Ike grad’s photo chosen for art exhibit

By: Eric Czarnik | Shelby - Utica News | Published August 16, 2019

 Eisenhower High School graduate Lauren Seymour plans to attend Grand Valley State University this  fall to further  her studies in  photography and  photojournalism.

Eisenhower High School graduate Lauren Seymour plans to attend Grand Valley State University this fall to further her studies in photography and photojournalism.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

 Eisenhower High School graduate Lauren Seymour’s photo of a belly, “American Epidemic,” will be featured in the Advanced Placement Studio Art Exhibit.

Eisenhower High School graduate Lauren Seymour’s photo of a belly, “American Epidemic,” will be featured in the Advanced Placement Studio Art Exhibit.

Photo by Lauren Seymour

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP/RAY TOWNSHIP — For Lauren Seymour, memories of the things she saw as a child often occurred behind the camera.

“I always carried around a camera when I was younger,” she said. “I would always take my parents’ camera and take pictures. In ninth grade I got my first digital camera with different lenses, and I joined yearbook, and that’s when my photography grew.”

Seymour, 18, from Ray Township, is a recent Eisenhower High School graduate who has earned a spot in the traveling Advanced Placement Studio Art Exhibit.

The art exhibit contest was competitive — Utica Community Schools officials said the exhibit received around 1.5 million submissions, and work from only 30 artists was picked. Seymour’s piece will travel in a mobile art exhibit to different areas, including New Jersey’s Chauncey Conference Center, and at the 2020 AP Annual Conference in Boston.

Seymour said she was amazed and surprised that her photography will be featured.

“I worked so hard for this,” she said. “I couldn’t be more thankful for all the support I had and all the teachers that helped me get this far.”

Seymour explained that her skills grew while attending Eisenhower, and she developed her unique style upon joining her school’s Advanced Placement photography class.

“My style is mainly landscapes, but I recently started getting into people pictures and expressing who they are,” she said.

While Seymour’s portfolio earned a top score of 5 out of 5, the judges are only including one picture from it for the traveling exhibit. The selected piece is a photo she took last school year called “American Epidemic.”

The photo, depicting a hairy potbelly, is meant to convey reality and authenticity, not an idealized human body, she explained.

“People try to hide themselves, and they don’t want people to see their true selves. And I want to express in my picture that you don’t have to hide yourself,” she said.

“It doesn’t matter what body size you are or what you look like. ... I wanted that to be my idea.”

To compose the photo, Seymour and her mom took lamps in a bedroom and positioned them to get the right lighting. A family member was the model, and the measuring tape came from a design kit.

After taking the photo, she adjusted the lighting and colors in Adobe Photoshop.

Seymour said she plans to major in photojournalism at Grand Valley State University, with a minor in business. She also expressed an interest in obtaining a college internship at Disney. Her eventual goal is to work for National Geographic “and show the skills that I can do.”

Seymour’s mother, Donna, praised her daughter’s accomplishments.

“I think it’s wonderful,” she said. “The more that I see her pictures — she’s just growing in it.”

Seymour’s former photography teacher, Nancy Druia, agreed.

“Lauren is very intuitive and is extremely original,” Druia said in a statement. “She worked incredibly hard and enthusiastically to complete a comprehensive and sophisticated portfolio.”

Find out more about Eisenhower High School by visiting eisenhower.uticak12.org or by calling (586) 797-1300.

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