John Douglas Mercer Biography

John Douglas Mercer




Photographer John Douglas Mercer was born on July 31, 1945. His formal training in photography began at the Naval Photography school in 1964, and he worked as a photographer aboard the USS Forrestal until 1966. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree at Northwest Missouri State University in 1970, and his Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts in 1972 and '73, respectively.

Following academic training and a stint as the staff photographer for the Arizona State Department of Engineering, he moved to northern California in 1973, where began to teach at Napa Junior College. It was at this time that he began exhibiting, both in solo and group shows. Among the first exhibitions of his career were shows at the Arizona State Temple University (1973), Phoenix Art Museum (1973), University of New York - New Paltz, NY (1973), Lucas Gallery in San Francisco (1974), Santa Rosa Junior College (1974), and the Annex Gallery (now the Annex Galleries) in Santa Rosa in 1975. In 1974 Mercer also founded the Creative Eye Gallery and Press in Sonoma, which ran until 1977. A burgeoning art scene in the two counties (Napa and Sonoma) led to his participation as one of the first exhibitors at the Arts Guild of Sonoma in its inaugural year, 1977.

Throughout the 1970s, '80s, and into the mid '90s Mercer led photography workshops in the U.S. and Mexico. He taught at Modesto Junior College (CA) from 1980 to 1982, and at Phoenix College (AZ) from 1982 to 2003.

Mercer's works are in the collections of the Center of Creative Photography (Tucson, AZ); Eerie Art Center (PA); Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA); Museum of Art and History, (Fribourg, Switzerland); Oakland Museum of Art (CA); Phoenix College (AZ); San Francisco City Collection (CA); Snell & Wilmer Law Firm (Phoenix, AZ); and the University of Calgary (Alberta, CAN).