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“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.

Interview with Me on Berkeleyside

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I’m excited about an interview with me that was just published by the Berkeleyside news site. Tracey Taylor, cofounder and editor of Berkeleyside, interviewed me and wrote up the piece. (UPDATE: She also came to my studio for East Bay Open Studios. Nice to meet you, Tracey!) Thanks to everyone who left compliments about my work, “liked” the article on Facebook, and tweeted about it.

The article also got picked up by SFGate (home of the San Francisco Chronicle) and The Bay Citizen.

Grant Won. Millions Rejoice.

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I won my first grant! It’s a Quick Grant from the Creative Capacity Fund, a collaboration of the Center for Cultural Innovation and several California arts funders. Thanks, CCF!

I’ll use the grant for art career coaching by Martha Zlatar of ArtMatch. She’s a wonderful Bay Area art success coach. I had the pleasure of meeting with Martha in February, and I look forward to continuing our coaching relationship. If you’re an artist who wants to be more successful, I highly recommend Martha.

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!

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.

“Enchanting Night Photography” Talk in Berkeley

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To help highlight East Bay Open Studios, I’ll give a free talk about night photography at 4 p.m. at Elephant Pharmacy, 1607 Shattuck Ave. (at Cedar St.), Berkeley, California. I’ll tell you how I create my work, who else takes pictures at night and why many of them are in the Bay Area, answer questions, and give tips for how you can create your own enchanting images. So come on by!