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Oakland Archives - John Vias

SLATE Gallery’s Autumn Collection: Focus on Photography

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If you are a fan of Oakland Art Murmur or Saturday Stroll, Oakland’s gallery crawls, you already know SLATE contemporary gallery. SLATE focuses on abstract art, and this show collects some of my work along with that of eight other photographers: Roy Berkowitz, Richard Koci Hernandez, Hap Leonard, Christopher Nickel, Silvia Poloto, Diane Rosenblum, Hiroko To, and Elizabeth Williams. Plus, my friend Vicky Mei Chen will show her silkscreen and collage work in the Hall Gallery.

This is a show you will want to see. In fact, why not come to the reception and say hello. And please bring your family and friends!

Reception: Friday, September 6, 5–6 p.m.
Art Murmur: September 6 and October 4, 6–9 p.m.
Third Thursdays: September 19, 6–8 p.m.
Exhibition: August 22–October 5, 2013
Where: SLATE contemporary gallery, 473 25th St., Oakland

East Bay Open Studios 2013

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For the 10th year, I’ll participate in Pro Arts’ East Bay Open Studios. I’ll have some new prints and old favorites, plus my book of night photography.

Again this year, I’ll join around 40 other artists in Jack London Square’s Pavilion (the former Barnes & Noble bookstore space). Plus, there will be at least two dozen more artists in Market Hall nearby. Lots to see. So please stop by this weekend or next between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. and say hello. If my work moves you, inspires you, or delights your senses in any way, please take some home.

East Bay Open Studios is produced by Pro Arts, an Oakland-based nonprofit that supports the arts within communities by serving the ongoing needs of artists. Open Studios connects the public with over 400 regional artists and is accompanied by the Directory of East Bay Arts. More information and online gallery at proartsgallery.org.

East Bay Open Studios 2012

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For the ninth year, I’ll be pleased to participate in Pro Arts’ East Bay Open Studios. I’ll have some new prints and old favorites, plus my book of night photography.

Big news: This year, I’ll join around 40 other artists in the former Barnes & Noble bookstore in Jack London Square. Plus, there will be at least two dozen more artists in Market Hall nearby. Lots to see. So please stop by this weekend or next between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. and say hello. If my work moves you, please take some home so you can be inspired by it every day.

East Bay Open Studios is produced by Pro Arts, an Oakland-based nonprofit that supports the arts within communities by serving the ongoing needs of artists. Open Studios connects the public with over 400 regional artists and is accompanied by the Directory of East Bay Arts. More information and online gallery at proartsgallery.org.

Exhibit and Reception at Domain

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My work has been chosen by a trio of Bay Area art consultants for a three-month exhibition at Domain, a luxury apartment building at 1389 Jefferson St. (at 14th St.) in Downtown Oakland. The exhibit runs through January 22, 2012. Join me for a reception on Thursday evening, December 15, 5–8 p.m. There will be food and drink and merriment. Come out and meet other art lovers, and be sure to say hello.

Excellent Use of Government Funds

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I must say, Alameda County has extraordinary taste in art. For the second time, my work was chosen from a slew of work submitted.

Already, you can experience a huge 32″×40″ print of Overpass 1 in the county recorder’s office in Oakland. This time around, two pieces, Tracks in Field and Silos, were chosen from among 2,300 pieces submitted for consideration. Hmm, does that make me a one-in-a-thousand artist?

Anyway, thank you, selection panel! And congratulations to the other 31 artists whose work was chosen.

Windowed Wall Selected for “Glimpses in Time” International Exhibit

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Windowed Wall, one of my newest night photographs, was juried into this year’s “Glimpses in Time” exhibit at the Joyce Gordon Gallery. The exhibit opens Friday and runs through July 30. As always, it features dozens of photographs from artists across the US and around the world, so there will be plenty of fantastic photography to see (and, ahem, collect).

I hope to see you at the free reception, which will be this Friday, July 2, 6–9 p.m. Refreshments will be served. The show runs through July.

My work has been juried into all four annual “Glimpses in Time” exhibits. The juror this time around was Linda Connor, professor of photography at the San Francisco Art Institute, where she’s taught since 1969.

“Glimpses in Time” is always a tribute to a late photographer, and this year we’re honoring Imogen Cunningham. She was a peer of Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Weston, Dorothea Lange, and others, and her influence on the art form is still felt today.

The Joyce Gordon Gallery is at 406 14th St. (at Broadway) in Downtown Oakland, steps from the 12th St. BART station. You can catch the exhibit Thursdays and Fridays, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays, 1–4 p.m.

Wooden Photography

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Pro Arts’ 35th Anniversary Party/Box Art Benefit Auction is coming soon. This year’s challenge was to turn a 5.5″ cube of wood into a piece of art to help raise needed funds for Pro Arts. For various reasons, I didn’t get my block until recently (thanks for getting it to me, Vicky!), and I didn’t get it done until Halloween afternoon—and the preview started November 3! You can see a picture of it here. Click on it for a larger view. Of course, art needs to be seen in person to be fully appreciated, especially three-dimensional pieces.

"Night Cube, a mixed media artwork by John ViasUnlike last year, I came up with my concept for this piece relatively easily, refining it as I went. I visited Cesar Chavez Park at the Berkeley Marina on a cold night this week, trekked to a high spot so I could see the skyline in every direction, put the block on a tripod, and photographed it from all four corners and from above. I shined my spotlight on it to make the block stand out. Lights from the skyline shimmer in the photos’ backgrounds. Then I applied the photos to the block so it looks like you’re there at night in the park looking at the cube, except each of the four sides has a picture of a corner. I hope it fetches a large sum for Pro Arts.

Night Cube, and dozens of others, will be up for auction this Saturday evening, 6–9 p.m., at 150 Frank Ogawa Plaza in Downtown Oakland at Broadway and 14th St. There will be refreshments, music, and silent and live auctions. Also, sponsorships are available in advance of the event for $50. If you sponsor an artist, you’ll receive reserved privileges at the event. Call Pro Arts for details.

Dropping off my piece Saturday, I got a sneak peek at some of the other pieces, and as always, I’m impressed at what the other artists came up with. The auction is fun and exciting—it’s better than Ebay! The East Bay artist community needs Pro Arts to stick around another 35 years, so please come out, say hello, have a snack, and place your bids. See you there!

Wall and Hedge Selected for “Glimpses in Time” Tribute Show

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Wall and Hedge was selected for “Glimpses in Time,” an annual juried photography exhibition, this year in honor of Manuel Alvarez Bravo, at the Joyce Gordon Gallery in Oakland. I’m very pleased to have been included in the show for the third year in a row. Almost 154 entries were submitted from across the US and five foreign countries.

A public reception will be held Friday, July 3, 2009, 5:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m., coinciding with Oakland Art Murmur. The Joyce Gordon Gallery is at 406 14th St., Oakland, just steps from the 12th St. BART station. The show runs through this month.

The juror was Rene de Guzman, senior art curator at the Oakland Museum of California.

Manuel Alvarez Bravo was a Mexican photographer best known for his sometimes dream-like, sometimes political, surrealistic work. I encourage you to learn more about his contributions to the arts. And come see the show!

My First Mixed Media Piece

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Mixed media artwork, a photo mounted to a section of doorSeveral weeks ago, as I was leaving Pro Arts Gallery, I encountered a volunteer outside. He strongly encouraged me to take one of the hunks of household doors he was giving out. Pro Arts’ annual Box Art Benefit Auction was coming up and this year’s challenge for participating artists was to turn a piece of door into a piece of art to help raise needed funds for Pro Arts. Reluctantly, I selected a door chunk, not knowing what I was going to do with it. Using photography as my primary medium, I hadn’t had the need for wooden substrates. Over the coming weeks, I came up with and rejected several ideas. I eventually figured out what I wanted to do, and my first mixed media piece, Door on Door, was born.

It, and over 100 others, will be up for auction this Saturday evening, 6–9 p.m. There will be hors d’oeuvres by Greenleaf Platters, beer, cocktails, music, portraits, silent and live auctions, and a new auctioneer this year. Also, sponsorships are available in advance of the event for $100. If you sponsor an artist, you’ll receive reserved privileges at the event. All the money goes to Pro Arts.

I had the opportunity to see some of the other pieces and I’m amazed at what some of the artists were able to come up with. I’m excited to see what happens at the auction! So come say hello, have a snack, and place your bid.

Update: Pro Arts’ director bought this piece.