This is part two in a series of blog posts about starting a community focused darkroom. Again, I don't know if any of this is possible in a small town like Ukiah, but I think the idea is worth exploring.
Now that the idea is out in the open it's time to dig deeper and explore the various parts of how something like this would work. The first item on the list that I want to talk about is the location. In part one of this series I suggested that the location should be somewhere in the downtown area of Ukiah but today, I am willing to concede that a downtown location might not be the best place for the darkroom.
For starters, rent on a building in downtown Ukiah is going to be outrageous. There is an empty building on the corner of Seminary and School street that I have been keeping an eye on since last May, I think I'm going to make some calls today to find out what it would cost to rent it would be. It's big enough to house the darkroom and offers sufficient space to offer gallery showings, workshops, and other film-focused, darkroom-inspired events.
Between beers last night with Rob, I made the decision to let the downtown location idea go and consider something like a warehouse or an empty building on the outskirts of town. Rent on something like that would be way more affordable and offer a much larger work space. I think my next step is to create a list of potential locations and then weigh the pros and cons of each one of them.
We can still offer workshops and hold events in a warehouse area; I was mostly interested in participating in the downtown First Friday / Art Walk events, but that's not a deal-breaker in my opinion. It would also allow us to offer more than just a photography focused darkroom, but I'll save that for another post. So, right now I think the best option is to get something up and running and then decide if the location is sustainable or not.
That's it for now; I will answer a few questions tomorrow that people sent to me after the initial post.