Hidden at the end of a long hallway in Cove lies the remainder of what was once a darkroom. The scent of chemicals that developed film still lingers in the air, and any 35mm photographer would instantly feel right at home after taking a step into the small room.
Artists at ENC might be interested to know that this room exists, but is not being used for film photography; the theatre program instead uses the darkroom for painting props.
Used from 1981 until 2006, the darkroom fell out of use once students began dropping photography class after realizing they needed to buy their own 35mm camera.
“It’s still frustrating,” said sophomore Sondra Hazelton. “The fact that they have the chemicals to develop the film and yet no one is using it makes me so mad. I took film photography in high school and loved it. I want to get back in a darkroom, but can’t, even though there is one right here.”
Student Emily Gregory also voiced her opinion.
“People should be allowed to use it even if it’s just for a hobby,” she said.
Even prospective students have stated that the darkroom should be used for its original purpose.
“I wish now I could transfer to ENC, but can’t because I want to be an art teacher and ENC doesn’t offer any majors for people who have an interest in art,” said Ana Loor, an art education student at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, N.Y.
Professor Michael Ballard, designer and tech director of the theater program, stated, “I don’t think we have space for art programs at ENC and we don’t have equipment. If we had a bigger campus it would be nice to have an art program, but I don’t see that happening.”
Still, some students wish that the darkroom were put to better use than just storing paint supplies.