Review of the Aesthetics, Craft, and Care of the Fine Art Digital Print Workshop

Aesthetics, Craft, and Care of the Fine Art Digital Print WorkshopThis past August 23-26, IPI held its first Aesthetics, Craft, and Care of the Fine Art Digital Print Workshop at our lab in Rochester, NY. Eight participants from North and South America, Europe and Asia attended this lecture and hands-on workshop. They explored the unique aesthetics of the fine art digital print and developed a better appreciation for the distinguishing characteristics of these objects. This collaborative workshop was taught by Ryan Boatright, a contemporary artist and master printmaker, Caroline Barcella, a photograph conservator with expertise in the care of digital prints, along with several experts from the IPI staff.

Discussion of the history and various applications of digital printing technologies were followed by live demonstrations of the fine art inkjet printing process. Topics here included basic color management theory and the use of various tools and software currently available for monitor and printer calibration. An extended set of print samples illustrated the consequences of different software settings as well as common image workflow mistakes.

The structure and component materials of digital prints were then described in detail and this paved the way to the demonstration of digital print identification techniques. These were taught through close examination of didactic sample sets and the use of Graphics Atlas, IPI's print characterization website.

Last came a discussion of the physical and chemical stability issues distinctive to these materials. This then led to practical advice on handling, storage enclosures, and proper display and storage conditions. The attendees were introduced to a range of conservation materials, enclosure designs and tools for managing the storage environment. A binder of course information, resources, process identification quick sheets and inkjet print samples were provided to all participants.

Below is some of what this year’s participants said about their experience at the workshop:

“Presenters seemed to do a good job of addressing the various interests/concerns of all participants in a thorough way which I appreciated.”

“I am prompted by the workshop to re-examine my color management practices. The workshop as a whole was meaningful in having a broader understanding of areas I don't necessarily work in, such as production printing and bookmaking.”

“I enjoyed opportunities to interact with participants as well as others. Much time was given to specific questions when necessary. Instructors were very available to go deeper into critical areas of interest.”

“I found it all very helpful and informative. First time I had a class that tied science with art, and it makes much more sense that way”.

The topics around digital papers and aesthetics were very informative. Care of prints was very useful.

Next year’s workshop will be extended to 5 days and also be held in August at our lab within the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY. More information and registration can be found at: