McNair Evans: In Search of Great Men

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Exhibition Dates: April 15 - November 18, 2016 Extended by popular demand! On view though December 16, 2016
Exhibition Locations: San Francisco City Hall, Ground Floor Exhibition + North Light Court Banners
Opening Reception: Friday, April 15, 2016
5:00 p.m. Curator and Artist-led Walkthrough
5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Reception
San Francisco City Hall, Ground Floor
Free and open to the public. No RSVP.

The San Francisco Arts Commission Galleries presents
In Search of Great Men, a solo exhibition by McNair Evans


McNair Evans' background of working summers as a teen repairing crossties and tracks on a 32-mile railroad freight line, combined with a recent trip from his hometown in North Carolina to Virginia, inspired the award-winning photographer to explore American from a new vantage-point. For the past four years Evans has embarked on biannual two-week long train trips, crisscrossing the country on Amtrak's seven passenger routes. Making its debut, Evans' epic project, In Search of Great Men, combines compelling portrait and landscape photography alongside photo-documentation of pages from first-person, passenger-written journals, offering the viewer a poignant and empathetic view of the diverse cross-section of travelers he encountered from 2012 - 2014.

For In Search of Great Men, Evans, who studied anthropology in college, spent his self-instigated "artist residencies" getting to know his fellow passengers who he often invited to write down their story about why they were on the train and where they were going. An Amish family traveling to Tijuana for medical treatment, a single mother commuting to the North Dakota oil fields, and a teenage son hoping to reunite with his father are a few of the travelers Evans shared time with. Collectively, their stories illustrate a moving portrait of the American people, and illuminate shared-experiences amidst forces of modernization.

For his forthcoming exhibition at San Francisco’s City Hall, Evans worked with exhibition curator Ann Jastrab to select approximately 100 photographs and journal reproductions from In Search of Great Men. The artist states, "At a time when such travel may soon be only a memory, this show explores that search for something just out of reach and a bit intangible. It is about the desire for change and the possibility of hope fulfilled." Intimate and at time autobiographical, In Search of Great Men explores a search for hope that so defines our national identity.

In Search of Great Men by McNair Evans

Exhibition Dates: April 15 – November 18, 2016

San Francisco City Hall: Ground Floor + North Light Court banners

Curated by Ann Jastrab

Special Events (free and open to the public)

Friday, April 15
Opening Reception with Curator-led Walkthrough
SF City Hall, ground floor
Tour:  5 p.m.
Reception:  5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, September 14
Lunchtime Walkthrough with McNair Evans
Meet at the North Light Court at SF City Hall
12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Tuesday, September 20
McNair Evans in Conversation with Julian Cox
SFAC Main Gallery, 401 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 126
6:00 - 7:30 p.m.

In Search of Great Men is generously supported in part by Grants for the Arts / San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund.

Recent Press:
Flavorwire, April 25, 2016 (article)
Financial Times, April 22, 2016 (article)
Slate, April 22, 2016 (article)
San Francisco Examiner, April 22, 2016 (news story)
SF Weekly, April 20, 2016 (news story)
SF Chronicle, April 18, 2016 (article)
Juxtapoz Magazine, April 18, 2016 (article)
The New Yorker, April 17, 2016 (article)
NBC Bay Area, April 14, 2016 (news story)

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