The Beaufort Art Association continues to celebrate its 50th anniversary with exciting, record-breaking events. The first exhibit of 2007 was the all Hunting Island show displayed in the four rooms of the BAA Gallery, located at 1001 Bay Street in the historic Elliott House in downtown Beaufort. Now, in concert with The Beaufort Kaleidoscope and the Guild of Beaufort Galleries Art Walk, the BAA is proud to feature paintings by Mac Rogers in his exhibit titled “Exploring Our Neighborhood” beginning February 19. The extended hours opening reception will be on Friday, February 23 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., and the exhibit will hang through April 7. One of Rogers’ acrylics, “Grayson Exploring Hunting Island,” appeared on publicity posters announcing the Hunting Island show that were displayed throughout Beaufort County last month.

After a 25-year career with Delta Airlines in Atlanta, Mac Rogers now pilots brushes and paints instead of commercial jets, though he has been painting as a hobby for 20 years. His post-formal education at Clemson University includes study with Ben Shute, founder of the Atlanta College of Art, and Tony Couch, a fellow Delta pilot and acknowledged watercolor artist, author and teacher. In addition to painting popular images, for the past two years Rogers has chaired the BAA/Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation Exhibit and Sale for which BAA artists agree to donate 40-100 per cent of their commissions to the Betty Mazarin Pharmaceutical Fund. Under Mac’s steerage, sales of BAA members’ art more than doubled the amount raised over the previous 16 years of the annual fall exhibit.

It was on a Delta flight that Mac was inspired to move here. For years he had vacationed with his family on Edisto Island, and this particular flight took him directly over Edisto and the islands around Beaufort.  Mac says, “I casually commented to the other crew members that our family had a small cabin on the island we were over.” Further conversation with his co-pilot led his wife Melanie and him to purchase a lot and eventually build a vacation home on Harbor Island. As Mac and his family explored Beaufort’s neighborhoods, they realized that they liked what they saw−“an almost perfect blend of culture, water, beach, Southern lifestyle and hospitality.” The Rogers family moved permanently from Atlanta to their Dataw neighborhood in 2003.

One word that describes Mac Rogers is spelled h-u-m-b-l-e. Always quick to praise and thank others for any favor, large or small, he seems unaware of his own generosity−his constant willingness to give to family and community at a moment’s notice, regardless of any inconvenience to him.

When asked to describe his artistic process, he remains true to that humility. With tongue-in-cheek he calls his process “highly classified” and “mpromptu, lacking technique.” Despite his refusal to tout his skill, Rogers paintings are coveted and he accepts commissions for his work.

Mac enjoys painting landscapes of all areas but especially those of coastal settings in the Lowcountry. In addition to the BAA Gallery, Roger’s paintings can be found in Fordham Market as well as the BAA’s Satellite Galleries. His most recent award will be celebrated during a concurrent event of Kaleidoscope weekend. Two of Mac’s paintings were accepted by the Coastal Conservation League for their first annual Conservation Art Show in the Beaufort Arsenal. CCL’s Membership Director, Nancy Cregg, has asked Mac to permit CCL to include images of his paintings on their website, newsletter and outings card.

Though the painting of Rogers’ grandson Grayson on a Hunting Island beach is recognizable due to recent publicity, Mac may well be remembered more for his unique business logo: a photograph of him with his infant grandson Christian held in his arm−he credits the child with “helping him paint” the scene of the Beaufort River and Woods Memorial Bridge.

Mac describes what living in Beaufort has meant to him. “Ideas are limitless, especially here in the Lowcountry. All I have to do is get up in the morning and look around. I truly can't remember a single outing (including many years flying) which didn't produce at least an idea for a potential painting. It's particularly interesting to me how much more aware I've become of the magnificence (and how much we take for granted) of God's creation.”