Emergent Arts offers darkroom in Spa City
There’s a dark new feature at Emergent Arts in Hot Springs.
The arts education center at 341-A Whittington Ave. opened its darkroom in the spring for photographers and those interested in learning film photography.
“We just got it completed and we’re working with a couple of photographers here in town to develop some workshops,” says Erin Holliday, Emergent Arts executive director. “We’re still working out the process and the best way to provide access.”
Emergent Arts is a nonprofit group whose mission “is to foster creativity among emerging artists of all ages and abilities,” Holliday says. Classes include belly dancing, ceramics, painting, tai chi and others.
The darkroom came in response to artists who worked with film in high school and college and wanted to have a space for that at Emergent.
Holliday, whose gadget-loving dad is a photographer, didn’t have to look far for gear.
“I had some darkroom equipment at home that I hadn’t looked at in at least 10 years,” she says, adding that the rest of the items were donated from other sources. “We have three enlargers, a 6-foot-long wash-out sink and dozens of trays, paper. Everything has been donated. Other than chemicals, we haven’t had to purchase anything.”
Among the donations was a supply of expired film from the Mid-America Science Museum.
“We handed it out to anyone who wanted to take photographs,” Holliday says. “Some of the negatives were processed here, some were processed elsewhere, but everything was printed here.”
The results were shown in the recent “Expired Film Exhibit” at Emergent’s Circle Gallery.
While Holliday and her Emergent Arts cohorts finetune their darkroom process, schedule and price structure, the space is still open to those who want to check it out and even give feedback about the darkroom and what Emergent can offer photographers.
“We’re pretty open and easy when it comes to people using our space and taking our classes,” she says. “We’re here for everyone else.”
Contact Emergent Arts at (501) 655-0836 or emergenarts.org.