Tryon photographer is all about the horse

Published 8:00 am Thursday, August 9, 2018

TRYON — It will be all about horses starting this Saturday as the Upstairs Artspace holds a special show in time for the upcoming World Equestrian Games. Equestrian photographer and Tryon resident Monica Stevenson is the featured artist for Saturday’s Walk and Talk.

Stevenson’s work has drawn the attention of Epson Printing, who is a sponsor. She also has shown her work in the Focus Gallery in London and in the Johnson and Johnson Gallery in New Jersey. Foothills residents will have seen her photography in the Tryon Depot and on the cover of the Tryon EQD.

Stevenson working in her studio. (Photo submitted by Monica Stevenson)

Much of her early work is infused with a timeless quality. She said the vintage cameras she used allowed her to work in black and white. By focusing on horses and their environment rather than humans, she was able to create work that wasn’t really dated.

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Today, Stevenson takes advantage of the modern digital world to create a very different look. “I like to push the envelope a bit,” she said. “It’s not your average horse photographs. It’s a very modern, intriguing way to look at horses.”

Stevenson uses black and white photography to create a timeless quality to her art. (Photo submitted by Monica Stevenson)

Stevenson grew up in New Jersey, outside of New York City, and began a photography career right out of college. Her early work focused on upscale studio photography of food, jewelry, luxury items and accessories.

After a few years she realized she wanted to be around horses more. “I’ve ridden horses since I was a child,” she said. Though she considered going back to school to become a vet, her father suggested she try equine photography instead.

“Horses were a welcome respite allowing me to shoot outside in a field away from rigors of studio photography,” Stevenson said. “It’s a real way to stretch my wings.”

Monica Stevenson photographing the Green Creek Hounds. (Photo submitted by Monica Stevenson)

Stevenson and her husband, Roger, moved to Tryon from New Jersey about three years ago. “I got sick of the classic rat race. I wanted to wake up every morning and be someplace beautiful,” she said. Tryon is also a much easier place to keep and ride a horse than it was when living in New Jersey and working in Manhattan she said.

Stevenson’s show will begin at 5 p.m. Saturday with a talk by other featured artists at the Upstairs Art Space. The reception is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and includes refreshments and live music. For more information about Stevenson’s work visit or call her at 917-754-7204.

For more information about Saturday’s show at Upstairs Artspace, call 828-859-2828 or visit