When: Saturday March 7th, 2020 (Tentative!)
Where: Complicated Reality, 8195 Sunnyside Rd. SE Salem OR 97306
Complicated Reality is starting to grow, and it's time to get a printer. I've crunched the numbers, and a printer would open the most doors for my art as I approach the art show season. Perhaps more importantly, a printer in the Complicated Reality studio would put a LOT of art out into the world. That idea excites me, and gave me a silly idea to pitch to all of you. I call it a Printer Party.
The basic pitch is simple: Help me buy a printer, and I'll throw an art party where you can meet other artists, participate in interactive collaborative art, and get free art prints all night.
Think of it like a cross between a barn-raising and an art show, a community of creatives and enthusiasts coming together to build a better future. For artists, it's an opportunity to meet other local creators, show off your talent, and experiment with making your art tangible. For art fans, it's a chance to discover some local artists, interact with live art production, and bring home several new art prints to use however you see fit.
Held at the Complicated Reality studio in Salem, OR. Pizza, snacks, and soft beverages provided while we put the printer to work. All attendees get to add free print orders to the rotating queue, while we aim to produce a couple hundred new pieces of physical art. Instead of sitting around watching a printer, we'll have exhibitions featuring interactive art demonstrations where attendees gets to direct the creation of unique, collaborative art. You'll be able to watch artists produce new work and then bring them home with you. We'll have a DJ laying down a groove, a green room for inspiration, and an art-positive space to create in.
I am currently planning for Saturday, March 8th, from 4 - 7 PM. However, this would require the fund raising goal to be met by the end of February. If the fund raising goal has not been met by then, a new date will be selected and communicated to all supporters. In the event that you are unable to attend the party on the new date, and you let me know before fund-raising is complete, I'll refund your donation. See the Refunds / Cancellation section below.
Please note: This is an alcohol free event. Cannabis use will be permitted in the green room, but please plan to bring your own supply and arrange safe transportation if you partake. This is not a party to purchase or binge drugs at. Do not make me send you home in an Uber.
Printers are like cameras, you can find options at every price level, but it's not always easy to determine which features are useful and which just bloat the price tag. Fortunately, I grew up watching my professional photographer parents wrangle a small fleet of photo printers, so I have a little experience and some borrowed wisdom to guide me. I've done some digging, and I've found what I think is the perfect first printer for Complicated Reality: the Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000. This surprisingly affordable inkjet printer supports borderless prints up to 13" x 19", features a robust 6 cartridge print head (including additional shades of red and grey), and can produce wide-format full color prints in under a minute. This means throughout the course of the 3 hour party, we should be able to produce 200 or more prints for attendees to take home.
One of the goals of the Print Party is to enable artists to experiment. Many of us artists simply don't have a budget to put toward exploratory test prints, premium papers, or wide format prints. I want to change that, and this party is how I want to start. To that end, the party will have a selection of premium art paper in different sizes to allow attendees to see hands on how different stock impact the printing process. We'll have 4" x 6", 8.5" x 10" and 13" x 19" premium photo paper prints (plus a paper cutter for trimming) with matte and glossy finishes. Want to try something even more extravagant? Check out the Pearl Prints add-on to get access to the limited supply of metallic pearl premium photo paper and see how your favorite art in a new way.
Prints will be set on a rotating queue to ensure everyone has several opportunities to order free prints. The way this works is each attendee can add one print order to the queue at a time. Once your order is printed, you may rejoin the queue for another print. My goal is for everyone to have the chance to take advantage of the new printer and total attendance will be limited to no more than 30 to ensure everyone can bring home 3-6 fresh prints. I'll be encouraging artists to help me keep the queue populated because I want to see if we can get to 200 new pieces of physical art created. To do it, we'd need to spit out a new print roughly every 72 seconds. In other words, we'll make over $1000 worth of art prints and let you take some of it home, along with some new memories.
Please note that I cannot print artwork without permission. The whole Complicated Reality catalog, plus a selection of art provided by other artists attending will be available to select from, along with art produced live at the event. But I will not print art owned by artists who aren't participating, so please don't bring someone else's work hoping to get bootleg prints.
Throughout the party, a few featured artists will exhibit their artistic process and invite the attendees to guide them in the creation of unique, collaborative art using the large screen and computer set up in the main area. During the final hour of the party, I will kick off the Party Art fractal project, where I guide each willing attendee to make an alteration to a fractal design so we produce one hyper-collaborative piece of art to commemorate the event. Attendees can have the Party Art printed at the end of the party, but ALL supporters will receive a digital copy of the final Party Art render in HD resolution via email.
Unlike a lot of crowd-funding projects, this party can only get so big. While any number of people can donate to support the party, the party itself has to cap out at about 30 people. More than that, and the print queue gets too crowded. So I don't have a huge list of alluring stretch goals to tempt you with. If I wind up over-funded, I will put the extra funds towards additional photo paper varieties for attendees to make use of, an expanded food selection, and to subsidize attendance for low-income artists. Beyond that, surplus funds will go towards future Print Parties if this proves to be a popular event.
Absolutely! In fact, once the printer is obtained, future print parties become even easier to plan with a much lower barrier to entry. Honestly, I absolutely love this idea of bringing art minded people together to make artistic experimentation and collaboration more accessible. If this model works, I'd be very interested in expanding it to more dates and potentially find space to put on similar parties around Portland or Seattle. Right now I'm focused on planning the first event, but there is a future where these parties happen more frequently if they serve the community well.
Kickstarter and GoFundMe are great platforms for crowd-sourcing larger projects, but their fees are prohibitive for a small budget event like this. Using a private site allows me to keep the budget lean and lets more of your contribution go towards art production. Don't worry, all donations are processed securely through Square, my trusted payment processor. You can review their privacy policies here Prefer to use Paypal, Google Pay, or another payment method? Email me to make arrangements.
Obtaining the printer by March would have me ready to stock my art table in time for Art Show season. But if I cannot raise the funds in time for a party in March, I intend to keep trying to raise these funds and put the party on when the goal is met, and I'll keep all supporters in the loop as the timetable shifts. If for some reason this fundraising must end, I will reach out to all supporters to arrange refunds.
In order to cover payment processing fees, $5 of every donation is non-refundable. Prior to reaching the fund-raising goal, you may request a refund for $5 less than you donated. To request a refund, send me an email. However, once the fund-raising goal is met, all donations are fully non-refundable. I'm always willing to try to work with you if something comes up, but once the funds are spent on the printer and supplies, I won't have the ability to cover refunds out of my own pocket.
As any IT guru will tell you, any plan that depends on a working printer is a plan vulnerable to failure. My hope and expectation is to buy a nice, new printer that has no problem keeping up with a night of heavy printing. While I will test, calibrate and prepare the printer ahead of the party, there is always a slim chance that a technical issue pops up during the party that prevents the printer from functioning. If that happens, it doesn't end the party, we can still share and create art with each other and plan print orders. But I may have to fulfill the orders after the party when the printer can be restored to working order and mail them to attendees.