creative research gallery and drawing center
a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization



darkroom photography year-round


The Open Lab Sessions are an opportunity to cultivate and strengthen photographic communities within the Greater Cincinnati region through the use of a shared black and white darkroom and film processing station in the rich and supportive environment of the Manifest Drawing Center facility.

Open Lab Sessions provide the chemistry and equipment needed to freely print and develop film in a relaxed but vibrant environment. Sessions are moderated by Manifest Associates who are trained and well-qualified artists and/or instructors at the collegiate level. Learn more about the equipment and chemistry available for your use here. Participants are required to provide their own paper and film.

To guarantee that a moderator will be present at the lab, please register for Open Lab Sessions by 7:30 pm.
If you have not registered the lab may be closed.


Before using the darkroom, all users must first complete an Orientation Session. If you have never processed film or printed in a darkroom before, it is highly recommended that you take an introductory photography class before attending an Open Lab Session. [You can register for an Orientation Sesssion here.]


  • Sundays* 6–10pm (register by 7:30pm)
  • Wednesdays 6–10pm (register by 7:30pm)
  • Thursdays 6–10pm (register by 7:30pm)

Please register for Open Lab Sessions by 7:30pm to guarantee that a moderator will be present at the lab.

The most current schedule can be found on our Darkroom Calendar.

* Sunday sessions provide a special opportunity to receive feedback on your work-in-progress from moderator Michael Wilson.



LOCATION: Hosted at Manifest's Drawing Center Studios in Madisonville at 4905 Whetsel Avenue (second floor) (see map and directions below). Manifest's studio facility provides two classrooms, a darkroom, and a processing room totalling over 3500 square-feet. The studios are outfitted with professional equipment, furniture, and study aids.

The Manifest Drawing Center darkroom was made possible by support from FotoFocus; The John A. Schroth Family Charitable Trust, PNC Bank, Trustee; and The Ohio Valley Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, Agent; as well as contributions from many individual donors.


$20 / $15 students**

It is our belief that a sustained artistic practice can be transformative, and that a culture of darkroom regulars strengthens the photographic community. Unlimited Passes provide access to any and all of our Open Lab Sessions within either a one-month or three-month time period. This provides valuable flexibility from week to week, and greatly discounted access to our photography facilities.

$50 / $30 students**

The Monthly Unlimited Pass provides an 80% discount on 12 Open Lab sessions, or 48 hours in the darkroom.

$125/ $75 students**

With a 3-month commitment Open Lab Sessions are discounted 83%. The 3-Month Unlimited Pass provides access to 36 Open Lab Sessions or 144 hours in the darkroom.

Unlimited Passes are non-transferrable and begin on the first day attended. Unlimited Passes expire on the same calendar day, one-month or three-months after the first Open Lab Session attended.

**Students must show a valid student ID to receive the discounted price.



Walk-ins and Unlimited Pass holders must reserve an enlarger EACH time they wish to use the lab, otherwise you are welcome to any available enlargers under our first-come, first-served policy. See link above.

*Please Note: All prices, Open Lab Session days/times, and reservation procedures are subject to change.

Map to Studio    |   Studio Calendar    |   Darkroom Calendar

Manifest's 14th season is funded in part by an impact grant
from ArtsWave, the Ohio Arts Council, and the generous contributions
of individual supporters who care deeply about the visual arts.

gallery hours:

tues-fri noon-7pm, sat noon-5pm
(or by special appointment)

closed Sun and Mon

Contribute to our Annual Fund



gallery map
2727 woodburn avenue
cincinnati, ohio 45206

drawing center map
4905 whetsel avenue
cincinnati, ohio 45227



Copyright © 2017