Elaine Mayes has been an active visual artist since 1960. A main focus and emphasis for her work has been investigations of ‘seeing’ and documentary forms in photography. This interest led to a number of projects and seeking out various close at hand situations in the world as subject material for her photographs.
Elaine majored in painting and art history at Stanford University and then studied at the San Francisco Art Institute with John Collier, Jr. Paul Hassel, Minor White, Nathan Oliviera and Richard Diebenkorn.
Between 1961 and 1968 she was an independent photojournalist working in San Francisco for magazines and graphic designers. During 1967 and 1968 she was a rock and roll photographer and photographed the ‘Summer of Love’ and scene in the Haight Ashbury District of San Francisco. One of her assignments was to photograph the Monterey Pop Festival. This work was published in her book called, It Happened In Monterey
Elaine taught photography for thirty-five years, beginning at the University of Minnesota in 1968. Then she taught at Hampshire College from 1971 to 1981, at Bard College during 1982 and 1983, and at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts from 1983 until 2001. Elaine was Chair of the Tisch Photography Department from 1997 until her retirement from teaching. Currently, she is Professor Emeritus and is living in the Catskill Mountains of New York actively continuing her work.
Elaine’s photography has been exhibited extensively, with recent exhibitions connected with The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Summer of Love and The Monterey Pop Festival and includes the de Young Museum
, The California Historical Society, The SFO Museums United Airlines Terminal, The Monterey Art Museum
, The Grammy Musuem, Spazio Gerra - Comune di Reggio Emilia, Italy and the Joseph Bellows Gallery
in La Jolla.
Elaine has received a number of awards including three grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Guggenheim Fellowship
. She also was awarded funding from The Atherton Foundation for her Hawaiian images and book production for a limited edition handmade book called, Ki i ‘no Hawai’i
. Her newest publication is, Recently
, Daylight Press, 2013.
Elaine is affiliated with Getty Images
, Joseph Bellows Gallery
, Morrison Hotel Galleries
, and Liberal Arts Roxbury