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. During the pandemic we are restricting each session of lab access to two participants only. We are using Eventbrite to manage 'tickets' to reserve access times.


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)
  • Mondays 6-10pm (register 24 hours in advance)
  • Tuesdays 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: Unless otherwise specified, all courses are hosted at Manifest's Drawing Center Studios in Walnut Hills at 656 E. McMillan St. (second floor) (see map and directions below). Manifest's new studio facility provides two studio classrooms, private lesson space, a darkroom, film processing room, and a multi-purpose lecture and class meeting space all totaling over 4000 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. The 2020 relocation of the Manifest Drawing Center to our current location in Walnut Hills was made possible by a contribution from the William S. Rowe Foundation.


$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 a TICKET each time they wish to use the darkroom or processing room.

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

Map to Manifest's Walnut Hills Studios   |   Studio Calendar   |   Darkroom Calendar

  Season Funder:

Manifest's 18th season is funded in part by a grant from the Josephine S. Russell Charitable Trust, PNC Bank, Trustee. This season's programming is also supported by the generosity of tens of thousands of contributors to the ArtsWave Community Campaign, by a sustainability grant from the Ohio Arts Council, and through the generous direct contributions of individual supporters and private foundations who care deeply about the visual arts.

gallery hours:

tues-fri 12-7pm, sat noon-5pm
(or by appointment)
view calendar

closed Sun and Mon

Contribute to our Annual Fund



gallery map
2727 woodburn avenue
cincinnati, ohio 45206

drawing center map
656 E. McMillan St.
cincinnati, ohio 45206



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