Most artist’s studios are located in the back of the house.  In photographer Jim McGuire’s case, the living quarters are in the front of his studio.  This is one tail that boldly wags its dog.  Years ago, McGuire (he prefers to be called by his surname) bought this nondescript one-story commercial building on South 8th Avenue, painted the front black with a purple stripe across the top and down the side, and proceeded to create a one-of-a-kind lair for himself.  This unparalleled portraitist blew out the west-facing concrete block wall and put in edge-to-edge windows to flood the interior with light from his favorite direction.  Then he popped out a significant section of the roof and raised a gleaming skylight, the amount of illumination from which he controls with a huge tarp adjusted by an ingeniously designed pulley system (who says artists can’t think mechanically?).  It all works together in this airy space with its purple ceiling girders to create the ambiance so important in his field of photography.  His long list of famous clients, many the starriest of country music stars, have posed over the decades in front of that iconic backdrop - so old and lovingly used that the back side is more duck tape than material - and been the recipient of their favorite, all time photo of themselves.

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