John Guider

John Guider Headshot

Red Box

John Guider is an award winning photographer and author living in Nashville, TN. Enthralled with joy of discovery, John constantly experiments and uses new methods to create a vision or enhance an image through manipulation of printing techniques, as well as applying his painting abilities to his photographs.  His exhibits have included black and white platinum prints, as well as large hand-colored Polaroid transfers using special processes unique to him. 

Guider’s underlying passion is his art, and his need to express himself artistically results in photographs that offer value for the sake of humanity.  He photographs people and places offering the context of how people live and what is important to them.

His largest project to date, The River Inside, chronicles his 6-month in total journey, solo in a canoe, down the entirety of the mighty Mississippi. Starting in 2003, with a 1200-mile paddle that began at his Williamson County farm creek and ended on the riverbanks of New Orleans, he returned to the river in subsequent years to complete the Mississippi’s entirety. His efforts resulted in a book and a museum exhibition Co-sponsored by the Tennessee State Museum and the Mississippi River Museum in Dubuque, Iowa, and funded primarily by Ingram Marine. The show, which includes 75 large platinum prints, has been touring museums since its opening in October, 2008 and has proven to be a popular venue as it travels. 

His images have been recognized in such major media publications as Print, Communication Arts and Graphis. He is the recipient of many awards including a national Addy Award, the Cancer Society’s Excalibur Award, and the Nashville Advertising Federation’s highest award, the Silver Medalist in the year 2000. In 2011, John’s high school, Moravian Academy, made him their Carlock Artist-in-Residence honoree. 

His work and his adventures have also been the feature of numerous magazine, television, and newspaper articles and broadcasts. In 2009, Guider was a guest author on renowned journalist John Seigenthaler’s television show, “A Word on Words”. John has been a guest speaker at events such as The Southern Festival of Books, PhotoArts Santa Fe, and the National Waterways Commission convention as well as the featured speaker for Nashville’s Earth Day in 2010 and at Vanderbilt University Divinity School’s program on Religion in Arts and Contemporary Culture. The National Center for Creative Aging and life'sDHA™ awarded John as a finalist in their Beautiful Minds in America contest for 2011.

John’s present journey, Sailing Along the Edge of America, is an account of his expedition sailing and rowing a 14 ½ foot motorless boat that he made by hand down America’s waterways and along it’s coast. So far he has completed over 4000 miles of his estimated 6500- mile trek traveling from Nashville, TN to the famed seaport of Annapolis, MD solely by water. His intent is to chronicle this marginal landscape where the lands meet the sea in hopes of adding to the national dialog about how important this delicate eco-system is to the well being of our nation.  John will continue his journey in the spring of 2013 intent on making another 1000-mile leg.

Born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in 1949, Guider graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in mechanical engineering. He later studied photography with Ernst Hass and Jay Maisel.  He currently resides in Tennessee with his wife, Mona at his 1850s federal house in the historic Edgefield community in Nashville. 

Images of John’s work are available on his website: