Serving as a photography studio and gallery space, Saans Photography has been around since the 1950s . When Jaron Horrocks bought the property at 173 E. Broadway about a year and a half ago, he wanted to preserve the Saans reputation and services but help it evolve into something more.
You could say that the current exhibition by Zöe Rodriguez is a milestone in that evolution. But there is still more to come.
Rodriguez, a regular 15 Bytes contributor, was featured in the gallery for the March Gallery Stroll and her show continues into April. The walls are hung with her beautifully casual and intimate portraits demonstrating her skill at connecting with the person in front on her camera.
In January, Rodriguez joined the Saans collective as a resident photographer, which means that she has a work station in the basement, access to the darkroom and studio, and this opportunity to be featured in the gallery. As a “collective,” the artists are a community of resources for each other but each is an independent business owner. Rodriguez also has a business partner, Robert Swift, who handles the business side of things.
Horrocks is interested in having other resident photographers share the workspace, but he doesn’t want them to be “clones,” all doing the same type of photography. He believes the community will be richer for the diversity that photographers with different specialties may bring.
“We will have artists in here who not only take great pictures, but they also can teach,” says Horrocks. “When we have the gallery open for Gallery Strolls in the future, the artist/photographer will not only show their work but also give a lecture in the shooting space behind the gallery.” The lecture will be free, but those who are interested may sign up for a full day of hands-on training the day following the stroll. This combined exhibit-lecture-training is being branded as “Develop 1.5,” a play on words that evokes photographic processes as well as describing the one and a half day skill development opportunity for participants. The classes will be aimed at hobbyists as well as more experienced photographers.
Another change in the works is the re-branding of the overall business under the name “Arete Creative.” Arete is another play on words. In Greek it means “excellence.” In French it means “stop.” Horrocks and his studio manager, Angelina Giles, hope people will stop in to take a class, see an excellent exhibit, or to arrange for photography services or studio space. Horrocks and Giles also specialize in corporate photography, for business portraits and advertising.
Horrocks himself has been spending a lot of time on the road, traveling all over the country teaching Photoshop to photographers. In the future, he will forego some of the travel to concentrate more on this business. When that happens, the door to the street will be open more often and the gallery will be more accessible to visitors. For now, you can call in advance of a visit (801-328-8827) or knock loudly and Giles might hear you in her office downstairs.
Sue Martin holds an M.A. in Theatre and has worked in public relations. As an artist, she works in watercolor, oil, and acrylic to capture Utah landscapes or the beauty of everyday objects in still life.