Cascade High School and the art department recently received a generous windfall in the form of an Epson SureColor P8000 professional grade printer. Marshall Mahler, a local professional photographer, decided it was time to upgrade his printer and donated this printer, and lots of printing supplies, to CHS. The total donation is valued in the thousands.
The programs that will utilize the printer the most will be photography and advanced photography. Printing is reserved only for certain projects, and now it’s not only easier, but also of much higher quality.
“Before we got the Epson SureColor printer donated, we were printing on single sheet photo paper on a standard color LaserJet printer,” said Teara Dillon, CHS art teacher. “We were limited to a max size of 8.5” x 11” and limited media—card stock, photo paper, paper. The other option was to send images to a remote lab to be printed and shipped back. With the new printer, we can print up to 44” wide. We can print on canvas, vinyl posters, art paper, photo paper, and even metal.”
Dillon and Mahler have known each other for years, so the donation reflects one way that local artists are supporting each other and future artists. Dillon said, “Marshall and I worked together at Parsons Photography Studio in Wenatchee a long time ago before he started his own nature photography business, and I became a teacher. He is also on my advisory board as a photographer advisor. He has been in as a guest artist to talk to our budding photographers.”
Art classes fall under the umbrella of Career and Technical Education (CTE), which means there’s a focus on career readiness skills and applications. Thus, the art classes emphasize more than creation of art. Specific to photography, Dillon explained, “Since we are working in digital photography and design, it is important to see the whole process unfold from creation to presenting the art. Presenting is one of our standards. This includes printing, matting, framing, and curating exhibitions. The printing process is very technical with color balance, ink, and media use.”
The technical aspects of printing were clear when Dillon printed a first test photo with the printer and the color balance was off. Together with Mahler, Dillon made calibration adjustments, and the next photo looked ready to hang on the wall. High end Epson printers are known for their precision dot screening for incredibly accurate control of the sizing, timing, and placement of ink droplets. There are nine ink colors including three shades of black for clearer and sharper images.
CTE Director Kirk Sunitsch was also thrilled for this donation for the sake of the students. “This donated large format printer with allow our high school students to print commercial grade photos, banners and artwork they’ve created in class,” he said. “This will be a great piece of equipment for our students to enhance their learning.”
Marshall Mahler has been a professional photographer for over two decades. His photos primarily illuminate the natural wonders of the west coast, most notably of iconic wildlife—eagles, moose, grizzly, grey owl—and mountains illuminated in alpenglow or contrasting a foreground of colorful wildflowers. His work can be discovered at the Village Art in the Park in downtown Leavenworth, as well as at his website, www.mmahlerphoto.com.
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