Skip to main content
Monthly Archives

July 2014

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

By Exhibition No Comments

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

By Exhibition One Comment

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]