As Plano’s creative community continues to grow, there is a rising need for shared spaces where artists can come together.
Later this September, Hillary and Xavier Cinque will provide such a space with their photography and events studio, The Lumen Room. The couple already has existing locations in Dallas and Fort Worth, and are looking forward to bringing a creative space to Plano.
“Plano is no longer a suburb. We’re learning that it has its own entity,” says Xavier. “We’re excited to let Plano be standalone, let the Plano creative community be Plano.”
Hillary and Xavier’s relationship with Plano started long before The Lumen Room, though. Both grew up in Dallas and met at Greenhill School. In the latter part of Xavier’s teenage years, his family moved to Murphy, and Hillary would drive up to spend time with him.
“The whole East Plano area is where I spent a lot of my time,” says Xavier. “She’d drive all the way out here to come see me, and we’d go to Jorg’s for dinner.”
Though the two opened their first studio space in 2016, they didn’t always work together as business partners. The first studio functioned as a place for Hillary’s personal photography business before foot surgery left her unable to take clients. Once that happened, Hillary and Xavier decided to rent out the space to some friends until Hillary could (literally) get back on her feet. As they started to blend Xavier’s sales background with her creativity, the two soon realized they really enjoyed working with other artists.
“We kind of fell in love with hosting people and seeing their vision and helping them bring their visions to life,” says Hillary. “There’s a lot of fun in meeting different artists and having them come in and transform the space, and in some ways, we feel even more called to that than doing our own work.”
Everything that they do comes back to their mission to create a space for artists to thrive. While Hillary is willing to offer her professional advice if asked, she and Xavier typically take a more hands-off approach, hoping that the artists will feel inspired to capture their own vision within the space.
Providing such a unique and versatile setting is no easy task, and Hillary and Xavier spend a lot of time scouting potential locations, looking for very specific features before committing to a space. For the Plano location, they spent months searching before finding the perfect site for their new studio.
“Every time we open a space, we’re looking for windows and reflection and the direction that the sun is coming in for the space to just light up and be gorgeous,” says Hillary.
The couple finally found a place at 703 K Avenue in Downtown Plano that provides everything they need. The newly built studio will offer a white-washed brick wall, cyclorama – or cyc – wall, a 14-foot ceiling, kitchenette, vanity and most importantly, an all-white background with plenty of natural light: a trademark of The Lumen Room studios.
With hopes to open in late September, they are excited to provide a space for the creative community in the Plano area. In addition to the photo shoots, they will host various events that allow area artists to meet and collaborate.
“Our focus has always been on photographers, and our vision and our goal is to give people with an artistic vision a space to bring it to life,” says Xavier. “We provide some props like couches and chairs and some styling elements, but essentially the idea is that you come in and make it whatever you want it to be. That’s what we want our community to be.”The Lumen Room >