Legacy High School senior Madison Seiter is the first to admit using a paintbrush is not her forte. But that doesn’t mean the girl isn’t artistic. Her choice of expression is through a lens, creating photos most people wouldn’t expect.
“I like being able to use my creativity and do things to my pictures that you don’t really see a lot,” Seiter said. “I like taking photos people usually see all the time and changing them to give people a different way of looking at something.”
Seiter’s artwork hasn’t gone unnoticed. She recently earned a National Gold Medal for photography in the 2014 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, a program that fosters the creative development of teens across the nation and gives students the opportunity to showcase their artwork as well as earn college scholarships. Seiter will be honored on June 6 at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Seiter was quite surprised by the award. The modest photographer tends to be her own biggest critic.
“If you pretty much ask any artist, they don’t see the value in their own work,” she said. “And I think a lot of other people in my class are a lot more talented, so I was really surprised. I know my work is good, but I’m kind of shy about it.”
Seiter plans on attending Texas A&M University after graduation, a school that generations of her family have already attained college degrees from. She’ll be studying to earn a business degree, while continuing to work on her photography. She said she wants to have a business degree to fall back on, in case a career taking photos doesn’t pan out. But her dream is to own her own studio.
“I haven’t totally decide if I want photography to be my whole life and my whole world,” Seiter said. “But right now, my plan is to do both and go from there.”
Seiter credits her family, her grandmother in particular, for supporting and helping her reach her goals in photography. She said her grandma, who is an artist, is the person who pushes her and encourages her dig deep to reach her artistic potential. Outside of her family is her AP art teacher Paula Rowinski, who Seiter says is “literally the best teacher ever.”
“In AP, Ms. Row lets us be on our own and have our own ideas, but also knows when to tie us back in and get us to focus,” she said. “Having her as an AP teacher has been so helpful and I feel like I’ve grown so much this year where I feel like I would be lost without her.”