New University Place Gallery exhibit will showcase FMU professor’s work
Few artists and educators can boast a career as long or as influential as the one Steven Gately has had. For the last 48 years he has taught painting, drawing, and design at Francis Marion University where he has worked with nearly every visual art student who has attended the school in its history.
Gately’s work will be on display at University Place Gallery when the gallery opens “Gately: A Retrospective” on Aug. 31.
Along with teaching at FMU, Gately has also worked simultaneously in his modernist studio, mastering a variety of media and styles, while at the same time consistently experimenting with new processes.
Gately was born in West Palm Beach, Fla. The proximity to the nearby Atlantic ocean shaped the artist’s early life and remains an influence for much of the work included in this exhibition.
His images are sometimes literal, as in the realistic paintings he has made of automobiles, still-life arrangements, and sharks. Other series are meant to convey something else entirely, as he works in an abstract mode. With these works, the artist sometimes aims to simply reflect the feeling of a luminous, rhythmical environment achieved through color.
In some of the abstract works the brush strokes and hues may still refer to seascape; for example, yellow could allude to sunlight and blue areas could be perceived as sky or sea, but no recognizable features were intended.
Gately is a lifelong painter and holds degrees from Florida Atlantic University – Boca Raton and Florida State University. His exhibit record details page after page of national, state, and regional competitions beginning in the 1960s and spanning into the present. To date, he has had more than 20 solo exhibitions.
His artwork is included in private and public collections throughout the United States, including the Southeastern Center For Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, Columbia Museum of Art, the Gibbes Museum in Charleston, and the Mobile Museum of Art in Mobile, Ala.