Michelle and Melanie Craven

Michelle and Melanie Craven
Graduate's Major: 
Graduate Degrees: 
Associate; Bachelor of Fine Arts, Photography
Photo Gallery Features Alternative Photographic Processes
Originally published Spring 2010

Since opening the Tilt Gallery in Phoenix in 2005, Mesa Community College graduates Michelle and Melanie Craven have enriched the Phoenix art community by sharing their photography skills and knowledge.

The twin sisters originally pursued a space for their own photography, but quickly realized there was a greater need for a fine art photography gallery in Phoenix specializing in alternative and historical photography. Today their gallery features local, national and international works by emerging and established artists.  The gallery also offers photography workshops.  

“Our goal is to educate viewers and the public about seeing photography in a different way and not just that anybody can pick up a camera and point and shoot,” said Melanie.  “With many different types of alternative and historical printing methods one can create an image that seeks to be painterly or vintage in its visual appeal.”

Alternative processes are defined by handmade sensitizers and emulsions, applied to various substrates, and exposed under UV light sources. These processes are primarily based in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The gallery’s photography workshops are taught by local and visiting educators and artists who are well-known and established in their field.

“These classes are for anyone who wants to learn and be creative with their printing techniques or for the person who wants to pursue and establish more into a specialized area of printing,” Melanie said.

Melanie and Michelle both pursued associate of arts degrees at MCC and then transferred to Arizona State University to earn BFA’s in photography. They said MCC instructor Ron Bimrose was very influential in their pursuit of a degree.

“His assignments made us think outside the box of taking a picture,” Melanie said. “He challenged his students to think about what concepts we could convey through photography. When taking pictures one can develop a concept and try to express that concept with a series of images.”

The sisters said they both feel that their education and experience at MCC, ASU, and a variety of photographic workshops have all contributed to their commitment and desire to be involved in the arts community.

For more information on the gallery and workshops, visit:  http://www.tiltgallery.com/

This alumni profile first appeared in the Spring 2010 edition of Alumni & Friends, a publication for the Mesa Community College Alumni Association.  http://www.mesacc.edu/sites/default/files/pages/section/about-mcc/institutional-advancement/communications/spring_2010.pdf