With a place to call its very own, the Amurica Photo Booth will soon be living the Amurican dream.
Starting later this summer, photographer Jamie Harmon will park his popular airstream-trailer-turned-photo-booth, in which visitors take goofy group shots with props ranging from baby dolls to horse masks to life jackets, in the Crosstown Arts studio space at 410 N. Cleveland. There, visitors have their picture taken inside the unique photo booth — without trampling through Harmon's backyard to do so.
For the past two and a half years, when not rented out to parties and events around town, the Amurica photo booth was parked in Harmon's backyard. Understandably, the constant bustle of strangers visiting the photo booth began to take a toll on his family.
Then, at a recent Spillit storytelling event at Crosstown Arts, a nonprofit organization dedicated to forming Memphis artist communities, Harmon met Christopher Miner.
"He basically approached me and said, 'I want to make your studio dreams come true!'" Harmon said.
Miner, the co-director of Crosstown Arts, offered Harmon a rented residency on Cleveland. Harmon took him up on the offer, and the two have been preparing the studio space ever since. Renovations have been in the works since May, and there is still some work to be done, but Harmon hopes to have the studio open by the end of August.
Harmon hopes that his new studio will draw visitors from outside the Midtown area. Since its inception in 2011, the Amurica photo booth has been a trendy feature of many a Midtown party, but Harmon wants to expand his fan base across the city.
"It's something for Memphis, not just Midtown," Harmon said.
Harmon's addition to the neighborhood couldn't have been more welcome. To celebrate, Crosstown Arts will be holding a block party for him and the other businesses moving into the neighborhood. Harmon says the block party should take place around the first week of October, and people are encouraged to drop by and meet the new entrepreneurs of Midtown.
"[Crosstown] really wanted to rent spaces out to community-involved businesses, and I'm just another addition to the same vibe," Harmon said.