Focus on JAY Finalists - Sean Rayford in Visual Art

We're chatting with the 2017 JAY Awards Finalists as we enter the last few days of voting and preparing for the JAY Awards (& Retro Christmas party!) coming up on December 5th

 

 Photographer Sean Rayford - 2017 JAY Visual Arts Finalist - photo by Forrest Clonts

Photographer Sean Rayford - 2017 JAY Visual Arts Finalist - photo by Forrest Clonts

Jasper: What made the past year so great for you as an artist?

Sean: This past year was great for me because I feel I’ve been able to get a better grasp of balancing work and personal projects and allowing them to interplay when appropriate. I’ve come to trust my instincts more. In my game, preparation meeting with opportunity is everything and I’ve been much better prepared and have had many more opportunities

 

Jasper: How have you grown as an artist over the past year and to what do you attribute that growth?

Sean: In 2015 I stepped into a lot of new responsibilities and it gave me and it challenged me to take my craft to another level. But at the same time I was experiencing so many new things and just feeling my way through it. I felt like I was still winging most things. Like when you’ve been snowboarding only a few times and getting down the slope without dying is still a regular challenge. This past year I’ve been able to apply what I learned during that whirlwind and it’s provided me with a lot more poise.

 

Jasper: How have you seen your arts community grow over the past few years and to what do you attribute that growth?

Sean: Columbia now has established live music venues of all different sized rooms. The Jam Room Fest is amazing and a host of regular concert series in the city have been able to work well with the local, regional and national acts. I can attribute growth to perseverance from members of the community who embraced their city instead of fleeing to another one. 

 

Jasper: Why is art so important right now?

Sean: Art can bridge divides and we’re pretty divided.

 

 Jasper: What role does art play in your life?

 Sean: My life is consumed by the process of making images and learning first hand about the world through that process. Most of what I do has something to do with an attempt at becoming a better visual storyteller. I’m always observing and always framing scenes. Hopefully their is music around most of the time

 

Jasper: Who have been some of your major influences?

Sean:  William Klein, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Gerry Melendez, Jill Freedman

 

Jasper: Who are some of your favorite local artists from an arts discipline other than your own?

Sean:  Jon Warf, Jake Luhrs

 

Jasper: Is there anyone you’d like to thank for their support of your arts career?

Sean: Mom and Dad, The Gamecock Newspaper, WUSC and the photo department at the State Newspaper during the turn of the century. 

 

Jasper: Why should folks come out to the 2017 JAY Awards and Retro Christmas Party?

Sean: Folks should come out to the 2017 JAY Awards and Retro Christmas Party because Those Lavender Whales are an amazing band and amazing people.

VOTE at http://jasperproject.org/jays

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THANKS!