In its 11th year, the Crush Walls event in Denver, Colorado, allows local, national, and international artists to explore their creative expression through spray paint.
For a full week, Sept. 14-20, the artists worked on murals throughout the RiNo Art District, transforming the streets and alleys of the area into open-air galleries.
This year, Denver-based full-service print shop Artist Proof Collective got involved.
The shop’s marketing manager Alana Bierbaum tells GRAPHICS PRO, “We love local art. Crush is in its 11th year, and it was time for our print (shop) to join in on the fun. We were lucky enough to partner with Stem Ciders at their amazing taproom on Walnut Street directly alongside some freshly painted murals.”
For two full days, Sept. 19-20, Artist Proof Collective performed live printing on hand-dyed tie-dye T-shirts, featuring the art of four Crush artists, each with wall pieces blocks away.
To make the live printing possible, Artist Proof Collective worked with plastisol inks, and due to its limited 10′ X 10′ space, brought a light equipment setup including a single-station/four-color mobile press, cure units, and a mask press.
Bierbaum adds, “The four T-shirt designs and two mask designs were chosen from the submitted designs from each of the artists we partnered with, and we chose the art that would translate best to apparel.”
Beyond the apparel and mask printing, the shop collaborated with over a dozen Crush artists to print stickers and offer them for sale via a restored vintage sticker box.
When asked about some of the special considerations live printing requires, Bierbaum says, “Live printing can be tricky in general and especially because power supply, crowd size, and weather can all impact the setup. However, being fully prepared allowed us to kill it at this event with no hiccups. With our full dream machine printing setup, we have the ability to offer 16 designs and can produce 700 live printed T-shirts in three hours.”
For printers thinking about exploring live printing, she encourages them to “plan ahead, be willing to adjust that plan dependent on outside factors, and remember that it’s supposed to be fun.” Oh, and to call Artist Proof Collective for help.
Getting involved in the Denver community isn’t new for the print shop. Amid the pandemic, it rolled out its Mask Mobile—taking the streets of Denver and providing locals with custom-printed face masks.