The Pickens County Museum of Art & History, in Pickens, SC, in conjunction with the Greater Clemson Blues Festival, is pleased to announce that “A Bluesman’s Close-Up: Photographs of Mac Arnold by Brian S. Kelley”, will open to the public on Apr. 15, 2015. As part of the Greater Clemson Blues Festival which runs from April 15th through the 25th, this special documentation of one of our region’s most loved musicians will be on display in the museum’s LaVonne Nalley Piper Auditorium & Gallery through May 30. A reception to meet the photographer will be held as part of the museum’s “36th Annual Juried Exhibition” opening on April 25th from 1-4pm.
About Arnold and Kelley’s relationship, journalist Cindy Landrum wrote in the “Greenville Journal”, “Brian S. Kelley was in the audience during one of the band’s (Mac Arnold’s Plate Full of Blues) early concerts at the Happy Cow Creamery in southern Greenville County, just a short trip from Arnold’s farm. The two talked and discovered that Kelley’s parents lived near Arnold. Arnold asked him to come by his house and photograph the band. That led to a long gig – seven years if you ask Kelley, about nine if you ask Arnold – that included album covers, a documentary and a photography book. ‘We started dragging him around the country with us,’ Arnold said. Kelley said the experience ‘still feels surreal sometimes. To be able to combine photography, art and music was a dream.’ That relationship led to a book and an exhibit of Kelley’s photographs of Arnold – on stage, on the bus and on his farm.”
Now living in Travelers Rest, SC, Brian S. Kelley is a multi-faceted photographic artist who is as comfortable with fine art photography as he is in photojournalism and studio portraiture. Kelley’s studies have included work at Erskine College, Savannah College of Art and Design, Greenville Technical College. He received his B.A. in IDS: Studio and Art History from the University of South Carolina.
About his work Kelley has said, “Visual interpretations of my surroundings have been essential elements of expression throughout my life. My passion for art surfaced at a very young age, yielding another channel for communication. Through the lens of introversion I became an observer of life.” He continued, “I often watch interactions among people, appreciate the forms created by nature or study the light as it moves through the day. These observations were first recorded through my drawings, which quickly led to painting, and then sculpture. However, photography would eventually receive the majority of my time and efforts.”
Fifty Percent of any sales from this exhibit will be donated by the artist to support the Dr. Mac Arnold Scholarship Fund. “A Bluesman’s Close-Up” is sponsored by in part by Pickens County, members and friends of the museum and a grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Located at the corner of Hwy. 178 at 307 Johnson Street in Pickens SC, the museum is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9am until 5pm, Thursdays from 9am until 7:30pm, and Saturdays from 9am until 4:30pm. Admission is free but donations are welcomed.
For more information please contact the museum at 864/898-5963. For this and many more events in Pickens County visit (www.visitpickenscounty.com/calendar).