Slightly off the Path by Matthew Givens

Matthew Givens presents Slightly off the Path at Gallery80808/Vista Studios, 808 Lady Street in Columbia’s downtown Vista area. The exhibition begins on Thursday, February 7th and runs through Tuesday, February 12th. Hours are 10 AM until 5 PM.

The opening reception is Friday, February 8th from 5 – 10 PM.

Fine Art Photographer Matthew Givens provided the following state for this exhibition:

Slightly off the Path

Slightly off the Path are the images of my three months spent exploring the English Countryside. The Peak District, located mainly in the beautiful county of Derbyshire is where my work focused.

Armed with two cameras, a few lenses and plenty of warm clothes, I spent four to eight hours a day hiking alone, exploring the stark but wonderful landscape. I believe that true beauty comes through staying Slightly off the Path. Come with me and experience that beauty first hand. Walk with me Slightly off the Path.

Matthew Givens answered several interesting questions about his life, approach to art, and his inspirations:

How and when did you know you were a Photographer?

There were two different defining moments for me. The first day was the day I walked into a barn my Grandfather had built. Old things, dusty in disuse and aging, surrounded me, but as each item came into view, I began to see the beauty and story they contained. The second time that something shifted for me was when I photographed Grant’s tomb. Preparing for the shoot, I went into the tomb, sat, walked around. For hours I sat waiting, waiting, and waiting for the right shot to appear. Then suddenly it did. I knew then that I had the discipline and patience to wait for the right shot to appear. Those who know me know that patience is not my strong suit, but when looking for the right shot, it takes what it takes.

Where are your roots?

I was born in Monroe, Louisiana, March 8, 1974, to Larry and Mona Shea Givens (Frasier). I have a younger brother, Ben, a younger sister, Bonnie, a niece, Valerie, and a newphew, Frasier (both the light of my life). My dad has the ability to see the “whole picture”, and my mom has been a creative artist her whole career. I’m sure the seeds of my talent began with them. Educated in Waynesboro, Mississippi, and a regular church-going Baptist, my childhood was mostly concerned with sports and hanging out with friends, but I did have a passion for drawing comic book characters. After high school, not yet ready for college, I briefly attended Jones County Junior College, where I majored in art. I transferred to Johnson and Whales Culinary School, graduating in 1996. I did, and still do, love to creatively cook. However, after four years of restaurants, I knew that wasn’t it. I landed a job working with paint, color, and light while learning the intricacies of a photo shoot. Today, I am a full-time artist.

What Cameras do you use?

Mostly, I use a Leica M8 or a Mamiya ZD. They give me quality, size and of course, my instant gratification.

For additional information and images, please visit or the Gallery 80808/Vista Studios website.

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