East Bay Center for Photography

Advisory Board

The Advisory Board keeps us true to our mission. They oversee The Center's activities and programs and hold us to the highest standards for community involvement as well as technical and artistic excellence.

The Center is extremely fortunate to have this team of guiding lights, all with deep ties to the Bay Area's proud photographic roots, and all with global influence in photographic arts, education, and culture.

Judy Dater is a Bay Area photographer and feminist. She is best known for her portraits, nudes, and self-portraits. Judy arrived in the Bay Area in 1962 and quickly became part of the community of West Coast photographers. Imogen Cunningham was particularly influential as her primary work centered on portraiture.

Judy's career has been long and varied, combining teaching, creating books, conducting workshops, making prints, videos, and photographing continually. Her work has been exhibited world-wide. In 2014 she was part of "Face It - The Photographic Portrait" at the Norton Simon Museum. In 2018, San Francisco's De Young museum exhibited "Judy Dater - Only Human", a retrospective "celebrating her achievement as a pioneering figure in 1970s feminist art and her subsequent creative evolution." www.judydater.com

Ann Jastrab is a photographer, educator, independent curator, editor, and writer. She is director of the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel, CA, as well as Editor-in-Chief of All About Photo.

Ann's MFA in photography from Savannah College of Art and Design led her to an extensive career as educator and curator. After ten years on the faculty of Maine Photography Workshops (now Maine Media Workshops), Ann became gallery director at Rayko Photography Center in San Francisco and made it a center of gravity for Bay Area photography. Ann is also juror or curator for many national and international events including the Seoul International Photography Festival, Fotofest, Photolucida/Critical Mass, GuatePhoto, Review Santa Fe, Medium, Palm Springs Photo Festival, Filter, and Lishui International Photography Festival in China.

Merg Ross was born in California in 1941. The son of fine art photographer Donald Ross, Merg grew up in the community of West Coast photographers and as a youngster met many of the prominent practitioners of the day. He credits his family visits to the home of Edward Weston as the inspiration for his life in photography, and at the age of twelve began photographing with a 4x5 camera. At thirteen, Merg was represented in an exhibition of photography at the San Francisco Museum of Art.

His first employment was in the Photography Department at the University of California, Berkeley. This was interrupted by induction into the Army in 1963 where he was initially assigned to the Army Pictorial Center in New York City and later served as battalion photographer in Thailand. Merg returned to work at the University for several years before striking out on his own as a commercial and fine art photographer. Throughout his long career, Merg Ross has shown his photographs in many one-man and group shows and his work resides in several museums including the George Eastman House, Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Modern Art, Center for Creative Photography, Yale University Art Gallery and the Princeton University Art Museum, David H. McAlpin Collection. http://www.mergross.com/

Jan Watten is a photographer, curator, and the founder of Gray Loft Gallery in Oakland, CA. She was born and raised in Oakland and studied at the California College of the Arts. Jan established a studio in Oakland's Jingletown more than 30 years ago and has seen that neighborhood go through decades of changes.

Believing that art is, "a vehicle for communication, community building and inspiration," Jan turned her loft space into Gray Loft Gallery in 2012. Gray Loft was voted Best Art Gallery in 2016 and 2017 in the Oakland Magazine Readers’ Choice Awards. Art critic Kenneth Baker of the San Francisco Chronicle called Gray Loft Gallery “…A space gaining prominence in the Bay Area…”. http://www.grayloftgallery.com/

Lewis Watts is a photographer, archivist/curator and Professor Emeritus of Art at UC Santa Cruz where he taught for 14 years and before that at UC Berkeley. He is the co-author of Harlem of the West: The San Francisco Fillmore Jazz Era” 2006, 2017 and “New Orleans Suite: Music and Culture in Transition” UC Press 2013. He holds his BA in Political Science and his MA in Photography and Design from the University of California, Berkeley.

Lewis's work centers around the cultural landscape, primarily in communities occupied by people of African descent. Lewis's parents’ southern background enlightens much of his research into the great migration from the rural South to the urban North. He began photographing the Fillmore in the early 1990s, and put together the archival photographs for the Fillmore Center’s Fillmore Historical Panel Project. Lewis's work has been exhibited at and/or is in the collections of: The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Citè de La Musique, Paris France, The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, The Oakland Museum of California, The Amistad Center for Art and Culture, Hartford, Conn and the Newburger Museum of Art, Purchase NY among others. https://lewiswatts.sites.ucsc.edu/