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Commission for Arts and Culture

Exposure: A New Municipal Photo Fellowship

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John Raymond Mireles

John Raymond Mireles

Exposure Photo Fellow 2023-2024

John Raymond Mireles is a San Diego-based artist working principally with photography. In 1992, he began working as a freelance commercial photographer in San Diego. He has since transitioned from working with commercial clients to an artistic practice that frequently focuses on engaging with and documenting local communities. In 2015, Mireles installed a large, outdoor public exhibition of his Neighbors project, comprised of vinyl-printed portraits of community members from in and around the neighborhoods of south and southeast San Diego. He has since expanded the Neighbors project to all 50 states, including public installations in New York City, Oklahoma City, and Anchorage, Alaska. Mireles has exhibited extensively throughout the United States, including his recent solo exhibition, Disestablishment, at the San Diego Museum of Art.

For the Exposure fellowship 2023-2024, Mireles will be the photo fellow for the City’s Welcoming San Diego initiative. The project and body of artwork will support implementing the City’s Welcoming San Diego initiative, designed to advance immigrants' civic, social, and economic integration in North America's most vibrant cross-border mega-region.


Exposure is San Diego’s first-ever municipal photo fellowship program designed to provide a platform for artists to explore the civic and social issues facing San Diego through photography. Arts and Culture pairs a photo fellow with a City department or program to bring creative engagement, participatory strategies, and artistic lens-based approaches to support City priorities. During the term, the appointed photo fellow participates in research and engages with relevant stakeholders and advisors to develop a temporary project in collaboration with City staff.  The fellowship culminates with a representative body of photographic artwork for the City’s Civic Art Collection. 

As it advances the cross-sector role of the arts, specifically photographic arts, and cross-departmental collaboration, the program supports the goals of fostering inclusive dialogue and connection with communities and deepening and expanding meaningful access to arts and culture.