In an increasingly competitive market, many photographers struggle to make a living at their craft and even more find it hard to maintain a studio full-time on their own.
As a solution to this predicament, Tulsan Richard Meulenberg has created My Studio, a photography cooperative with a mission to benefit the needs of photographers around the city.
This flexible facility offers countless opportunities for photographers to jumpstart or improve the quality of their career by providing them with a professional space to meet with clients, shoot studio pictures and even take classes.
Located downtown at 12th and Frankfort, this 8,000-square foot studio space offers beautiful fourth floor views of Tulsa's skyline, in addition, any artists' favorite ingredient, natural light.
My Studio is open to all photographers, artists and creative minds. It is a membership-based studio, but membership is not required in order to use the facility. There are a number of membership packages available for anyone from die-hard professionals to curious amateurs. Photographers also have the option to use the space by the hour without becoming a member. All of the lighting equipment a photographer could ever need is available to rent at the facility.
"All you need to bring is your camera," Meulenberg said. In addition to providing a fabulous space for professional photographers to build up their portfolio and increase their business, My Studio will also be offering classes for those interested in learning the basics of photography.
My Studio also functions as a unique event space and plans to host all variety of events ranging from independent film screenings to gallery openings. My Studio has already begun to circulate a great amount of interest amongst Tulsa photographers and artistic types.
The studio will certainly open the door of possibilities for emerging photographers by providing them with much needed but previously non-existent services. The facility officially opens on July 1 as a photography studio, but on Friday, June 25, a different kind of event will kick off the studio's role as an artistic venue.
Beyond These Doors is a four-person exhibition featuring the work of Tulsa photographer, Rebecca Eubanks and Stillwater artists: Chris Stiles, Colleen Stiles and Brandon Mitts. The event also features live music by local band Lights in June, a duo comprised of acoustical and jazz guitars played by John Beauchamp and Trish Davis.
The show is open to the public on June 25 from 7-11pm at My Studio and will serve as the kick-off event for the space.
Each artist provides a selection of recent work for the exhibit ranging from photography to sculpture to painting.
Chris, Colleen and Brandon graduated from Oklahoma State University together, and Beyond These Doors is a reunion of the three-man senior show they put together at OSU. This exhibit is an opportunity for them to showcase their work and explore how they have matured as artists.
Chris Stiles is a painter who creates small-scale mixed media paintings that involve a layering of photography and heavily applied paint. His work is inspired primarily by nature, and his paintings are abstract interpretations of how he perceives the world around him. Through a process of layering, transfer and pulling out patterns, Stiles is able to create organic abstractions of nature.
Mitts paints with acrylic on a much larger scale.
His work speaks to the idea of reconciliation, a theme that has long been present in his artistic endeavors and his career as a pastor. Mitts's work in the show revolves around the imagery of the butterfly, his first nod at representational painting in 10 years.
For Mitts, the process of painting abstractly or with the image of the butterflies expresses the notion of reconciliation as he works through an ugly mess of colors to create something beautiful and unique.
Colleen Stiles works full-time with her freelance graphic design company, Stiles Design Studio. In between running a business and raising her children, she has developed a passion for sculpture, and Beyond These Doors includes two of her life-size figurative sculptures. The pieces are caste in plaster, and the surface is painted with oil paint. Stiles views the body as a rich and inspiring subject matter that she was always felt compelled to capture. Stiles' sculptures not only express the beauty of the female figure but also reference women's place in society.
Rebecca Eubanks will be exhibiting works inspired by street musicians she photographed on a recent trip to Seattle. For this series of work, she approached her photographs as blank canvases from which she added layers upon layers of images to transform the photograph into a unique work of art. The layering applied to her work creates a rich surface of photographic imagery that leaves the image with a unique vintage effect. Eubanks also owns Artworks Tulsa Photography, a studio specializing in portraiture and wedding photography.
Beyond These Doors is open one night only on June 25 and is available for viewing afterwards by appointment. More information about the show and Lights in June is available at stilesdesignstudio.com/exhibit and myspace.com/lightsinjune respectively. Additional information regarding My Studio can be found at myphotostudio.org.
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