The Arts Council’s exhibit, “Legacy: The Carney Family’s Intergenerational Photography Exhibition,” will pay tribute to the legacy that still passes through generations of Carneys. The family has shot photos and started businesses in Western New York for as long as most of us can remember.
“It was Donald Carney, who has since passed away, that started the Canyon Club in 1948, which meets in Perry,” said Jackie Hoyt, Executive Director for the Arts Council in Wyoming County. “The family has always lived in the area. They own Carney’s Market in Castile.”
The exhibit is dedicated to the work of Donald Carney and his son, Ronald, both deceased, and the surviving grandson, Michael. There will also be a small body of work by another son, Bruce.
Don Carney first became interested in photography during his service in the World War II. Upon his return to New York, Carney embarked on a 50 year photography career. He especially loved natural images, capturing wildflowers, creeks, lakes, and waterfalls in Letchworth State Park and the surrounding areas. Don won many awards for his spectacular and precise pictures, including the Kodak Award for Photographic Excellence from the Niagara Frontier Regional Camera Club, the highest award offered by that organization. Still, Don allegedly considered his establishing the Canyon Camera Club his highest honor.
Donald’s son, Ron, followed a hugely successful professional photography career. He went to the Rocky Mountain School of Photography in Missoula, Montana, where he cultivated an inherited passion for nature photographs. He received several high awards during his travels, including 1st Place in arts and photography at the North Carolina State Fair.
Ronald’s son Michael has been taking high-quality pictures since he was twelve years old. He studied at the New York Institute of Photography, taught many photography seminars. In 2013, he began teaching photography workshops and classes across New York State and Canada. He was a president of Canyon Camera Club and Batavia Photography Club, and he has followed his grandfather’s legacy by creating a chapter of the Genesee Valley Photography Society in Livingston County. Michael owns his own photography business, M.R.C. Photography, and freelances for the Livingston County News and The Perry Herald. He has an impressive résumé of awards, including 4 Grand Champion awards and the 2014 Image City Peter’s Pick Award.
The Legacy Celebration for these fine photographers opens on Friday, August 8 from 6pm to 8pm, with a reception and live music, featuring songs from the 1940’s straight through the 1980’s.
<PHOTO CAPTION: Michael Carney, youngest of the Carney photographers and founder of the Livingston County chapter of the Genesee Valley Photography Society. Courtesy of Jackie Hoyt.>