A native Californian who grew up in Solano County, Mary Aiu now splits her time between homes on the Monterey Peninsula and her ranch with horses in Suisun Valley. Her solo show, Held by a Horse, at Milinda Perry Gallery January and February, is a breathtaking exhibit of photographs that have an ethereal feel and a painterly quality of the splendor of the unbridled horse in motion.
“Over the years I have watched horses disappear from our landscapes, and many people may never have had the experience to watch a horse run free; and I mean run!” says Mary Aiu, Fine Art Photographer. Mary holds a BFA from the California College of the Arts, and was an arts educator for 25 years. She now enjoys pursuing beautiful horses from around the world to add to her impressive portfolio. Some have included the rare Marwari horse from India, the Merens from Southern France, to the beautiful and athletic Lusitano horses of Portugal.
“My imagery reflects my ideals about beauty and emotional connections, and horses are my favorite sources for inspiration. I grew up in a family of cattle ranchers with working horses on the ranch, and I still own horses to this day,” said Mary. “However, it wasn’t until I began to photograph horses that I grew to understand the deeper connection within myself that they held for me. I have always felt if you are passionate about your subject it will show through in your work. It is my hope that people will feel that passion when they see my work, and come to admire a beauty about the horse that maybe they have not felt before.”
Many have come to admire the fine art photography of Mary Aiu and learn from her expertise. She is a member of the Image Makers of Monterey, has been a guest lecturer at the Monterey Museum of Art, and appeared as a TV Broadcast Panelist on West Coast Focus to discuss her work. Her images have been featured in Lenswork publications, Black & White Magazine, and numerous exhibits within the U.S., including the Triton Museum in Santa Clara, The Texas Photographic Society, and the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel.
Benicia residents will be able to view Held by a Horse Jan. 1-Feb. 28 at Milinda Perry Gallery. An artist reception will be held Sat. Feb. 2nd, 5-7pm at 117 East F Street in Benicia.