Photos courtesy of Vista Center for the Arts

The Vista Center for the Arts in Surprise will be alive with the dynamic work of renowned Peoria-based artist, John Simon Weecks, this October. The month-long exhibition, free to the public, promises an immersive journey into the world of mixed media, from wood carvings to metal works.
The city’s art lovers are invited to mark their calendars for the free opening reception on Friday, Oct. 6 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. It’s not just an opportunity to behold Weecks’ artistry first-hand, but also a chance to interact with the artist himself. Weecks will be present at The Vista Center, situated at 15660 N. Parkview Place, in Surprise, offering attendees a unique glimpse into his creative process.

Among the captivating pieces on display will be Weecks’ first prize winners from the 2023 Desert Woodcarving Show and the first place winner and Best of Open Class from the 2022 iteration of the same event. Visitors can expect to be enchanted by hyper-realistic and medieval-inspired wood sculptures, alongside the shimmering elegance of art deco-inspired silver and diamond racers.

The Vista Center for the Arts, a treasured nonprofit nurtured by the Dysart School District, has generously opened its doors to house this pop-up gallery. Kara Poling, community liaison at The Vista Center for the Arts, expresses the center’s enthusiasm. “We take great pride in enriching the lives of our community through an array of visual and performing arts. Offering these exhibitions free of charge is our way of giving back.”

Weecks, is celebrated for his multifaceted talents – spanning wood carvings, paintings, jewelry, and even furniture.

Hailing from Austria, his journey has been nothing short of remarkable. His global sojourns and service in the U.S. Naval Antarctic support expedition have undoubtedly influenced his artistic voice. Today, he calls Peoria home, continuously dabbling in a medley of expressive mediums. His portfolio boasts murals, wood carvings, metal sculptures, illustrations, and portraits, each echoing his unique narrative.

This artistic treat is accessible to the public from Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., throughout October. The best part? Fans can take a piece of Weecks’ world home, as all artworks will be available for purchase either in person or via his website,

For more information, visit