New Printer Brings Studio 651 Artists’ Designs to Life

A new, specially designed printer is bringing the artwork of Studio 651 day program to life imprinted on a variety of useful, everyday items.

Studio 651 Creative Arts Specialist Cheryl Witt could see how people supported enjoyed having their designs purchased through the community after being showcased in area businesses. She wanted to expand the availability of the artists’ work further.

In 2020, she submitted her plans through an internal Monarch grants program to secure funds to purchase a sublimation printer and heat press. This equipment would allow artists’ designs to be imprinted on items in-house and sold directly to the community.

Sublimation printing is a popular method which transfers a design from paper onto a piece of fabric or material by using pressure, heat and special inks. “The people in our program love seeing their artwork on items. It is a way for us to transfer paintings and drawings to multiple products. Our plans are to expand to T-shirts and other items,” Witt explains.

Since the new printer arrived at Studio 651 in early 2021, Witt has been using it to transfer the artist’s unique artwork to mugs and coasters, among other items, for sale to the community.

The sublimation process involves a number of steps that people supported assist with including coating products with a liquid before transferring the design as well as timing the heating step, labeling and packaging the finished products.

People supported also learn valuable entrepreneurship skills such as promoting and selling their products, as they understand the value of receiving payment for their work, Witt shares. Part of the proceeds of items sold will be directed to Studio 651 for future projects.

A member of the Studio 651 staff for the past five years, Witt has the opportunity to witness the joy and accomplishment of the people supported through the day program when one of their items is sold. “It is very fulfilling seeing the people we support feel such pride in the work they do here,” she says.

Witt sends a sincere thank you to people who support Monarch programs such Studio 651. “I wish everyone could see the looks on the faces of the people we support when they are given the proceeds from their art sales. It is truly heartwarming,” she shares.

“This project will empower people to create and express their individuality through their art. They will be able to take ownership and control of their creation which will hopefully motivate them to pursue bigger dreams and interest,” Witt shares.

Scroll down to watch a video showing how the process is completed.

The banner above includes or shows artwork from the following Studio 651 artists: top left, Tim, Brien and Bonita; top right, Tim and Arnae; bottom left, Michael; and bottom right, Traci.



Posted on: Wednesday January 5, 2022