In 2005 we noticed a troubling trend, many high schools, arts centers and universities/colleges were actively downsizing and decommissioning their darkroom facilities. It was during this time period that Polaroid ceased making their groundbreaking film and the exceptionally stunning Kodachrome film was discontinued. When local arts centers began selling off their photography equipment and darkroom supplies we began buying this equipment up and placing it in storage. At that time, we were not really sure why we were doing this.
Enter 2012. Earlier this year, I had a meeting with Liz Maugans, one of the Founders of Cleveland’s Zygote Press, about my found photo business and she mentioned that they were looking for someone in Cleveland to take their darkroom. She planted a seed that has grown into what is now the Cleveland Print Room.
After researching the gap in services and the need in the Northeast Ohio area, along with recognizing the resurgence in 20th-century emulsion-based photography it was an easy decision. We searched for a large space, in a location conveniently accessible for eastsiders, westsiders, Cleveland State University students and University Circle. We also wanted to be close by Zygote Press, so working together in the future would be easy. We chose the ArtCraft Building in the Quadrangle arts district where we are ground level and have our own separate entrance, one of the most appealing aspects of the space as it gives the Cleveland Print Room renters easy access.
At Cleveland Print Room, we envision a photography cooperative in which photographers work together in our community darkroom and communal workspace. Cleveland Print Room strengthens the community by elevating the art and appreciation of photography.
Cleveland Print Room: Developing Now