Dark + Light The Rock & Roll Photography of Jay Blakesberg

Opening Reception - April 3, 2018 5:30pm-8:30pm at the Mill Valley Community Center

Dark Light – The Rock and Roll Photography of Jay Blakesberg

Jay Blakesberg Photography Exhibit at the Mill Valley Community Center opening reception for Dark Light – The Rock and Roll Photography of Jay Blakesberg at the Mill Valley Recreation Center, 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley, CA will take place on April 3, 2018 from 5:30Pm to 8:30PM. The Dark Light exhibit will run through April 29, 2018.

The show features 30 images curated by the Harvey Milk Center’s Executive Director Dave Christensen. These iconic photos have been culled from Blakesberg’s 39-year photography career and focus on all aspects of his rock-and-roll adventure.

From moments backstage and onstage at festivals and concerts, to portrait assignments for magazine features, record companies and the artists themselves, this exhibition explores the arc of Blakesberg’s career which he unwittingly began in 1978 at age 16. Back then Blakesberg’s father had loaned him a Pentax camera to take pictures at a Grateful Dead concert in their home state of New Jersey. Blakesberg’s first paid photography assignment came in September 1979 when the Aquarian Weekly paid him $15 to run two photographs in the free periodical. In November 1987, Blakesberg landed his first assignment with Rolling Stone Magazine, photographing a free U2 concert in downtown San Francisco.

The Mill Valley Community Center exhibition will feature images taken back in the late 1970’s up to current times. Iconic portraits of Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell, Jerry Garcia, Carlos Santana and many others titans of rock and roll, who were shot on assignment for rock magazines such as Rolling Stone, Guitar Player, and Bay Area Music Magazine (BAM) as well as performance photographs from the likes of the Grateful Dead, Mavis Staples, Radiohead, Bonnie Raitt and Emmylou Harris.

Jay Blakesberg is a San Francisco-based photographer and filmmaker who regularly contributes to Rolling Stone, Guitar World, Relix, and many other magazines. He has photographed countless musical artists, including the Grateful Dead, Dave Matthews, Phish, moe., Nirvana, the Rolling Stones, Tom Waits, Neil Young and Carlos Santana, to name just a few. Blakesberg’s photography has been included in over 200 CD packages and in magazines worldwide, and he has published thirteen books featuring his music photography. Jay fondly describes his work as visual anthropology and he continues to beautifully capture the pop culture icons and individuals who grace the stages and performance halls of America. These artists, who bare their souls through song, are sensuously captured by Blakesberg’s artful lens. He is also always scanning the live music scene, looking for the unique and interesting photograph that will tell the story he needs to convey the assignment.

“I have felt for a long time that what I was doing is visual anthropology,” he says. “I truly believe that the modern day rock- and-roll population, both the artists and fans, are a unique tribe whose tale should be documented and told.” Everything is printed as a dye-sublimation Chromaluxe Metal print, which creates a new vibrant viewing experience.

To learn more about Jay Blakesberg please visit: or Jay's Wikipedia page

For more information about exhibition hours please contact Mill Valley Arts Commission, 415-383-1370 or