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 24 hours in advance. 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 24 hours in advance)
  • Wednesdays 6–10pm (register 24 hours in advance)
  • Thursdays 6–10pm (register 24 hours in advance)

Please register for Open Lab Sessions 24 hours in advance 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. Session Passes provide access to any and all of our Open Lab Sessions within either a 12-session or 36-session time period. This provides valuable flexibility from week to week, and greatly discounted access to our photography facilities.

$50 / $30 students**

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

$125/ $75 students**

With a 36-Session Pass Open Lab Sessions are discounted 83%. The 36-Session Pass provides access to 36 Open Lab Sessions or 144 hours in the darkroom.

Session Passes are non-transferrable and begin on the first day attended. Passes expire within one year of the first day used.

**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 15th season is funded in part by a grant from the Robert H. Reakirt Foundation, PNC Bank, Trustee. This season's programming is also supported by an impact grant from ArtsWave, by a sustainability grant from the Ohio Arts Council, and through 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 © 2018