For more than 40 years I have made my living as a printmaker and muralist in the San Francisco Bay Area. My work is narrative based on my political concerns, and my reflections on the natural world and the human condition. A new artwork "Or the Whale" was exhibited for the first time at the Richmond Art Center in early 2019 as part of the exhibition "Here is the Sea". The piece gained significant press attention and the Center saw a large boost attendance and donations during this time.


PUBLIC ART

Large Scale Projects to Community Build
Project 01

700 Square foot ceramic tile mural at the Castro Valley Library

Jos has created over 20 public artworks here in the Bay Area, across the country and abroad. Painting murals at the Oakland Coliseum and tile mural commissions at the Juvenile Justice Center in San Leandro, CA, AMTRAK/BART Station, Richmond, CA, the Sixteenth Street BART station in San Francisco. Two tile murals were completed in 2009, at the Castro Valley Library and Arnett Watson Apartments in San Francisco with Art Hazelwood . In 2010 with Daniel Galvez,completed a huge 7000 sq.ft mural for a new recreation center at Ira Jenkins Park in Oakland. In 2011, again with Galvez, a tile and etched metal artwork was completed for Skyline College in San Bruno, CA. In 2015 and 2016 three screenprinted tile murals were produced with students in workshops in Todos Santos, Baja, Mexico, Shoruq Cultural Center, Dheisheh Refugee Camp, Palestine and at Berkeley High School.

...Or the Whale

Life size Whale scratchboard
Project 02

A detail of the 51' x 14' artwork (119, 2’ x 3’ panels)

For 8 months I joyfully and manically was able to focus on this very large scratchboard drawing. Inspired by Moby Dick and the history of whaling in America. The whale's skin is embedded with a history of capitalism in America,images of human and environmental exploitation and destruction since 1850. The whale is a metaphor for survival, immortality and a reason for optimism

SCREENPRINT

ceramic and paper
Project 03

Detail of relief sculpted, screen printed ceramic tile

In 1989, Jos founded Alliance Graphics, which has grown into a successful, union screenprint shop. Over the years Jos has designed and printed thousands of posters and t-shirts for hundreds of progressive causes, and has produced art editions for many of the most important artists in the Bay Area. In 2010 and 2016 the Library of Congress acquired 490 prints from his archive, which represent a broad over-view of thirty-five years of printmaking. Before Alliance Graphics, he co-founded Mission Grafîca at the Mission Cultural Center in 1980 and worked there until 1988. Jos was drawn to ceramic tile in the search for a more permanent medium for his public murals. It became a place for experimenting–with screen printed glazes–both directly on to tile and with screenprinted ceramic decals.

SCRATCH BOARD

Black to White
Project 04

Tribute to Standing Rock

In the past few years Jos has been attracted to scratch board as a starting point for his visual ideas. The boldness of the black and white medium appeals to Jos’ graphic sensibilities. Drawings are then transformed into either screenprint editions or screenprinted ceramics.

bio

Jos Sances was born John Joseph Sances in Boston, attended Montserrat School of Visual Art in Beverly, Massachusetts. For over the past 40 years he has made his living as a Printmaker and Muralist in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Jos is founder of Alliance Graphics, begun in 1989, a successful, union screenprint shop. Previously he co-founded Mission Grafica at the Mission Cultural Center in 1980 and worked there until 1988. All the while maintaining a steady output of art which address issues and ideas which concern him. In 2010 and 2016 the Library of Congress aquired 490 prints from Sances which represented a broad overveiw of his printmaking.

As an artist and community collaborator for the past 25 years, murals and public art have been Jos's passion. He has painted murals at the Oakland Coliseum and tile mural commissions at the new Juvenile Justice Center in San Leandro, CA; AMTRAK/BART Station, Richmond, CA, the Sixteenth Street BART station in San Francisco. Two tile murals were completed in 2009, at the Castro Valley Library and Arnett Watson Apartments in San Francisco with Art Hazelwood. In 2010 with Daniel Galvez, Jos completed a huge 7000 sq.ft Mural for a new Recreation Center at Ira Jenkins Park in Oakland. In 2011 Sances and Galvez completed a tile and etched metal artwork for Skyline College in San Bruno, CA. In 2015 and 2016 three screenprinted tile murals and workshops were done in Todos Santos, Baja, Mexico. Shoruq Cultural Center in Dheisheh Refugee Camp, Palestine and with students at Berkeley High School in California.

The most recent projects completed grew out of workshops given with invested community participants. This aspect of the projects—working with community to help guide and create the artwork—is of particular interest to Jos. "Building community through artistic practice has been some of the most satisfying work I’ve done. Interacting with people who will use the facilities and helping them to express their values and experience, has enriched the process. The artwork begins by meeting with community stakeholders, asking them to contribute images and ideas for the piece. We then use my skills and knowledge of ceramic and screen printing to make these ideas concrete. I am eager to share what I know with the community through hands-on workshops. Thus the broader community is engaged and connected to the artwork we create together."

Jos is proudly a founding and lifelong member of the Great Tortilla Conspiracy. A political performance group that produces satirical edible art screenprinted with chocolate on tortillas.

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