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March 12, 2013 > PhotoCentral celebrates 30th anniversary at Spring Show

PhotoCentral celebrates 30th anniversary at Spring Show

By Julie Grabowski

The writer Irving Stone said, "Happy are those who see beauty in the modest spots where others see nothing. Everything is beautiful, the whole secret lies in knowing how to interpret." Hayward's PhotoCentral harbors a number of those who can recognize and capture the diverse and sometimes unexpected beauties of the world, and present a whole new way of seeing via a photographic lens.

The 30th Anniversary PhotoCentral Spring Exhibition is the perfect opportunity to see just what the photographic eyes of the community have been spying, as well as celebrate three decades of creation and collaboration. Opening on Saturday, March 16 and running through May 18, the Spring Exhibition is an annual event, which this year features a wide array of over 200 works from over 75 artists. It is not a juried event; everyone gets to participate and experience how to exhibit and learn how a show is curated. Participants range from first time exhibitors to seasoned veterans. "Everyone helps each other and the quality of the work is very high," says photographer, instructor, and PhotoCentral co-founder Kate Jordahl. Those who would like a sneak peek at the exhibit can visit

Founded in 1983 by Geir and Kate Jordahl, PhotoCentral offers a community for aspiring and working photographic artists with classes and workshops for every level, appropriate to both traditional and digital mediums. From beginning camera use to a 6-month book design class, PhotoCentral is manned by a group of instructors who Jordahl claims "bring an amazing array of skills and knowledge." In addition to the Jordahls, Joe Decker, Rick Knepp, Oliver Klink, Russell Foote, Vaughn Hutchins, Marco Zecchin, and Frederick Watkins offer their time and expertise to students. "They come to PhotoCentral for the community and the sense of giving back and the collaboration that we all have with one another to make exciting events happen," says Jordahl.

PhotoCentral is equipped with high class facilities and tools, including a 10-station darkroom, professional level printer, and matting and framing tools. From college students and hobbyists to professionals, their doors have always been open to the whole artist community to provide the needed information and support for a full range of levels.

"It's pretty amazing," says Jordahl of hitting the 30 year mark. What began with a dark room open one night a week led to a class, then a workshop, then a gallery; a snowball of transformation which has mingled professional and local artists, reflecting "a real range of what we've done over the years that brings important photographers to Hayward and lets locals exhibit beside them." Past artists have included Charlie Cramer, Bill Owens, Margaretta Mitchell, Jona Frank, Kim Komenich, and John Wimberley.

As for future plans, Jordahl says, "Keeping a community alive and growing is an ongoing goal and process." As photography has changed dramatically in recent years and will always continue to change, she says the aim is "to maintain the traditions, to continue to be vital in that range of what photography is in this really exciting time of transition."

"We feel so lucky to have a life in photography and to do what we love and we want to share that with everyone," says Jordahl. "For us, it's really about that spirit that says we can make things that are important for our family and our community and the world."

There will be a public reception on Saturday, March 16 from 2 p.m. - 5 p.m. where the community can enjoy the amazing photography, meet the artists, have a snack, and vote on their favorites for the People's Choice Award. Three curators from Modernbook Gallery in San Francisco will determine ribbons for top entries including Best of Show. Several companies have donated prizes, and awards and ribbons will be presented.

The PhotoCentral Gallery is open Monday from 5 p.m. -10 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. and by appointment. For more information about the exhibit or classes and workshops, please call (510) 881-6721 or visit online at

PhotoCentral Spring Exhibition
Saturday, Mar 16 to Saturday, May 18
Monday: 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Tuesday and Thursday: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Saturday, Mar 16
2 p.m. - 5 p.m.

PhotoCentral Gallery (Lower Level of HARD offices)
1099 E St., Hayward
(510) 881-6721

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