieved a better understanding of how to create files for printing on UV flatbed printers during the workshop, but also created some exceptional art pieces on wood, metal, acrylic and other unique substrates— showcasing the versatility and importance of UV printing in the modern, fine art landscape. Whilst talking to attendees during the workshop there was a real feeling that as artists, they were merely scratching the surface of what can be creatively achieved with VersaUV technology. 

Many of the artists who run their own successful art and photography businesses also discussed the commercial applications for their art experiments. One of the biggest advantages of owning a VersaUV LEF flatbed printer is the massive range of media that users can print on, and the wide range of ink effects and finishes that can be combined to create products that clients have never seen before. To find out more about the huge profit potential of VersaUV technology, see our new LEF2-200 flatbed printer page to get further art, design, photography and personalization ideas for your art or design business. 

Roland DGA would like to give a big thanks to Bonny Lhotka and all the Roland DG Imaginarium Artcademy 2019 attendees. See all the 2019 attendees with their final art pieces below:

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!