The Coop had its meager beginnings with an informal meeting over coffee of 4 photographers, Jack Coffman, Andy King, Mary Kerr-Grant and Sarah Bonvallet.Â Â We all had a need for a formal photography studio but each of us alone could not afford it. Â We found a great space in the North Western Building in Lowertown Saint Paul and called ourselves Studio F.4 for the next 2 years. Â After losing Mary Kerr-Grant to the great city of St Louis, Heather Matson joined Studio F.4 and some new ideas began to emerge.
What if we had an official coop? Â What if we had more members and had funds to hold workshops? Â What if we held creative meetings and became a support network for other photographers?
We then found a new space in the ACVR Warehouse and started designing the 2000 square foot studio. Â Our membership increased to 6 and The Saint Paul Photographers’ Coop was born. Â We decided to name the studio space Freight Box to give it its own character outside of the Coop.Â Â The Coop is our heart and soul and Freight Box acts as the physical body. Â Our studio membership is now capped at nine. Â We are currently hosting creative meetings once a month, participate in the bi-annual St Paul Art Crawl, and each member is entitled to their own yearly solo show. Â We have many goals for the future and look forward to the creative energy and momentum of The Saint Paul Photographers’ Coop.