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Photo: John Neel

John Neel

John Neel’s art and photography is often described as inspiring, inventive and experimental.

He is an artist who loves to play with images. It is the playing that leads to discovery, then to experimentation, and ultimately to an entirely new way of seeing. Yet his images go far beyond play and focus on subject matter that is poignant in regard to social, environmental and spiritual issues.

John’s photography captures the significance found within the often ignored, common or trivial things we hardly even notice in our everyday lives. The things that have become invisible to us.

He depicts the world with a new eye, illuminating the details. His photographs give us pause to slow down and contemplate the true significance of the world that surrounds us.

“Everything has to do with light, energy, and our physical being; the complexity and simplicity of the things surrounding us and our place within this force,” John says.

“We are connected to everything in our environment. Everything is relative to us physically, emotionally and spiritually. Yet we rarely even notice the seemingly commonplace surroundings in our daily lives. We take these things for granted.”

“It’s easy to go someplace that is foreign where we see things that are new to us, but if we just pause and look all around us we can find things in our everyday existence that are truly beautiful. We begin to see the familiar, in an entirely new way. We learn a new appreciation for our environment and for our place within it. We become more connected.”

As an artist, John has a keen interest in evolving and emerging technologies. John is rooted in both traditional as well as new technologies and his techniques embrace merging the two together.

Manipulation is more a reflection of his thinking process, not meant to confuse, but to unify a point of view and to bring relationships to seemingly unrelated subjects, provoking further thought.

His photographs show us our world as we’ve never seen it before. His work fascinates, intrigues, and excites us. It stimulates us to appreciate the significance in the details of our world, leads us to self-examination, and how it all relates to us. All while providing beautiful images!

John combines his knowledge of photography, video, computer graphics, new media and 3D animations to create his unique imagery.

His images generally deal with social, environmental and spiritual subject matter and evoke a thoughtful and reflective sense of being immersed in the moment with the photographer.

John has a Masters Degree in Fine Art photography and computer imaging from the State University of New York Visual Studies Workshop where he studied under Nathan Lyons. Mr. Lyons has been credited with “turning the Visual Studies Workshop into one of the most remarkable institutions in the contemporary history of American art and culture, whose graduates, faculty, and friends are, without much exaggeration, the Who's Who of American Photography.”

He has studied with many of the best photographic and computer image makers in the US and Canada, including: Nathan Lyons -SUNY VSW, photography, theory and culture; Joan Lyons - SUNY VSW, graphics and artist books; Doug Rea - RIT, digital photography and computer Imaging; Oscar Bailey - University of South Florida, photography; Stan Vanderbeek - University of South Florida, visiting professor, experimental video; Betty Hahn - University of South Florida, visiting professor, alternative photography; Mark Klett - Arizona State University, SUNY VSW, photography; John Wood - SUNY VSW, visual books; Roger Mertin - University of Rochester, photography (MFA Thesis Advisor); Stan White - Sheridan College, Canada, stereo 3D photography; Heather Wetzel - SUNY VSW, collodion wet plate photography; Aharon Chernov - RIT, 3D animation and modeling; Peer Bode - Alfred State, SUNY VSW, Summer Institute, experimental video; Bill Johnson - SUNY VSW, photo history; and Susie Cohen - SUNY VSW, photo history.

He received his undergraduate degree from the University of South Florida, School of Fine Arts.

John's work has been exhibited and collected by public and private galleries in the US and Canada. Galleries include the George Eastman House and the Art Gallery of Ontario. He is also featured as a Polaroid Gallery Artist.

His photographs and computer art images have been published in magazines in the US, Canada and Europe. He has also taught photography, digital imaging and animation classes at major universities in the US and Canada.



Master of Fine Arts, State University of New York, Brockport, NY, Visual Studies Workshop

Bachelor of Arts, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida



Professor of Computer Imaging, Photography and Animation, Monroe Community College, Rochester, New York, Adjunct 2006 to present

Instructor of Photography, Nazareth College, Rochester, New York, 1998 - 1999

Instructor of Photography and Electronic Imaging, Rochester Institute of Technology, Dept. of Applied Photography, Rochester, New York, Adjunct 1992 - 1995

Instructor of Photography, Visual Studies Workshop, SUNY Brockport, Rochester, New York, Adjunct 1991 - 1992

Instructor of Photography, Sheridan College, Oakville, Ontario, Canada, 1973 - 1989



Finger Lakes Exhibition, Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY 2007

Salon des Refuses, VSW, Photo City Gallery, Rochester, NY 2007

Pinhole Photography Invitational, Community Darkroom, Rochester, NY 2007

VSW Silent Auction, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008

Polaroid Portfolio Gallery - Artist Portfolios, 2005

Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day, electronic gallery, 2003, 2004, 2005

Uforkestra- Summer Solstice Slamm 2003 Photography/Electronic Imaging and Music - VSW, Rochester, NY

Electronic Imaging Show at RIT- July 1993 in conjunction with Montage93

Photo Faculty Show, RIT Bevier Gallery, Rochester Institute of Technology, January 29-March 03, 1993

Graduate Thesis, Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY, March 29-April 03,1993

Bay Area Photographers, Burlington Cultural Centre, Burlington, Ontario, Canada, May 24-July 26, 1992

Landscape on the Edge, Rochester Institute of Technology, SPAS Gallery, May 1992

Faculty Show, RIT SPAS Gallery, January 1992

National Student Media Arts Exhibition, Visual; Studies Workshop, Rochester, New York 1991

Mercer Gallery, Monroe Community College, Rochester, NY, 1991

1990 Finger Lakes Exhibition, Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY, March 31- May 13, 1990

TPW-PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY: Workshop Members Exhibition

The Photographers Union, Hamilton, Ontario, February 1985

Gallery 44, Toronto, Ontario June/July 1984

The Magic Image, Pickering, Ontario October/November 1984


Toronto Photographers Co-op at Factory 77

Deja Vue Gallery, Toronto, Ontario

Toronto Photographers Workshop, Toronto, Ontario

Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana (group show)

Theater Gallery, University of South Florida, Tampa



George Eastman House, Rochester, New York

Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, New York



Lake Affect Magazine 2006

Lightleaks Magazine - 2006

VSW Silent Auction 2003 - 2005

Uforkestra Web Gallery

Work used to promote Montage93, Rochester, NY, 1993

Photo and Electronic Imaging Magazine, July 1992

Bay Area Photographers, Burlington Cultural Centre, Burlington, Ontario, Canada, May 1992

ESPRIT Magazine (electronic imaging) Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY Spring 1992

Consort, Rochester Photography and Film Consortium May/June 1990

Parallelogramme Vol.9, No5, ANNPAC (Canadian) 1994

NOW Magazine, McLean Hunter Publications, Toronto, February 1979

Printletter No. 16, July/August 1978, Zurich, Switzerland

Exposure: Canadian Contemporary Photographers, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, 1975



Society for Photographic Education

George Eastman House

Past member - Toronto Photographers Workshop, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Past member - Hamilton Photographers Union, Hamilton Ontario, Canada

Past member - Gallery 44, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Founding member - NIIPA (Native Indian Inuit Photographic Association ) Canada

Contributor - Photo Communique (Canadian Art Photography) Gail Fisher-Taylor



Ontario Arts Council (for work in 3D Stereo photography)



Holds a number of US and International patents relative to digital imaging