The Asheville Darkroom will serve as our city’s only public space to use black-and-white and color film developing and printing facilities. Located in the Phil Mechanic Studios in the nationally-acclaimed River Arts District, the darkroom has served as the studio of Matt Brown and Phaedra Call-Himwich, who have offered public access as best as their personal schedules could allow. With their coming departure from Asheville, much of the equipment in the studio will be removed, and the space will cease to exist as a darkroom.
We are working artists and educators Bridget Conn and Miranda Maynard, and are attempting to invent a new darkroom collaborative in this space that will be member supported and fully open to the public-- allowing access and facilities previously unavailable. We plan to offer classes and workshops to the general public in all varieties of traditional wet processes and techniques to both experienced photographers and to beginners. Anyone with basic experience can become a member for a monthly fee, which will contribute to upkeep and improvements in the space. In recognition of the meditative and transformative nature of photography, we also hope to implement a special program for veterans that offers courses at little to no cost.
However, at the moment, our Kickstarter campaign is necessary to ensure the darkroom will be maintained for the following year, and that the needed equipment can be replaced to keep the room functional.
Despite digital processes being mainstream in the photo world, any of you who have been in a darkroom understand that there is an irreplaceable magic to the process.
Thank you so much for helping to keep the darkroom alive for the students who have never had the amazing experience of making a photographic print in a darkroom and for the faithful analog photographers of Asheville!
Special thanks also to Phaedra Call-Himwhich, Matt Brown, Matt Rumley, Peter Mariani, and Jolene Mechanic for helping us get this project rolling!!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
-Bridget and Miranda
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