I Dream of Flying
Sept. 6 - Nov. 19
Chuck MacFall and His Camera: Photographic Potpourri
A battle-weary Civil War Reenactment soldier, his knowing eyes and stubbled jaw line shaded by a large-brimmed hat, a woman dancing, a man in British Columbia who didn't speak English - just a few of the more than 80 remarkable photographs comprising a one-man art exhibition to open June 4 in the Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art at Central Methodist College.
Titled "The Camera and Chuck MacFall: A Photographic Potpourri," the exhibition will run through July 18. It will include an eclectic collection of photographs taken by MacFall over a several-year period, including recent photographs of flowers dressed in magnificent spring bloom at Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis.
The oldest photo in the show, taken in 1986, is of the Salz Kammergut - a stream in a naturally salty area of the Austrian Alps. Another, taken in 1990, is of a grove of walnut trees shedding water after a hard rain, an almost lost film treasure, says MacFall: "I still think it's a good image, but [it] can no longer be reproduced because the negative was damaged." There are other images of water and majestic mountains.
"I like water," MacFall adds, noting one photo is of the Columbia River, a powerful waterway funneled through an imposing rock-shouldered gorge as it flows toward the Pacific Ocean. And mountains: "...the roll after roll I took of the Canadian Rockies increased my respect for Ansel Adams and what he accomplished... my respect for the man is enormous." A paean from one artist with a camera to another, a salute to an earlier photographer who paid his dues, spent long years learning his craft, and grew famous for his creative interpretations of the American landscape.
MacFall, too, has paid his dues learning the magic of his craft. A retired trucking firm executive and 1966 graduate of Central Methodist College, he has spent years developing his skills and an artist's eye as a photographer. His photos grace the walls of CMC's Athletic Department and Brannock Hall, a Fayette medical clinic and other local businesses. And over the past decade, MacFall photographs have appeared on the cover of CMC's alumni magazine, The Talon, and inside its pages; more recently on the CMC web site, where candid shots of students on the Quad or involved in various school activities have been recorded through MacFall's ever-present camera lens.
"The CMC campus is much more than T. Berry [Smith Hall]," MacFall adds. "The student photos show them performing musically and in athletic competitions. There really isn't any difference between a student scoring, tackling, and one marching, playing an instrument or singing. I like to capture the exact moment [on film]."
Other "moments" captured by MacFall's camera and being shown in the exhibition include "Clara Jean â The little girl with the ice cream cone," the Fayette Marching Band, college athletes in intense moments of competition, children of local residents, Civil War Reenactors performing in Glasgow, the picturesque Howard County Courthouse, Busch Wildlife Area in St. Charles, and Chuck's "beloved' Mary Johler - "Maria am Stephan's Platz mit Kaffee," Mary sipping her morning coffee on St. Stephan's Plaza, Vienna, Austria.
MacFall's photos are as varied, as creative and as complex as the man himself.