A graduate of Brooks Institute, J. Fredric May received his Bachelor of Science in Commercial Photographic Science with a Minor in Color Technology and was later accepted into the prestigious Eddie Adams Workshop ll in 1989.

He made his living as a documentarian and commercial photographer traveling all over the world, telling visual stories with a signature style of bold color and confrontational composition. He won numerous state and regional honors.

As a documentarian, May directed more than 50 corporate and industrial films and helped raise more than 7 million dollars for non profit organizations. He has won Telly and Cine Awards for his creative film work and national awards for his corporate and nonprofit clients.

During open heart surgery in 2012, he suffered a major stroke leaving him legally blind and subject to vivid visual hallucinations. This life event changed his artistic vision, opening up an entirely new visual style. The result is his current project, Apparition: Postcards From Eye See You.



Paint Effect

J. Fredric May - United States - Artist / Documentarian


Solo Exhibits

2020 University of Arizona School of Medicine, Phoenix, AZ

2018 Harn Museum of Art - University of Florida, Gainesville FL

2018 California Center for Digital Arts, Santa Ana, CA

2018 Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, OR

2017 Gray Matters - Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA


Two-Person Exhibits

2018 Compromised Perception - University of Southern California, USC | Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA

2018 Month of Photography Los Angeles  - Shared Host Gallery with Artist Gerda Stude, Arena 1 Gallery, CA


Group Exhibits

2021 - Traveling Exhibition, American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis, MN
2021 -  Alternative Facts: Photography by Any Means, PACE Center for the Arts, Parker, Colorado

2021 - 6th Annual National Juried Photography Show, Sheridan, WY

2021 - 26th Arts North International, Hopkins Center for the Arts, Hopkins, MN

2020 - The Next Big Thing 2020,  Studio Channel Islands,  Camarillo,  CA

2020 -  Maria V. Howard Arts Center’s 63rd National Juried Art Show, Rocky Mount, NC

2020 -  PhotoSpiva 2020, Spiva Center for the Arts, Joplin, Missouri
2020 - 33rd Annual McNeese Works on Paper Exhibition, McNeese State University, Lake Charles, LA

2020 - The Art of Hope, Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi

2019 - The Patient-Artist Experience, Misericordia University, Dallas, Pennsylvania

2019 - Photography at the Emerald: 4th Annual Autumn Exhibition, Emerald Art Center, Springfield, Oregon

2019 - 28th Annual ISEA International Art Exhibition, LowellArts, Lowell, Michigan

2019 - National Juried Exhibition at Larkin Arts, Larkin Arts, Harrisonburg, Virginia

2019 - 64 Arts National Juried Exhibition, Buchanan Center for the Arts, Monmouth, Illinois

2019 - Camera USA, National Photography Exhibition, Naples Art Association, Naples, FL

2019 - PHOTOWORK, 32nd Annual National Juried Photography Exhibition, Barrett Art Center, Poughkeepsie, NY

2019- The Contemporary Portrait: A National Juried Exhibition, Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts, Lubbock, TX 

2018 - Brand 46 Annual National Juried Exhibition of Works on Paper, Glendale, CA

2018 - Constellations: A Survey of New Photography, Kaaterskill Fine Arts Gallery, Hunter, NY

2018 - Critical Mass Top 50: A Contemporary Reference of the Human Condition, Edition One Gallery, Santa Fe, N.M.

2018 - Critical Mass Top 50: Cortona on the Move, Evening Projection, Cortona, Italy

2018 - Lucie Foundation’s MOPLA: Construction: A Group Show About Memory & Fabrication, Arena 1 Gallery, CA

2018 - FOCUS photo l.a., Los Angeles, CA

2018 - LensCulture Emerging Talent Group Show, Klompching Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2017 - Third Annual The Creative Portrait, Los Angeles Center of Photography, Los Angeles, CA

2017 - Fresh 2017 Summer Show, Klompching Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2016 - Second Annual Group Show, Davis Orton Gallery, Hudson, NY


Talks | Panels

2020 Healing Apparitions: Effects of Art & Stroke, Phoenix, AZ

2018 Healing Apparitions: A Conversation for Medical Professionals on Effects of Art and Stroke, Gainesville, FL

2018 Creative Apparitions: The Creative Mind Through Stroke, Gainesville, FL

2018 California Center for the Digital Arts, Santa Ana, CA

2018 Blue Sky Gallery, Portland OR

2018 OPEN SHOW LA #45, Los Angeles, CA

2018 Compromised Perception - USC Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA

2017 Seeing & the Visual Voice: Intersections of Neuroscience and Photography, Belmont, MA



Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Ali Khoynezhad, MD, PhD

Shlee Song MD, PhD


Criticism | Reviews | Press

2019 Lenscratch - ART + SCIENCE - Art of Healing: J. Fredric May
2019 British Journal of Psychiatry - January Cover

2018 Catalyst Interviews - J. Fredric May

2018 Gainesville Sun "Hallucinations Influence Artist's Creativity"

2018 AAP Magazine - Faces : J. Fredric May

2018 Kinston Daily Free Press “J. Fredric May Turns Injury Into Opportunity”

2018 Desert Star Weekly “A New Vision Takes Shape”

2018 Art & Cake “Compromised Perception: A New Way of Seeing at Hoyt Gallery”

2018 L.A. Diversions “Seeing Things”

2017 The Boston Globe “Six Photographers Examine Identity...”

2017 Foto Relevance “Image Roots & Visual Stories”



2021 Tokyo International Foto Awards - 2nd Place/Gold - Fine Art Portfolio

2020 ND Awards - Honorable Mention - Fine Art, Conceptual

2020 Prix De La Photographie De Paris - Honorable Mention - Fine Art Photography

2020 The Next Big Thing - Studio Channel Islands - Second Place

2020 PhotoSpiva 2020- Merit Award

2020 Moscow International Foto Awards - Silver Medal - Fine Art Portfolio 

2019 Photography at the Emerald - Honorable Mention
2019 28th Annual ISEA International Art Exhibition - Second Place

2019 Camera USA, National Photography Exhibition, Honorable Mention

2018 International Photography Awards - Fine Art Portrait - Honorable Mention

2018 Brand Library & Art Center - Brand 46 National Juried Exhibition - Jane Friend Award

2018 All-About Photo - Faces - Merit Award

2018 FOCUS photo l.a. Grand Prize Winner

2017 LensCulture Emerging Talent Top 50 and Juror Award by Debra Klompching

2017 Critical Mass - Awarded Top 50 and Solo Show Award Winner


Industrial Film

Penny Jar Pictures LLC - Co-Founder

Getty Contributor - 1999-Present


Photojournalist / Staff

Santa Barbara News Press 1998-2001

Santa Maria Times - 1991-1998

The Telegram Tribune - SLO - 1988-1990

Photojournalist / Freelance

Santa Barbara News Press

The Telegram Tribune

Tucson Citizen

Associated PressUSA Today

The Oregonian

Los Angeles Times

New York Times

Time Magazine

The Ventura Star

National Enquirer

Contra Costa Times

San Francisco Chronicle

San Jose Mercury News


Brooks Institute - Bachelor of Science Degree  / Commercial Photographic Science / Color Technology Minor

Eddie Adams Workshop II 1989 - Gray Team / Editors- Peter Howe, Barbara Baker Burrows and Arthur Grace