In this museum, photos are allowed—encouraged, even. After all, that’s the whole point of a selfie museum.
Art Buzz Studios, located at 13510 Perkins Road, is billed as Baton Rouge’s first and only selfie museum.
Selfie museums have become a trending experience in recent years, with places like the Museum of Ice Cream and Color Factory popping up in New York City and Houston. These immersive art installations often include rooms with brightly colored backdrops and interactive props to offer visitors a variety of settings to snap social media-worthy pics.
“I thought it would be a great idea to bring the experience here and kind of, you know, start bringing more positive things to Baton Rouge to do,” owner Erika Joseph said.
Joseph wasted no time putting her idea into action. The entrepreneur already owned a paint party studio, known as Art Buzz. She converted the parties to mobile-only and focused in on the selfie museum.
Joseph contacted her financial adviser, drew up a business plan and found a new, larger studio. She knocked out the wall between two suites in the St. George Square Shopping Center on Perkins Road to create a 2,460-square-foot selfie space.
Art Buzz Studios includes 18 individually-themed selfie rooms.
Visitors can step inside a bright orange recording studio with a microphone in the center and records lining the walls. They can walk down the hall to a school classroom with desks and a whiteboard before taking a break for P.E. in a locker room-themed selfie space equipped with sporting equipment.
“It’s the vibe,” Joseph said. “You’re coming in here with your friends, you’re taking pictures, you’re helping your friends take pictures.”
Joseph said patrons of all ages love jumping into the ball pit in an all-white room nicknamed the “Splash-N-Dash.”
“They splash, but they don’t dash. They stay in there a long time,” Joseph said.
Joseph designed some of the rooms herself, while local artists designed others.
Monica Lockett created a fantasy wonderland where selfie-takers can stand against large butterfly wings.
Balloon artist Chrys Dixon created a room with a balloon wall, which is the favorite room of Jariel Christopher, a mass comm freshman and selfie guide.
“When you walk in the room, you can’t see the effect, but the minute you take a picture it’s like the balloons are coming at you and it’s swallowing the person,” Christopher said.
She welcomes visitors to the museum and assists with picture-taking and poses as needed.
“It’s very interactive,” Christopher said. “There’s props and, like, just different photo ops for you to get into.”
Beyond the rooms, visitors can find more photo-ready spaces in the candy-themed lobby area and the send-off green hedge backdrop with neon pink letters reading, “hope you enjoyed your selfie.”
There’s also the “Wall of Fame,” where Adrieana Vessel signed her name and Instagram handle after going through the museum.
Vessel, a junior at Southern University, had never been to a selfie museum before. The fashion major has a passion for photography, so when she saw a video about Art Buzz Studios on Twitter, she decided to check it out the same day.
“To see it was right down the street, I was like, ‘Yeah, I got to go,” Vessel said.
Vessel said she took a picture in every room and even asked for an application to apply to work at Art Buzz Studios.
“I really did like it,” Vessel said. “It was really cool.”
The first selfie room switch-up will come in October, according to Joseph. She said the most popular rooms will stay, while others will be updated.
Joseph said she’s not sure why people love taking selfies.
“Maybe because they know they look good. They’re confident. They’re strong. They like to upload pictures,” she said.
Whatever the reason, Joseph said she hopes selfie museum visitors gain a new and different experience.
“I want people to love themselves,” she said. “Take as many pictures as you want, have fun doing it.”
Art Buzz Studios is located in suites F and G at 13510 Perkins Road. Joseph encourages all visitors to book their time slots ahead online. Tickets are $30 for one hour inside the museum.