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“Turning Point” Exhibition and Reception

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The Joyce Gordon Gallery is marking its 20th anniversary! Keeping a gallery going for 20 years is quite a feat. To celebrate the occasion, please join me and other art lovers at the opening reception for the new exhibit “Turning Point: Joyce Gordon Gallery 20th Anniversary Retrospective.” The show runs through October 28, and many works will have memories by the artists of Joyce and the gallery. There will even be video messages from artists.

Two of my images have been juried into the exhibit. They are 30″×38″ prints large enough to have real impact.

Also, Joyce is retiring as gallery director, passing on that role to 10-year gallery curator Eric Murphy. I’ve known Eric for years, and he will do a fine job as director. I’m excited to see what he cooks up.

“Turning Point” Reception

When: Friday, September 1, 6-9 p.m.
Where: 406 14th St., Oakland, CA 94612 (near 12th St. BART)
What: Fun! Food and wine will be served, and I’ll be there.
Cost: Free
RSVP: RSVP here (optional)

Be sure to bring your art-loving coworkers, family, and friends. I hope to see you there.

“Nightwatch” Exhibition and Reception

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Nightwatch exhibition

Come see “Nightwatch,” an exhibition of my night photography, at the reception on July 14.

A couple folks from North Berkeley Investment Partners saw my work at open studios and asked me to share it with their coworkers and clients at their offices. Since we hung the show, I’ve been getting some blush-inducing positive feedback. Come to NBIP’s offices for the reception, or some time during regular office hours through August, to have a look.

“Nightwatch” Reception

When: Thursday, July 14, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Where: 1820 Solano Ave., Berkeley
What: Fun! Food and wine will be served, and I’ll be there.
Cost: Free
RSVP: RSVP here (optional)
Questions: Maureen at 510-528-5820

Be sure to bring your art-loving coworkers, family, and friends. I hope to see you there.

“As It Happened” Exhibition at Gary Francis Fine Art Gallery

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I’m excited to be showing in Alameda for the first time, with a group of other Bay Area photographers, in “As It Happened” at Gary Francis Fine Art Gallery in Alameda. The show runs August 7 through September 7, 2014.

As It Happened Exhibition, Gary Francis Fine Art Gallery, AlamedaI hope to see you at the gallery, at 1419e Park Street, for the opening reception on August 8.

From Gary Comoglio, owner of Gary Francis Fine Art Gallery:

“This group exhibition of Bay Area photographers investigates themes that explore basic and complex images of mundane objects, inner feeling states and personal dialogs with self, the unique forms and shapes created by the interplay between natural elements and man-made structures, and everyday scenes and distinctive portraits of life in the Bay Area. The fine art photographers throw the spotlight on our daily experiences that are often omnipresent, necessary, and overlooked. Through their ongoing exploration, surprising and creative images are made conscious, allowing the artist and viewer to be more connected to the richness of life, experience, and surroundings.

“Artists included: Sam Breach, Susanna Corcoran, Amber Crabbe, Christine Federici, John Fitzsimmons, RW Hawkins, Melvin Hoagland, Josie Iselin, George Kaplan, Tim Losch, Vanessa Marsh, Pernilla Persson, Leo Van Munching, Charity Vargas, John Vias, Brett Walker, Shoshana Zambryski-Stachel.”

“Noctilucent: Night Photos by John Vias” Solo Exhibition at Stanford

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Partial installation view of Noctilucent exhibition at Stanford Art SpacesUPDATE: This exhibition has been extended through February 2015, so go check it out.

If you’ve been following my exhibitions over the last decade, you know that I’ve shown in San Francisco and the East Bay many times. Well, I’m branching out! Peninsula residents now have an opportunity to see almost 20 of my prints at Stanford University. This show is curated by arts critic and writer DeWitt Cheng, who has written about visual art for many publications.

Here is what DeWitt, who curates Stanford Art Spaces, has to say about this solo exhibition and about my work:

Stanford Art Spaces is pleased to announce “Noctilucent,” an exhibition of Berkeley photographer John Vias’s elegant color images depicting silent, deserted East Bay locales at night. The show, at Stanford’s Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (IRiSS), 30 Alta Road, Stanford, continues until December 1, 2014.

John Vias walks by night, literally, exploring his Ocean View neighborhood after dark with a digital SLR (in the past a medium-format film camera), a tripod, and no photographic lights. Paradoxically, these images shot in near-darkness often seem radiant—noctilucent (shining or luminous at night).

The satisfying compositions and saturated color from long exposures—matters of informed guesswork and fallback bracketing—in pieces like Large Boat Winch, Wall and Hedge, Fairy Tale Benches, Tracks in Field, Shiny Door, and Bench and Poles are theatrical and romantic despite the apparent human absence. Vias: “Night brings on a curfew, emptying streets and sidewalks. The even sunlight of the day gives way to dramatic pools of light, creating impromptu stages where the actors never arrive… Time is compressed, movement is frozen. What’s left is stillness and quiet…” and an “other-worldly quality. The scenes are familiar, yet strange.”

Vias’s works reveal the mysterious beauty of buildings, park benches, piers, cranes, wires, streetlight poles, and greenery when the eye and brain of the photographer—and the viewer—have become receptive, slowed, if not stilled—and abstract qualities of shape, form and presence replace the functional, utilitarian ways we see (or don’t see, really) by day. Simple shapes predominate in these strongly abstract compositions, with occasional touches of humor. A book of Vias’s photos, Good Night, Ocean View, is available from the artist’s website,, as are archival prints in several sizes.

Stanford Art Spaces is an exhibition program serving the Paul G. Allen Building, housing the Center for Integrated Systems, the program’s longtime sponsor, and the David W. Packard Electrical Engineering Building, with smaller venues located throughout campus. IRiSS is located at 30 Alta Road, off Junipero Serra Boulevard, adjacent to Stanford Golf Course. All venues are open during normal weekday business hours. For further information, or to arrange a tour, please contact curator DeWitt Cheng at 650-725-3622 or dewittc [at]

East Bay Open Studios 2014

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Logo for East Bay Open Studios 2014, sponsored by Pro Arts Gallery in Oakland, CAFor the 11th time, I’ll participate in East Bay Open Studios. This year, I’ll be back at my cozy home studio in West Berkeley! I’ll have some new work and old favorites, plus my book of night photography. Please stop by during the first two weekends of June between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. and say hello. And if my work moves you, inspires you, or delights your senses in any way, please consider taking some home.

East Bay Open Studios is produced by Pro Arts, a 40-year-old 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

Another Show at Collector Art Shop

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I’m flattered and pleased to be included in another Collector group show. Collector is an art shop in Berkeley’s Elmwood neighborhood, on College at Ashby (with a new popup store at the San Francisco airport!). They carry all kinds of gorgeous 2D wall art, prints, cards, jewelry, ceramics, and more. Really nice stuff chosen by really nice people.

Reception: Friday, March 14, 6–8 p.m. Say hello, check out the art, and enjoy the live music and food and drink. Hope to see you there!

The framed work they’ve chosen will be up until March 20. A selection of my matted pieces are available too. It’s a cool store. Go check it out.

Winter Open Studio 2013

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It’s been chilly this fall. But it will be warm and cozy in my studio for this weekend and next, 11 a.m.–6 p.m., as I open my studio to you, the frenzied art-buying public.

Take some of these items home with you to treat yourself or someone you love:

  • Framed prints, plus matted prints you can frame however you like. They come in sizes from 8″×10″ to 32″×40″.
  • My book of night photos, Good Night, Ocean View, in softcover or hardcover

There will be time during the show to order prints for whatever holiday you celebrate. Plus, there are lots of prints on hand to take home with you. I ship too, for those choosing gifts for faraway loved ones.

All the best this holiday season, and may next year be your best year yet. Hope to see you at my studio soon.

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