Thomas changes Railyard District studio focus
By Heather Graves
GREEN BAY – Local entrepreneur and photographer Audrey Thomas said the Greater Green Bay area has never lacked talent, but the spaces and opportunities to put that creativity into action, collaborate with others and share their space of working with the public, she said, is another story.
“Many people in the community are currently working to provide these opportunities with their own unique approaches, all with a collective mission to provide artists with access and options at affordable rates,” she said.
Thomas can now add his recently refocused space – Evolve: Rental Space for Creatives – located in the Railyard District, as one of them.
Known to many in the community for her photography, Thomas Photography opened one of the only exclusive dog photography studios in the area last year, a departure from her mainstream photography.
“I think creative people are always subconsciously looking for a challenge and ways to grow,” Thomas said. “So eventually, when I felt like I had photographed people in every way I could, I was excited to change things up and shoot dogs exclusively. That led me to do one of the hardest jobs ever. most fun, challenging and fulfilling yet.
Nonetheless, after photographing around 150 dogs in the studio, she said she felt another urge to change and looked at things from a different perspective.
“I had a nice studio that I was shooting in, but I was doing all of my backend work at home, and I knew I could better utilize the potential of the space to serve more people,” Thomas said. “It seemed obvious to open up my space to other creatives who didn’t necessarily want to sign their own lease somewhere, or might not operate as a business, but still needed a place to be creative. . This is how Evolve was born.
She said Evolve is a creative rental space open for hourly rentals Monday through Friday.
“Creatives can use the private space independently, with peers, or with clients,” Thomas said. “One of Evolve’s missions is to showcase these creations by organizing interactive public events on certain weekends. Our first event is a sold-out tintype photography pop-up with Silvergraphic, where you can come and experience what it was like to have your picture taken in 1850. We’re working to organize everything from artists’ workshops to a unplugged concert series. You can keep up to date with our events calendar on our website, and if you’re a creative looking to organize something, we’d love to talk.
Thomas said a recent review left by an Evolve tenant perfectly captures what she hopes the space would do for people.
“I’m so very grateful to be able to rent such an impressive space at an affordable price,” said Emily Andrade, makeup artist/boudoir photographer at Esteem Makeup and Photography. “I can’t even explain it to you. It’s everything I could have dreamed of, honestly. Spending $700 on a space with no attractive features or natural light is beyond what I could have asked for. Now I feel like I can finally start getting the ball rolling on this part of my career.
Evolve is also set to host Yoga with Puppies – a one-hour friendly session for all abilities, followed by a cuddle-filled happy hour with the adoptable four-legged friends from Lucky 7 Dog Rescue, as well as a free tea and drink bar.
Thomas said Evolve’s location in the heart of downtown Green Bay, in a historic building with distinctive architectural features and tons of natural light, is a big part of what makes the space unique.
“People are so intrigued and always have so many questions when they first step into space, and I love that because I think people often think they know everything there is. namely or that they saw everything on Green Bay,” she said. “I am truly grateful to the grassroots corporations, On Broadway Inc, city officials and all the public support that led to these buildings being restored rather than letting the ground be razed for a Walmart in 2014. C It’s exciting to see all the businesses that have established themselves here, and I’m very proud to be in their company here in the Railyard.
Thomas said his hope for Evolve is that it can give creatives a new level of excitement for their craft and what they can do with it.
“When I was 22 and working in my bedroom office, I would have loved to have access to a place like this,” she said. “I also hope it helps expand people’s perception of supporting artists of all kinds in Green Bay. You don’t have to go to a nearby town to find an opportunity, now there are several options right here at home.
Thomas said she no longer takes wedding photos, but continues to photograph dogs on a case-by-case basis, as well as sessions with her regular humans.
For more information on Evolve: Space Rental for Creatives, CLICK HERE.
Thomas said the Evolve space is lightly furnished for everyday use.
“We also have tables and chairs available for events,” she said. “A full list of amenities can be found on the “Rentals” page of our website.”