Winter Open Studio 2010

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I hope, like me, you’re enjoying fall and the holiday season. This weekend and next, 11 a.m.–6 p.m., I’ll open my studio to the frenzied art-buying public.

And to make my work even more affordable for those on tight budgets, I’ve made a few changes:

  • 8″×10″ prints are available again.
  • Unmounted prints. You can mat and frame them however you like. They’re much cheaper to ship too. You know I offer international shipping, right?
  • New, lower pricing.

There will still be time to order most prints for Christmas or winter solstice. And there are lots of prints to choose from to take home with you. Did I mention that my Night Photos screensaver is only $20 and makes a unique stocking stuffer? It’s so true.

Also, I’m excited to have finished my book of photos, Good Night, Ocean View. I expect to have copies of it by the second weekend. You can preview and buy it online or at my show.

Whew! I better get busy. Hope to see you soon.

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.

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.

East Bay Open Studios 2010

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For the seventh time, I’m happy to be participating in Pro Arts’ East Bay Open Studios. I’ll have some new prints and old favorites. Remaining 8″×10″ prints are only $75, and my popular Night Photos screensaver is $20.

The show takes place over the first two weekends in June and involves over 450 artists throughout the East Bay, mostly in Oakland and Berkeley. You can see an online preview of the work being exhibited on the Pro Arts Gallery website or in-person previews in Oakland, Berkeley, or Richmond.

Some very local artists and I have collaborated to form the North Berkeley Artists Walking Tour, a self-directed tour of studios in the northwest section of town. I’ll have maps of the tour and postcards from other artists on the walk.

While you’re here, pick up a free copy of the Directory of East Bay Arts, the color catalog with maps to the studios, an arts calendar, and other things East Bay art lovers need to know.

So please stop by my studio between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., say hello, check out my work, and tell me what you think. If it moves you, please take some home so you can be inspired every day.

Bloggers Are Writing about My Work

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Carolyn Edlund, who aims to get exposure for emerging artists through her blog, Artsy Shark, posted an interview with me. In it, I tell the story of how I got started, what’s unique about night photography, how I spend those long minutes in the cold while I’m waiting for the film to be exposed, a thought experiment, my advice for budding artists, and more.

Jan Weiss, a Bay Area artist behind Tuesday Moon Studio (and now The Art Planet), wrote a blog post about my work. She likes pictures of chairs too. Thanks, Carolyn and Jan!

University of San Francisco School of Law Rotunda Gallery Exhibition

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USF Rotunda Gallery exhibit of night photography by John ViasI’m pleased to have seven of my night photos on display through May 24 in USF’s School of Law Rotunda Gallery, 2130 Fulton St. (at Parker St.), third floor, in San Francisco. The show was curated by independent art consultant Saiko Matsumaru. Here’s an excerpt from her write-up about my work:

Most of the work here is captured using the strong, direct light of streetlamps, creating images that are precise and architectural. This is not to say that these photos aren’t beautiful—they are, with their saturated colors, careful composition, and sharp detail—it’s just that we see a world that is very ordinary and very alien at the same time. A constructed world, built by people but from which the people—and seemingly only the people—have been extracted. . . .

The dreamlike images of Triplet Tanks and Blue Wall, captured with exacting precision by Vias, are bathed in a clear, cool light, imparting a feeling of otherworldliness; we almost get the sense that these scenes could be somewhere on a moon of Jupiter. Yet this photography is very much about this world. About the world that surrounds us—quietly, stilly, beautifully—waiting for those with both the patience to slow down and look for it and the skill and artistry to capture it.

The gallery is open to the public Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Winter Open Studio 2009

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Like last year, I’m mostly doing my own thing. I’ll be opening my studio to you this weekend and next, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. I’ll have $20 screen savers, which make great stocking stuffers, and a variety of prints to choose from. As you know, although there are hopeful signs of recovery on the way, the economy remains sluggish. These are times when we especially need beauty and inspiration in our lives, and art can provide them like no mass-produced item can (not even an iPhone). So to make it easier for you to bring my art home with you, and because they’ve been such a success, I’m extending my discounts for this show:

  1. 20% off all prints larger than 8″×10″. If you’ve been waiting to buy a print, now’s the time.
  2. In-stock 8″×10″ prints are on close-out for only $75, down from $125, or 40% off.

You’ll receive an even larger discount if you make a multi-print purchase. So come by my studio, say hello, and bring some inspiration into your life. Or you can call or use my website to place your order and receive the discounts.

Also, I’ve helped organize a walking tour of artists within a few blocks of my studio. You can pick up a free map and listing to our studios and go on a little tour, enjoying the fall foliage and picking up some holiday gifts. Bring some friends along for even more fun!

I hope to see you and your friends at the show, so please tell everyone you think may be interested. Thank you for your interest and support, and happy holidays!

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!

Night Photography at SF Open Studios at Fort Mason

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For the fifth year running, I’ll be participating in Studio Nocturne, an exhibition by 10 night photographers that’s part of San Francisco Open Studios. I’ll be showing some new work as well as old favorites.

This year, for the first time, we’ll be on the ground floor of Building D, where we’ll have a lot more room. Also, Charity Vargas will be joining us for the first time. Among other work, she photographs the UC Berkeley campus at night. Hours are 11 a.m.–6 p.m. There will be lots of other artists exhibiting at Fort Mason Center, and it’s always a fun show with lots to see, so come on out this weekend!

You can learn more about the artists, get links to their websites, see example images, and get more details of the event at the Studio Nocturne 2009 website.