We believe photography is more than images on screens. Photography is a craft that transforms intangible rays of light into monuments of self expression and artifacts we can hold in our hands, pass down to our kids, and share with our best friends. Join the photography rewind at Luminaria.
Luminaria is an alternative photography studio specializing in processes from 1850-1940 in Salt Lake City...or, at least, we want to be. With your help we will raise funds to open and operate an alternative photography center that will keep chemical-based photography alive for the next generation while fostering a local and global community of artists seeking more tools for self-expression.
We believe the art scene in Utah is special. Our community is robust and intelligent though many artists here feel stuck and isolated. We have felt that way ourselves. But, we think Utah is a unique place with a strong and relevant artistic voice. Luminaria will foster this community. Our dream is to create a space for artists of all abilities and backgrounds to come, learn about the magic of photography, and be inspired to make their own images out of light. Thank you for helping this dream become a reality.
In our eyes everyone is an artist with something to say, and we are here to help. Our workshop series will range from fun, affordable afternoon sessions for those interested in learning something new, to master classes for professionals in the field needing help perfecting their practice. Luminaria will be a resource for all of you.
We currently work with clients and artists from all backgrounds to collaborate on portrait and artistic works. This will grow as we move into a permanent space. We specialize in wet plate portrait sessions for families and weddings, custom printing for clients wanting unique options, as well as collaborative photo shoots where your vision and our studio expertise and equipment create something we could only make together.
What We Need
Your support will help us establish Luminaria as a permanent space and resource for anyone anywhere wanting to learn about alternative photography. We have found a location (14 E 800 S Salt Lake City, Utah - next door to Tanner Frames) and signed a lease. We still need to enclose the private darkroom, build and install sinks, build temporary walls, install lights, and source some equipment. Your help at this phase will ensure that the build-out is completed and ready for use by February 2018, and that our investments-to-date will be saved for insurance, rent, and marketing to build longevity and make Luminaria a permanent fixture in the community.
While we are offering a variety of incentives for your generous investment, we understand that many may wish to support us but do not have the means to do so. Whether you can give a little or a lot, we are eternally gratefully for your support and will add your name to our wall of supporters in the studio to commemorate your help. Please share this campaign with your friends and social media networks to help us raise awareness of Luminaria and increase the likelihood of meeting our goal.
Alternative processes are easy to learn but difficult to master. While many artists greatly enjoy the aesthetics and processes, many lose interest because of the cost of chemicals and equipment. Luminaria will provide the expertise, equipment, and space to help our community hone their skills at a more reasonable cost. We know how to teach these processes so they stay fun and you stay inspired. We will provide and maintain the equipment needed to do these processes so you don’t have to invest thousands of dollars up front. This is the only way to keep these processes alive, not only for posterity but for artistic expression and the gravity of objects not pixels.
Luminaria will maintain two darkrooms (a group lab for alternative photography and a private darkroom for wet plate) that will host workshops, be available for hourly rental, and support custom printing and a tintype portrait studio. We have the knowledge and equipment to teach and support platinum palladium, wet plate, cyanotype, van dyke brown, gelatin silver, gum arabic, digital negatives, and many more variations and obscurities.
Luminaria will also have a small gallery programmed to showcase the best artists working in alternative media today. The gallery will be used to connect our community through fun events, art-making, and thoughtful conversation.
Luminaria is unique to Kickstarter in that the culmination of our project is not an object to bring to market or show in a gallery. Instead, we are creating what we hope will be a permanent resource for the creation of creative works now and into perpetuity by us, you, and anyone wanting to use our tools and knowledge.
Who We Are
David Hyams and I (Christine Baczek) both worked for Bostick & Sullivan at the beginning of our careers in photography. Bostick & Sullivan began manufacturing chemicals for alternative photography in 1980 and is largely responsible for bringing the vernacular of these processes into use today. Their biennial APIS (Alternative Printers International Symposium) conference connected Dave and I in 2009. Our love for alternative photography, New Mexico, and chile turned into a love for each other and we have built a life together focused on art, photography, and community-building.
Over the past fifteen years Dave has put in over 10,000 hours to master wet plate, platinum palladium, digital negatives, and the principles of the basic alternative processes. He has managed the Bostick & Sullivan lab, studied under Christina Z. Anderson at Montana State University, and received his MFA from Lesley University under his advisor Christopher James (author of The Book of Alternative Photography which features work by both Dave and I in the 3rd edition). He has taught for Bostick & Sullivan, Lesley College of Art and Design, Salt Lake Community College, and established the alternative printing darkroom for a company in China.
I am a Salt Lake native. Over the past fifteen years I have focused on working as an artist and arts administrator throughout Utah in positions at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Kimball Art Center, and in various freelance and independent capacities. As an artist I’ve incorporated alternative photography into my practice to record the intangible and manipulate light in a real sense.
Rewards (just a few of them...)
Risks and challenges
Our biggest challenge is fundraising, building awareness, and staying on schedule. Because we have a strong support network and good reputation in Salt Lake City, we are confident that we will be able to weather most storms. Our long friendship with the crew from Bostick & Sullivan means we have the experience and connections to fuel this project, source materials, and market our services successfully.
The majority of our equipment has been collected over 20 years of artistic practice. The few items that we need are easy to source and need to be purchased after the space is prepared.
We have decades of experience working in alternative photography and have given much thought to our timeline. We hope to be completely done with installing the studio by December so we can open our doors to the public in January/February 2018.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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