Brian Miller is Managing Director of Full Circle Fine Art Services. He is a master fine art printer and, believe it or not, still prefers to print in the darkroom. As a photo-based artist, Brian exhibits regularly nationally and his work is held in both public and private collections. Before kids, he was a world traveler having spent much time in China, England, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Costa Rica, and Ecuador. Though he brings back his photography from places unknown, he is often led on these adventures by his quest for good food.
We’re excited to have Full Circle on board for Doors Open Baltimore 2016! What can visitors expect to see?
We’re excited too! It’s our second year participating. Our thirty year old business is housed in two conjoined town homes built prior to 1900 and was a residence up until the 1960s. Visitors are free to wander through about 4,000 square feet of rooms spread over three stories. Inside our fine art studios we have a custom archival framing studio; traditional photographic darkrooms; a portrait studio; a fine art printing space; and a studio for high end digitization of cultural heritage materials, paintings, grandad’s massive 35mm slide collection, or even a painting your great aunt made that you want to live on in digital infamy!
We’re also pleased to be hosting an exhibit in our photography gallery that ties into the Doors Open project. Amy Davis and James Singewald will be exhibiting images from their concurrent projects on Baltimore architecture. Amy’s project is titled “Flickering Treasures: Rediscovering Baltimore’s Forgotten Movie Theaters” and chronicles the conditions, conversions, and general status of more than 70 movie houses from Baltimore’s yesteryear. Johns Hopkins Press is publishing a book of the same name and is being released in the fall of 2017.
James’ project started as a graduate school concept while he attended the Maryland Institute of Art (MICA). Using a 4×5 view camera and Fujichrome film, he’s been photographing Howard Street, Eutaw Street, Baltimore Street, Lexington Street, Fayette Street, East Monument Street, Pennsylvania Avenue, Greenmount Avenue,North Avenue, and Broadway, building by building, block by block. The show will be fantastic as it’s nostalgic but not overly sentimental, more a reflection on what happens to our shared urban spaces through the course of time.
What are some of the specialized services Full Circle offers?
We are a full service studio catering to individual artists looking to produce work for sale and exhibition, corporate entities seeking art for collections or for prints or framing of work for their spaces, art consultants looking for professionals they can rely on to deliver the highest quality work for any project, nonprofit organizations seeking business partnerships, and foundations and government agencies in need of archival quality digitization based on preservation standards, to name a few.
We have fine art photographers who rent darkrooms here to produce work. We work closely with painters and print makers to acquire the highest resolution files on a medium format digital copy system. We also consult with artists and arts professionals on exhibition planning, archival methods, and best practices for producing work. As many jest, our services do truly come full circle.
What do you love about the Old Goucher Neighborhood?
Old Goucher is filled with beautiful architecture. From Lovely Lane Church to the white stone buildings along Calvert Street, there is a great collection of styles and periods in architecture. Also, Station North Arts and Entertainment District is at our back door—the district literally ends in the alley behind the studio (we are not officially in the tax benefits district). We often coordinate events or help sponsor events in the area. We meet a lot of folks this way!
And, who can deny themselves a regular dose of Korean food from the various spots in what is commonly called K-Town.
We’ll be hosting another Doors Open Instagram Photo Contest this year. Any advice for Instagram photographers?
I use my Instagram feed as a completely separate type of photography from my other projects. I have a color palette and filter I use consistently to keep everything uniform, with slight variations. I like the immediacy of the feed. I think on the event day people should be looking for those fantastic details that draw others into the spaces being explored. Keep in mind that cell phones don’t do well with low light. Be mindful, maybe even use the flash.
I love the architectural details of so many buildings and tend to get close to my subject if possible. Have fun and insert yourself into the scene. I think straight up selfies might not get others as excited to come to see what you’re seeing but there is certainly an opportunity to be playful. And feel free to ask the docents and volunteers to be apart of your Insta-feed. All smiles of course!
You’ve been snapping some wonderful shots of Doors Open sites for us. What is a must see site this year (besides Full Circle, of course)?
Besides Full Circle…? Well, for a real eclectic experience, visit the Duchess of Windsor Museum. My old neighbor, Phil, will certainly entertain you on all things Wallace. Plan to spend some time there!
A favorite spot of mine in Baltimore is the Rawlings Conservatory. The light and carefully designed terrain inside is simply amazing and if you’re lucky the orchid room will be in bloom. Though not a religious person, churches always inspire me, as they were meant to do. The Basilica is a special place, especially if the catacombs are open. There are really too many: Union Craft (Duh!),Streetcar Museum for a ride into the past, Clifton Mansion (especially the crow’s nest), Housewerks, and definitely stop in for slivovice at the Lithuanian Hall.