River’s Edge photography artist to have his own show

PICTURE POET

Paula Neuman
– Wyandotte Warrior

Myles Gallagher fell in love with the art of photography during his second year of college, and has been enthralled with it ever since.

The Grosse Ile resident, who retired from Lear Corp. a year and a half ago to pursue photography full-time, has earned awards and had his work featured in several magazines. Exhibits of his work have drawn accolades in a number of galleries, including The Scarab Club in Detroit, Jules Meighet in San Francisco and the Attleboro Art Museum in Massachusetts.

Gallagher is an in-house artist at River’s Edge Gallery in Wyandotte, as well.

Starting Oct. 19, he’s bringing “LIGHT!”, a one-man show of his fine-art photography to the Framery & Gallery, 2621 W. Jefferson Ave., Trenton, for a limited time. A reception will take place on the opening day, and a second reception is set from 1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 26. Gallagher will be present for both events. The show will continue through Nov. 2.

Gallagher calls his show “LIGHT!” for a reason.

“Light and shadow have been the foundation of photography since the beginning,” he said. “While illumination is important, darkness is an equally compelling component, and together, they are the elements of a successful photograph. This requires a careful balance. You can see a concentration of this approach in the show “LIGHT!”

He brings to his work the unique insights of a varied artistic background. Gallagher has always loved the visual and performing arts, and studied them as a teenager.

“During high school at St. Alphonsus (Dearborn), my summers were enjoyed attending sessions at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp studying voice, singing, musical theater and choir,” he said.

He toured Scandinavia as a member of the Blue Lakes International Choir.

“Later in my teens, my love affair with classical ballet and modern dance could no longer be denied,” Gallagher said. “I studied at the American Dance Academy and at Western Michigan University, and in addition, studied modern dance with the Nonce Dance Company at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit.”

He earned a bachelor of science degree at WMU, and earned an internship for gallery exhibitions.

“Since I can remember, I’ve had to express myself either physically or through music,” Gallagher said. “I played guitar as a child. My brother were very athletic, and I was the polar opposite. My parents were very supportive.”

His background in dance enhances his photography, he said.

“With dance, you understand space management and place management of your body,” he said. “It leads to understanding composition, too.”

Eventually, he took some classes in photography at WMU and was hooked.

“It was a calling,” he said.

Inspiration for a photo may suddenly beckon wherever he goes and whatever he’s doing.

“I’m always hoping to find something, but it’s by chance that you find it,” Gallagher said. “If I see it, I get this feeling. Every sense in my body feels it.”

One day when he was driving home from his work as an account manager for Lear, he passed and old barber shop in Rosedale Park, and was instantly inspired. He stopped and went in.

“An old man let me sit in there for a couple of hours,” Gallagher said. “It was so cool.”

He got his photos, and later brought one back to give to the old man in the barber shop.

Gallagher uses photography to share his inner vision and emotions.

“Art is the only way to express it,” he said. “I believe God gives people gifts and we need to nurture them and work with them. That’s part of why I retired to do this fully. Every person who walks on Earth has qualities and gifts to share.”

He is deeply moved and inspired by the work of Wyandotte photographer and artist Patricia Izzo, who is world-renowned for her work and known as someone who is generous when it comes to helping other artists. Izzo’s studio is at River’s Edge Gallery on Biddle Avenue in Wyandotte.

“She has influenced me in so many ways,” Gallagher said. “I feel like we’re kindred spirits. We both want to show what’s on our hearts. Her photography technically is superb, and the characters she uses just touch me. And she’s avant garde. I like that.”

Gallagher, too, can be avant garde with his work. He’s experimenting now with pinhole cameras, which have tiny apertures and no lenses, shooting whole rolls of film to merge into one image.

He grew up in a big family in Detroit, and his first job was as a paperboy for the Warrendale Courier, although he happily remembers that his grandmother, born in Scotland, would offer him a nickel for every flower he picked from a Rose of Sharon tree at their home.

Gallagher loves to cook, and still loves music passionately.

“I have a huge collection of different recordings, from the hardest punk rock to the Velvet Underground to the symphony,” he said. “Last month, I was really into Della Reese.”

His advice for beginning photographers?

“Take as many pictures as you like of anything and everything, and then see if there’s a pattern you might fall into,” he said. “But don’t limit yourself. Use the best camera you can afford and start with film to learn the basics. I hope people start with film.”

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