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Central California Life Magazine

Fresno-Area Photographer Rediscovers Love For Photography, Finds Local Success

Jan 02, 2017 05:05PM ● By Melanie Heisinger

8AM Amtrak on Foggy Bridge. By Jim Curnyn.

Barn on Hwy 43,

Photography is such an iconic art form. It captures moments in time that we can cherish forever. It can express a point of view without saying anything. 

Here in the Fresno area, we are incredibly lucky to be not only surrounded by talented artists, but also beautiful things to see and explore. Jim Curnyn is a Fresno-based photographer with some truly breathtaking photos. 

Jim is a Fresno, CA based fine art photographer whose work encompasses cityscapes, farm scenes, architecture, railroad environment, Fresno historical landmarks, France, and the Washington DC area. Jim is locally well known for his photography of subjects made in dense fog.  

He is currently documenting the history of the Fulton Mall and photographing the history and activities of a local family farm.


Getting Started

The photographic seed was planted in photographer Jim Curnyn at age twelve. While watching “The Bob Cummings Show” (the TV story of a photographer) in 1957 he was so impressed when during the opening credits to the show a blank sheet of photographic paper was placed into a tray of developer and an image appeared.  He turned to his father and said “I have to do that”. 

The next Christmas he received a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera, contact printer, film tank, and chemicals and was taught to develop film and contact print.


Breaking Fog -
Santa Fe Bridge

Photography interest soon went dormant due to all the activities of life unfolding: education, military duty, career, raising a family. However, deeply buried in him was the seed of photography which sprouted later in life.  

At age 48 he started his formal education of photography at Fresno City College and joined Spectrum Art Gallery.  He involved himself with board of director duties and organized group photographic exhibitions in a traveling show venue.  

He took the art works of Spectrum Art Gallery members out into the public to promote photography as an art form, exhibits included Fresno City Hall, Fresno Art Museum, Merced Multicultural Museum, Tulare Art Museum, Saroyan TheatreBorder's Bookstore, Barns & Noble Bookstore, Bank of America, and an ongoing exhibition space at the Fresno County Fair.

He still practices his craft and is continuing to put out his art. His work was recently selected to be in an art exhibit in February at Spectrum Art Gallery in the Tower District. The "Fog as Subject" photos featured in this article, along with several others, will be on public display.  

For more information about Jim Curnyn and his photography, you can visit his website

Breaking Fog - Armenian Church


Book cover 2017 Business Journal
Book cover “Sounds the Living Make” by D. James Smith
Book cover Fresno City College “City Essayist” 1997
Fresno City College Calendar 1997
San Joaquin River Parkway  land acquisition proposal


Fresno County Fair - numerous awards – 1996 to 2000
Fresno City College Art Space Gallery – 1995 to 1997
Poster artist  for Public Broadcasting Station  TV channel 18 auction 2001

Donations to local entities:

Carden School of Fresno – Central Calif Aids Foundation – Planned Parenthood – San Joaquin River Parkway – Public TV channel 18 auctions – Teen Challenge – Focus Forward Serving Fresno County Youth
Shows solo: Fresno City Hall 2010
Strands Salon of Fresno: Benefit to Red Cross Haitian Earth Quake Relief Fund-2010
University of California Center Fresno 1999
Creative Mode Gallery 1999

Shows group: 

Fresno Art Museum, Spectrum Gallery – Fresno City Hall – Ansel Adams Gallery Yosemite – Merced Multicultural Museum – Fresno Art Museum – Tulare Art Museum – Saroyan Theater – Borders Bookstore – Barnes & Noble Bookstore – Bank of America Tower Branch – Madden Library CSUF – President??™s Gallery CSUF – Circle Gallery Madera – David Ashcraft Gallery 2002 – Quady Winery 2003 – Fresno City Hall Preservation Exhibition 2004 – La Boulangerie French Bakery 2007

Private Installations:

Fidelity National Title Company – Fresno
Fulton Coffee Company – Fresno

Public Installations:

5th District Court of Appeals
Fresno County Mental Health – Heritage Foundation
Fresno Superior Court – BF Sisk Building
Fresno Water Tower 
Sierra Vista Mall