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Jan 27
First Survey of John Upton’s Photographs, An Influential Educator in Photographic Education at The Doyle Starting Jan. 29

​John Upton's first survey of his fine art photography will examine his decades-long commitment to exploring urban and natural landscapes in transition, at Orange Coast College's Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion from Jan. 29 until Apr. 4, 2020. 

The exhibition, titled "Right Place, Right Time: A Survey of John Upton's Photographs," is curated by The Doyle's director Tyler Stallings, and presents selections from four main bodies of work: Early Work, "Japanalia," "Jungle Road," and recent work, "Petaluma." 

On Thursday, Feb. 6, there will be an artist talk at The Doyle from 12:30–1 p.m., following a preview reception that evening from 5–7 p.m. On Saturday, Feb. 8, there will be a curatorial walk-through of the Project Gallery exhibition ("Immersion: Visions of the Singularity through VR/AR"), from 1–1:30 p.m., followed by an artist-led tour by John Upton of his exhibition in the Main Gallery and a book signing until 2:30 p.m., after which the opening reception will continue from 2:30–4 p.m. Admission to all events is free. 

"The breadth of the exhibition examines John Upton's early days at the California School of Fine Arts in the 1950s, his special mentorship from, and friendship with, noted photographer Minor White, and Upton's impact in photographic education in Southern California while teaching at Orange Coast College for more than thirty years and nationally, as co-author of the seminal textbook, 'Photography,'" says Stallings. 

Upton studied with Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Minor White, Dorothea Lange, and Edward Weston at the California School of Fine Arts in the early 1950s. In 1955 he was the

first resident student of Minor White in Rochester, N.Y. and took courses in the history of photography from famed photo art historian, Beaumont Newhall. In the late 1960s he became Chair of the Photography department at OCC, retiring in 1999. In 1976, he coauthored, with Barbara London, the seminal college textbook Photography now in its 12th edition with more than 1.5 million copies in print. In essence, John Upton has been in the right place at the right time in the history of twentieth century photography. 

John Upton (b. 1932) earned a bachelor's degree in Art History and Education, with graduate work in contemporary and Asian art history, from California State University Long Beach. He has curated numerous exhibitions including Color as Form: A History of Color Photography in 1982 at the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House. In 1988 he received UC Riverside's California Museum of Photography Members Award for contributions to the history of photography and education. He will be recognized as the Honored Educator of the year at the 2020 Society for Photographic Education (SPE) conference held this March in Houston, Texas. Upton currently lives and works in Petaluma, Calif. 

"Right Place, Right Time: A Survey of John Upton's Photographs" is accompanied by the first book that examines Upton's photographs with several essays and full illustration. A limited edition print of a work from the show is available for a tax-deductible donation in support of the exhibition. 

Concurrent exhibitions in Spring 2020 include:


  • "Right Place, Right Time: A Survey of John Upton's Photographs," Jan. 29–Apr. 4,

Main Gallery

  • "Immersion: Visions of the Singularity through VR/AR," Jan. 29–Apr. 4, Project Gallery


Gallery hours are Monday thru Thursday, 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., and First Saturdays, Noon until 4 p.m (Feb. 1, Mar. 7, Apr. 4). The gallery is closed on Fridays and school holidays in Spring 2020 (Feb. 14, 17, Mar. 23-29). The Doyle is located next to OCC's Parking Lot D, off Merrimac Way, building 180, between Starbucks and the Art Center classrooms. For additional information, call (714) 432-5738, or visit The Doyle website