Welcome to Bay Area PhotoScene!

This is your source for information on San Francisco Bay Area exhibitions, talks, artist receptions, and workshops for people interested in photography. Our focus is on events that are free or are sponsored by non-profit/educational organizations.

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Meanwhile ... last chance to see these events! They will end within the next 2 weeks:


Event Type: SHOW

2017-12-02   to 2018-03-30  

California Humanities

538 9th Street, 2nd Floor, Oakland, CA 94607-3945

Event is Free

For more information:

phone: (415) 391-1474
email: nbalram@calhum.org
website: calhum.org

In the summer of 1975, a young photography student spent months in the Salinas Valley, watching farmworkers make history. Mimi Plumb shot dozens of rolls of 35 mm film, packed all the negatives up in boxes, and went on to a distinguished career as an artist and educator. But she never forgot that summer. When she retired from teaching, Plumb went back to the boxes of negatives with the hundreds of images she had captured four decades earlier.

This exhibit is available to view by appointment at the California Humanities office in 538 9th Street, 2nd Floor, Oakland, CA. To schedule an appointment please contact Neha Balram at nbalram@calhum.org.


Event Type: SHOW

2018-02-17 to 2018-03-30  

The Image Flow

401 Miller Ave, Mill Valley, CA 94941

Event is Free

Hours: Mon - Fri 10:00 AM-6:00 PM;  

For more information:

phone: (415) 388-3569
email: info@theimageflow.com
website: www.theimageflow.com

In the spring of 2017, I sat in the passenger seat of my father-in-law’s car, camera in hand, watching Willamette Valley riverscapes scroll past my window. As the light was storm-perfect, my impulse was to ask for photography pull-overs. There were so many fine subjects that I mentally had our touring company stopping every mile or so. This seemed an obnoxious request, so I didn’t speak up. Frustrated, I set my Fuji X100-F camera to a 1/1000th of a second shutter speed, thinking that this would eradicate any car movement from the world around me. I didn’t take a single exposure. This was just silly. How was I supposed to compose or know my subjects at 45 miles per hour?



In a moment of grace, I thought, or rather just felt, why not set the shutter slow and work with the movement? That seemed an honest response to a fast landscape. A car-window world of unfolding flower fields, barns, branches, and blurs. This would be my subject, and I took around 200 pictures that afternoon.

For several weeks I didn’t look at the work; I was afraid of failure. When I found my courage, and when I saw that first post-impressionist smear of green, yellow, and orange, I began laughing. This is why I am a photographer: experimentation, beauty, surprise, & joy.

– Jeffrey Martz


Event Type: SHOW

2018-02-03 to 2018-04-01  

Photolab Gallery

2235 Fifth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710

Event is Free

Hours: Mon - Fri 9:00 AM-6:00 PM;  Sat 10:00 AM-4:00 PM;  Sun 11:00 AM-3:00 PM;  

For more information:

phone: (510) 644-1400
website: www.photolaboratory.com/gallery.html

When Jenny Sampson made her first skater tintype in 2010, she was immediately taken by the beauty and bond that resulted from merging the speed of contemporary culture with a 160-year-old photographic process that requires long exposure times and the subject to be perfectly still. As she observed and interacted with skaters, she discovered a depth to this culture that transcends the one-dimensional stereotype of the skater as portrayed in the movies as a rebellious, disaffected youth.


Event Type: SHOW

2018-02-28 to 2018-04-01  

SFMOMA Artist Gallery

2 Marina Boulevard, Building A, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, CA 94123

Event is Free

Hours: Mon - Fri 9:00 AM-5:00 PM;  

For more information:

email: artistgallery@sfmoma.org
website: www.sfmoma.org

Photographer Nina Dietzel captures the abandoned yet still enduring quality of a wild space in transition: the Salton Sea. Dreamland considers how the Salton Sea embodies one such vision of paradise, the ecological legacies of human development on the land, and the future of this temporarily human-dominated landscape.

There is a distinct sense that the manmade relics of the Salton Sea are being gradually swallowed back into the land: nature is taking over where humans left off. The washed-out hues of palm trees, cracks of baked-earth, coiled lengths of hoses, and a few remaining structures and trailers dot an ambiguous landscape that could be other places in the United States. In this way, Dreamland conveys a tension between anonymity and specificity in a particularly evocative example of modern humanity’s failed efforts to alter the natural landscape. In conversation with other bodies of work depicting the Salton Sea, Dreamland can be seen as a post-industrial record of the American West.


Event Type: SHOW

2018-02-19 to 2018-04-07  

Leica Store and Gallery

463 Bush Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

Event is Free

Hours: Mon - Fri 10:00 AM-6:00 PM;  Sat 10:00 AM-4:00 PM;  

For more information:

phone: (415) 801-5066
email: gallery@leicastoresf.com
website: www.leicastoresf.com/gallery

The Gallery at Leica Store San Francisco is excited to present, The Secret Garden of Lily LaPalma, an imaginative dream sequence produced by photographer Maggie Steber. The ongoing series is based on Steber's alter-ego, Lily, and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2017.

Artist Statement:

The Secret Garden of Lily LaPalma is a series of photographs made in the shadows of a dark side of me that I have, as of late, begun to re-explore. Without meaning to make them so, these photographs reveal my fears and private memories, all the things that are wrapped up, not always so neatly, in someone’s life. In the Garden there is danger and beauty in a wild jungle that grows unfettered. The photographs address an exterior world now being re-interpreted in my interior landscape as a documentation of my subconscious and imagination, often posing as something entirely unrelated and recognized only by me. The photographs are done spur of the moment. I go from the gut. I don’t want them to be perfect because reality isn’t perfect, it’s messy, and the imperfection of these spontaneous moments reflects what I’m after.

The Garden is where I am the maiden standing on the hilltop, the wind blowing through my hair as I wait for the ships bearing treasures to roll in on the waves. I am the wild horse running across an open plain that extends without borders. I am the witness to dark and mysterious things. This is where my animalistic wild creative spirit resides. I have let loose a part of me, joyously rebelling against the tyranny of the documentary photography that has described me for decades and against how I am perceived as an artist. I call on all the things I loved growing up alone: Mysteries, grade B horror films, science fiction, the noir and sensuous forbidden ideas. I watched Hitchcock, Tarantino, Godard, Fellini, Bunuel and Antonioni. I read Shakespeare, Eduardo Galeano and Dante’s Inferno, anything that smacked of the surreal, mystery, intrigue, beauty, danger, and outer space. All these ideas have convened and landed me here in the Secret Garden of Lily LaPalma.


Event Type: SHOW

2018-02-13 to 2018-03-31  

Martin Luther King Library, San Jose

150 E. San Ferndando St., San Jose, CA 95112

Event is Free

Hours: Mon - Thu 8:00 AM-8:00 PM;  Fri 8:00 AM-6:00 PM;  Sat 9:00 AM-6:00 PM;  Sun 1:00 PM-5:00 PM;  

For more information:

phone: (408) 808-2000
email: Candice.mcgee@sjcu.edu
website: www.sjpl.org/king

A century after photographer James Van Der Zee began capturing images of the Harlem Renaissance, a group of San Jose State University student journalists — along with high school students from New York — set out last fall to take a fresh look at the historic neighborhood.

Some of the results of their digital storytelling project, which included video interviews with Harlem shopkeepers, is on display as “Harlem Reimagined,” a new exhibition at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Main Library in downtown San Jose through March 31.

“I wanted them to walk the same avenues that he did,” said San Jose State professor D. Michael Cheers, who organized the trip with Steve Zbadia, principal of Satellite Academy, an alternative high school in Manhattan.

The SJSU photojournalists — Payje Redmond, Savannah Harding, Lovetta Jackson and Franchesca Natividad — were joined by alum Jennifer Gonzalez, Larry Jackson of San Jose’s Boyton High School and students from Satellite and James Baldwin High in New York. Their photos depict the changing face of Harlem, where African-American culture holds on in the face of growing gentrification.

A dozen students from Satellite, joined by Zbadia and other adult chaperons, traveled to San Jose from New York for an opening reception at the library Thursday night. The students were awestruck to see their photos collected together with historical items in the second-floor of the Jennifer and Philip DiNapoli Gallery.

“It’s come full circle from last October to see them installed here,” said Jelani Dixon, one of the New York students. The photos are shown without credits, but Dixon said, “That makes it better because it shows that it was a collective effort.”


Event Type: OPENING

2018-03-24   6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Fremont Main Library

2400 Stevenson Blvd, Fremont, CA 94538

Event is Free

For more information:

phone: (510) 745-1400
website: www.aclibrary.org/fremont

The 24th Annual Juried Photography Exhibit reception will be held on Saturday, March 24, from 6:30-8:30 pm, at the Fremont Main Library, 2nd floor, 2400 Stevenson. This event is free to the general public, and attendees can vote for their favorite photo for the ‘People’s Choice’ award. Light refreshments will be served. Photos will be on display at the library through Saturday, April 21.

This annual juried show is open to all photographers who are Fremont residents, students, employees, members of the FCAC or of the Fremont Photographic Society. Images submitted may be manipulated but all image contents must be the creation of the photographer and the image must be primarily photographic in nature, and acceptable for general viewing.


Event Type: SHOW

2018-03-07 to 2018-04-06  

Riverfront Art Gallery

132 Petaluma Boulevard North, Petaluma, CA 94952

Event is Free

Hours: Wed - Thu 11:00 AM-6:00 PM;  Fri - Sat 11:00 AM-8:00 PM;  Sun 11:00 AM-6:00 PM;  

For more information:

phone: (707) 775-4278
email: info@riverfrontartgallery.com
website: riverfrontartgallery.com

Riverfront Art Gallery is delighted to present our annual juried fine art photography show. The 2018 juried show highlights 47 images by 25 local photographic artists. The scope of the show is broad, representing a number of techniques: regular photography, of course, black & white, infrared, close-up, motion, photomontage, digitally-altered, and works made strikingly abstract by the choices the photographer has made in composition or camera settings.


Event Type: LECTURE

2018-04-06   7:30 PM - 9:00 PM


800 Chestnut Street, San Francisco Art Institute Osher Lectur, San Francisco, CA 94129

General Admission   $15.00, Students   $.00

For more information:

phone: (415) 425-5608
website: www.photoalliance.org

Carlos Javier is a director, cinematographer and documentary photographer who focuses on urban life, gun violence, racism, poverty and marginalized communities. In 2016, Carlos received a Guggenheim Fellowship for film/video. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in a variety of venues including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts; the International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, NY; the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago; the Detroit Institute of Arts; and the Library of Congress.

In addition, his photos were used to illustrate Ta-Nehisi Coates’ The Case for Reparations (2014) article, which was the best selling issue in the history of the Atlantic Magazine. His photos have also been published in The New Yorker, Mother Jones, among many others. He is represented by the Karen Jenkins-Johnson Gallery in San Francisco.

Preston Gannaway (b. 1977) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning documentary photographer and artist. For 15 years, she has focused on intimate stories about American families and marginalized communities while addressing themes such as gender identity, class and our relationship to the natural world.

Gannaway is best known for her long-term projects like Remember Me, which chronicled a family coping with a parent’s terminal illness and was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography.

Her work has also been honored by Pictures of the Year International, NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism, Critical Mass, American Photography and Communication Arts. She’s been supported by grants from the Chris Hondros Fund Award, The Documentary Project Fund, NPPA and the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.

Click here of tickets


Event Type: OPENING

2018-04-07   6:00 PM - 8:00 PM


1275 Minnesota Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

Event is Free

For more information:

phone: (415) 732-0300
website: www.themesandprojects.com

I was initially drawn to dioramas found in Natural History museums, because of the dramatic tension between illusion and representation, the fake and the real, truth and fiction. The animals are lifelike, realistic, set in meticulously constructed idyllic environments, realities frozen in time, and most likely, already altered by now. It was later on, while reading their individual stories, that I understood that there was a sub text, what one sees when reading between the lines.

All of these animals, independently of their conservation status, are subject to the same imminent dangers; loss of habitat, repercussions of climate change, deforestation, poaching, all man created, all leading towards what is now being named, "The Sixth Extinction." The facts are overwhelming and frightening, demonstrating our most current contemporary problems of sustainability, loss of biodiversity, along with our collective responsibility as humans who are called to make difficult decisions on this precarious balance.

By presenting these monochromatic photographs of animals with hand painted and drawn interventions, I invite the viewer to stop, experience a moment of uncertainty, perceiving it as a photograph, or a painting, questioning perception and consciousness, and in doing this, re-considering the relationship of illusion to reality. I also invite the viewer to contemplate the silent stories of these animals and consider why they matter to us.


Event Type: LECTURE

2018-04-06   12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

2155 Center Street, Berkeley, CA 94704

General Admission   $13.00, Non-UC Berkeley Students, diab   $11.00, BAMPFA, UC Berkeley Students,   $.00

For more information:

phone: (510) 642-0808
email: bampfa@berkeley.edu
website: www.bampfa.berkeley.edu

Artist Al Wong joins us for a discussion of his current exhibition Lost Sister, a meditation on the sister he never met, in the context of his other photo installations from 2017. He says of his recent work, “I’m using the photographic image of the mirror so that the viewer will see not only the content but also themselves as part of it.”


Event Type: LECTURE

2018-04-04   11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

California College of the Arts

5212 Broadway, Ralls 202, Oakland, CA 94618-1426

Event is Free

For more information:

phone: (415) 703-9500 x3600
email: njanikian@cca.edu
website: www.cca.edu

Lindsey White (born 1980 Tulsa, Oklahoma) is a visual artist working across many disciplines including photography, video, sculpture, and book making. Her work has been described as "reveling in lighthearted gags and simple gestures to create an experience that is all the more satisfying for the puzzles it contains."

"Through video, photography, and sculpture, White models a type of site gag index, working with the language of magic and comedy to challenge ordinary perceptions by presenting the unexpected and impossible. Like a good joke, her work pits cartoonish occurrence against the mundane physicality of everyday life." White's work is fictionalizing an awkward stage moment, forming a joke in its own right.


Event Type: SHOW

2018-03-03   12:00 PM to 2018-04-07   5:00 PM

California College of the Arts

5212 Broadway, College Avenue Galleries, Oakland, CA 94618-1426

Event is Free

For more information:

phone: (510) 594-3600
email: njanikian@cca.edu
website: www.cca.edu

Dear Park Goers is a photographic exploration through the history and the present day of America’s National Parks. The work specifically looks at one of California’s most iconic wonders, Yosemite National Park. Overwhelmed by the beauty of its nature, it is difficult to separate what we see from what we have been taught. The National Parks are not neutral, they are filled with the needs of the people that visit them. So by exploring my own questions and concerns for these geological phenomenons, this solo exhibition will be a space for people to reflect, communicate, question and enjoy.

After Dark: Fanny Garcia

Eldritch Hill: Kaeley Hammond

Fractal Illusions: Andrea Uribe Positive and negative ions pair up, the sun and the moon make up a day, simplicity and complexity need each other. This solo exhibition welcomes you into the light of nature and math giving you an opportunity to explore, to innovate, and to understand the world around us, all the hidden messages below the surface. By seeing and experiencing, you will submerge into the perfection of geometry, abstraction of patterns and illusion of simplicity.

Tragic Kingdom: Samantha Allard Tragic Kingdom explores the construction of the family archive and the romanticism of the past. This body of work challenges the photographic surface of the family narrative, making visible issues of fear and trauma that are made invisible by the moments we decide to capture and the moments we don't.


Event Type: OPENING

2018-03-25   1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

San Francisco Public Library

100 Larkin St., Koret Auditorium, San Francisco, CA 94102

Event is Free

For more information:

phone: (415) 557-4400
email: info@sfpl.org
website: https://sfpl.org

This exhibition celebrates our cultural heritage by presenting photographic portraits of local and national poets over the past 40 years. Alongside each portrait is a handwritten poem by each poet. Portraits include Allen Ginsberg, Robert Creeley, Louise Erdrich, U.S. Poet Laureates W.S. Merwin, Robert Haas, and Kay Ryan. San Francisco Poet Laureates Jack Hirschman, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Kim Shuck are also featured. People will be introduced to new poets and have a better understanding of familiar writers.

Opening Event: Meet Christopher Felver and San Francisco Poet Laureate Kim Shuck. March 25, 1:00 pm, Main Library, Koret Auditorium.


Event Type: LECTURE

2018-03-27   6:30 PM - 9:00 PM

Congregation Emanu-El

2 Lake Street, at the corner of Lake and Arguello, San Francisco, CA 94118

Event is Free

For more information:

phone: (415) 751-2535
email: bgordon@emanuelsf.org
website: www.emanuelsf.org

Get a powerful account of the Syrian refugee crisis from Spanish photojournalist Rober Astorgano.

The Syrian refugee crisis has faded into the last pages of newspapers and is nothing more than a clip or two from most news desks. No matter where we turn, there seems to be a larger issue to read about, a bigger problem taking the front page of newspapers. Sadly, for hundreds of thousands of stranded refugees in Greece, Turkey and other parts of the world, if we don't do all we can to give them a voice, they will continue to fade away.

Spanish photojournalist Rober Astorgano has been documenting the Syrian refugee crisis since 2015. His images speak of the pain, devastation, anguish, and despair this community has experienced. Come join us for an exhibit of his photos, a discussion of the refugee crisis and his experiences from the front lines and how you can engage to help them.

This event is free but please register:https://emanuelsf.magentrix.com/aspx/eventRegister?id=7010a000001rdTwAAI


Event Type: OPENING

2018-04-07   7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

The Image Flow

401 Miller Ave, Mill Valley, CA 94941

Event is Free

For more information:

phone: (415) 388-3569
email: info@theimageflow.com
website: www.theimageflow.com

Come celebrate Kerik’s fantastic collection of hand-made prints at our opening reception on Saturday, April 7, from 7–9PM. RSVP catering will be serving light appetizers and wine.

From the Ends of the Earth is a solo exhibition featuring the work of California photographer Kerik Kouklis. From the Ends of the Earth includes 46 hand-made photographic prints from Kerik’s recent travels to Iceland, Scotland, the Galapagos, Mongolia, and California, his home.

Kerik’s artistic process often combines early photographic printing techniques with modern technology, and he has been using the platinum/palladium process in his work since 1990. Platinum/Palladium printing is a historical photographic process developed in the late 1800’s which yields warm-toned monochromatic black and white prints with relatively soft contrast. Over the past year, Kerik has brought color into his hand-made prints by using an inkjet printer to colorize his platinum/palladium prints. The resulting print creates an image reminiscent of hand-colored black and white photographs from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.