McElveen Clan: Photographs & Images by Fred McElveen, Sandy McElveen, and Clay McElveen
July 24 – September 3, 2016
City Art Gallery opens a photography exhibit by Dr. Fred McElveen, Sandy McElveen and Clay McElveen on Sunday July 24 from 4pm – 6pm. Dr. McElveen is a retired Columbia-based physician with a specialty in dermatology, but he is also an award-winning photographer. Though largely self-taught, the artist has studied with Ansel Adams, Cole Weston, Phil Davis, and Alan Ross, among others. Working in black and white, color, and computer-assisted manipulation, McElveen builds upon established practices of American documentary photography and European fine art photography while inventing his own artistic voice.
Sandy McElveen is a South Carolina native, who now lives in Landrum, South Carolina. He likes to say that he “grew up in a darkroom”. He spent many hours learning the fundamentals of photography under the close tutelage of his father, Fred McElveen. He remembers assisting him with film and print developing long before he could see over the stop bath tray, or reach the enlarger adjustments. Sandy went on to take many other courses in black and white and color photography in subsequent years, while honing his own unique perspective on his surroundings and subjects. He is a traveler that always has his photo equipment at the ready to capture images that include landscapes, street scenes, candid portraits, and detailed studies. Sandy believes that each photograph has an exclusive story to tell, and hopes that they can invoke a sense of mystery, a hint of adventure, or simply become a special destination within a frame that can be visited over and over. Sandy would like to give credit to his father for lighting the photographic fire long ago, and for teaching him to see another exciting world through the lens.
Clay McElveen is a native of Columbia, SC who got his first inspirations for photography from his father Fred McElveen through helping him out in the dark room as a child. With his vivid imagination and desire for it to come to life, Clay began working with film photography and capturing the character and personalities of toy miniatures in still life scenes. As the beginnings of the digital age came about, he started exploring the powerful tools of Photoshop to literally bring his imagination to the paper. Important influences on his work are the surrealistic paintings of Salvador Dali, and the children’s books of Richard Scarry.
The City Art exhibit includes several of Fred McElveen’s images of Columbia such as the Gervais Street Bridge, but his artistic vision transforms these familiar sights into classic and romantic icons of place. The exhibit will include streetscapes, landscapes, close-ups, and images the photographer captured on his travels. The City Art exhibit will also feature several images by the photographer’s sons, Sandy and Clay McElveen.