Cheryl Arent and Vanessa Gill with the artist Swoon at Pearly’s Beauty Shop last Saturday.
THE STUDIO AT THE DARKROOM is a new photography studio/darkroom that’s opening up in Bushwick on Thursday, September 13th. I sat down to talk to Cheryl Arent and Vanessa Gill of the Darkroom to see what’s up.
SUPERCHIEF: Hey there, sexy ladies.
So what is The Studio at the Darkroom? What are you guys opening?
Vanessa: We’re opening a full service production studio and rep agency in Bushwick. We’re also combining forces with the Bushwick Community Darkroom, and opening up a new darkroom.
Cheryl: Only because we want a dark room available at our finger tips! Ha-ha. And we also wanted a place where we could represent artists, musicians… basically all of our friends who’ve been doing things their own way.
How did it start?
C: I went to an art night at artist Brandon Sines’ apartment.
V: Was I tye dying?
C: You were bleaching.
V: Yah, Yah! Cheryl taught me how to bleach and shred my Harley Davidson shirt. We had a 20 minute convo about how awesome it would be to have a photo studio and attach it to a darkroom. It was something we were both interested in- having a way to express ourselves through photography.
C: We both feel there is an art to photo development, a magic to film photography, and we wanted to take an old school format and explore alternative processes to photo development. I used to be a photo student but I stopped because digital was taking over. I want to get back into film development.
V: And my background is styling and visual design, so I wanted to have the ability to style photo shoots with all of the talented collaborators we know. All of our friends and all of the people we admire…
So, how did you go about doing it?
V: I liked what was happening at The Loom. My friend opened The Living Gallery, Silky’s (a rad silk-screening business) is located there, and a lot of my friends who are designers and photographers live in the building. So they had a space available for rent, and at the same time I met someone who wanted to expand their darkroom, so all the pieces sort of fell into place. And we decided to fund it ourselves-which meant building our own walls, painting our own floors, and hiring our own contractors.
You painted the floors?
C: Many times. The original floor was a really bad color. So we went to a hardware store so we could learn how to mix our own paint. We wanted a mint color. Then we primed it and painted it many times.
Why not just get a new floor or get someone to fix it up for you?
C: Cause we’re resourceful!
V: We’re trying to make it classy and interesting, but we didn’t want to buy new tiles. We knew what we wanted and we had a feeling we could just do it ourselves.
Look at those floors! So mint! That’s because it’s sweet, and, well, it’s the color mint! (They mixed that color themselves, damnnn).
So, what are your immediate goals once the Studio opens?
C: We want to do a lot of styling for musicians, do photo shoots—we want to book as many photo shoots as possible. We’re both photographers, we both have an eye for the visual, and we love conceptualizing unique shoots that push the limits.
How do you think this is gonna help the community?
V: There’s so many photographers in Brooklyn. By being a one stop resource- selling film, offering an affordable darkroom with classrooms if the artists are not fully up to speed on the developing process, and also having a lot of shooting locations close to us that we can work for, really gives young artists a chance to develop their work. It’s a community sharing experience, too.
C: We’d also be using local designers in our shoots so they get exposure for what they’re doing. We wanna work with local, sustainable designers, because there’s so many innovative people in the area doing wonderful things and we want to support that.
V: We’re actually accepting portfolios for designers, make up artists, stylists, photographers, and other creative people so that we can contact them about working on shoots and projects in the future.
C: We’re also looking for a photography intern and a fashion intern. You can get class credit for it but you must be there at least two days a week. So please come by and show us what you got!!
That’s so sweet. Is there anybody who has really helped you so far? Anyone you wanna thank?
V: We want to thank Swoon for giving us the opportunity to style at one of her events this past weekend. Donny Tehean for giving us the opportunity to do a surf punk shoot in the Rockaways, and Rocky Banks for doing our storefront window for trade. We owe her big time.
C: We also want to thank all the bands who are playing our benefit show this weekend, and David Teller from Delinquency for letting us hold our event there and giving us an open bar. And <3 Superchief <3 for interviewing us.
No reason not to go, then!!!
The Darkroom is opening on September 13th.
For more information on their services, or if you’re interested in submitting your portfolio, contact The Darkroom at:
email@example.com or (718)-381-0530
For more information on their benefit this weekend, check out the event page:
Or look at this kickass flyer! There’s rad bands playing and there is an OPEN BAR. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???Tweet