New darkroom, new edge

A large room covered in black is usually nothing to be excited about. Yet John Brown University art majors are celebrating over just that.

Recently, a larger darkroom was added to the third floor of the Visual Arts West building. This new addition is “significantly larger,” explained Hannah Belcher, sophomore photography major and the teacher’s assistant for the traditional darkroom photography class. The black room houses six enlargers and six sinks compared to the old facility, which held only one sink.

“The original darkroom is extremely small which required multiple, smaller classes for the same class,” Belcher explained. “The larger darkroom allows for more people to be in the room at one time, resulting in only one class period. This gives students more working space allowing for better results.”

The new addition not only gives students more elbowroom, but also creates a lighter load for the professor. Previous to this new facility, the class, traditional darkroom, had to be divided up into smaller groups, requiring the professor to teach an identical class multiple times.

Kate Purdy, sophomore photography major, has spent many hours in the dark room due to her enrollment in traditional darkroom this semester. While Purdy was “new to this whole darkroom thing” she said she is “just overwhelmed by it in a good way.”

“I like the way they are running it,” Purdy shared. “It has been organized so well.”

This new transition will create greater flexibility. Purdy has already seen the change.

“I think its going to be a lot different than last year because having a small one made it hard with flexibility,” she said.

Scheduling and space are not the only way the students have benefited from the change in facilities. The larger space creates a more enjoyable environment according to Purdy.

“I was in there three to four hours yesterday and it’s a really fun environment because other people are in there,” she said.

Purdy explained that sometimes students play music to make their work go by faster. The ability to create a community while learning difficult skills is something that is appreciated by students.

“You have to think a lot more with film,” Purdy said, so to have other surrounding you and willing to help is something that is beneficial.