I learned on Friday that Newspace Center For Photography closed permanently. It was all of a sudden with no warning at all. I am still gutted whenever I think about it. It was a big part of my routine when I went to Portland. Drop my husband off at work. go to Newspace and print for an hour. And now it’s gone. I still can hardly believe it. I had to drive by on Monday to see if it was true, and, alas, there is a big “For Lease” sign in the window. I didn’t have a heart to take a photo of that. It just made me too sad.
Newspace has played such an big role in my creative development. It was where I learned how to develop film. It was where I was introduced to pinhole photography. I have spent hours in their darkroom. I have used their studio and their high quality scanners. I have felt so much gratitude that I had access to all of this. I have bragged about them to others and taken out of town visitors there to show them around the place. I’ve taken classes there. I enjoyed the amazing artwork that graced the walls.
I am feeling at a loss and so very empty. It feels like a good friend has died. All of this can never be replaced. I think the community can cobble together things like a community darkroom, but to have all of these things in one place was an amazing treasure that I took for granted. And now it’s gone.
Here are some photos I took there over the years. Some are pinhole, some are iPhone snaps.
Yesterday I woke up to a very sunny, beautiful day. As I was packing up my backpack for work I briefly thought about taking my raincoat out. “I don’t need this today, it’s sunny and nice,” I thought. And then I remembered that I live in Oregon so I left it in my bag. Guess what happened later that evening before I walked home? Yep. It rained. I’m glad I listened to my gut. It was still raining on my walk to work this morning and this song came up on my iTunes. I had to smile to myself.