Dave Brewer isn’t a professional construction worker, but he's become one out of necessity. Since May 2010, the Salt Lake City native has been busy retrofitting a 3,000-square-foot space, just west of The Gateway, into a community photography studio. Brewer, a freelance photographer who’s shot for Twilight Concert Series and SLUG Magazine, will see this dream turn into reality on Friday.
“I like to network with other photographers in town, and we’ve all begun collaborating, but there wasn’t a space for it, really. I started to realize there was a need a couple years ago and it has been in the back of my mind since,” he says.
For the past year, Brewer has operated a smaller studio downtown that he opened up to colleagues, generally free of charge. “I loved being able to give back to the community, but I really wanted to open up a collaborative workspace,” Brewer says, adding that he has had the building that is now home to the SLC Photo Collective (561 W. 200 South) on his radar since 2010. A friend operated a skate shop there but wanted out of the lease to pursue other ventures earlier this year. So Brewer swooped in.
The collaborative space will offer full-time and part-time leases, along with studio time rentals that will allow use of large-format archival fine art printers, scanners, a vinyl Plotter, studio lighting and video rigs, among other accessories. Additionally, half-hour studio sessions can be procured via trade, like, for example, by cleaning and sweeping. “We want to make it accessible for everyone,” Brewer says.
When Brewer spoke with City Weekly, he was printing the last of the diverse show’s pieces: beauty and fashion photography will meet and fine art, action sports shots will meet street documentary work. There will be bigger names from the local scene, like Jake Garn, Justin Grant, Mitch Meyer, Bob Plum and Teresa Flowers (read an interview with her here), in addition to some relatively unknown or up-and-coming artists. Each artist—35 in total—will display one large print, which will be 44 inches by 30 inches at a minimum.
“The reason for the large pieces is: I want to remind people that photographic works are meant to be printed and seen, rather than just looked at on Facebook. They are so much more significant to look at individually and in large format,” Brewer says.
This group show will be up through August. Afterward, Brewer hopes to display month-long exhibits to coincide with Gallery Stroll, from local and national artists in the space.
To keep the show and the space a surprise, Brewer insisted on not sharing photos of either with City Weekly. So, you’re going to have to go down there and see it for yourself.
SLC Photo Collective Grand Opening Event
Friday, July 29, 7 p.m.