Photography student selected for the 31st ACA Student Exhibition
May 22, 2020
A UCF photography student has been selected to exhibit in the Atlantic Center for the Arts’ prestigious 31st Annual University Student Exhibition. The exhibition will premiere on YouTube on Friday, May 22 and the exhibition will be available to view indefinitely.
Michele Meyers, an undergraduate student in the Photography B.S. program student, is the third undergraduate student in as many years to be selected for the honor. Zoraye Cyrus selected in 2019 and Colt Bass in 2018. Prior to Bass’s selection, Aleisha Breter was selected in 2013 and Jennifer Surgent was selected in 2009.
The Atlantic Center for the Arts Annual University Student Exhibition honors the outstanding work being produced by Florida’s state university art students. The selection process for this exhibition begins from within Florida’s nine major state university art departments. Each art department is asked to nominate up to three full-time, undergraduate, degree-seeking students, working in any medium or style. Meyers was nominated by School of Visual Arts and Design associate professor Laine Wyatt.
“By identifying and promoting these emerging artists,” ACA leadership said in a statement, “ACA hopes to focus statewide attention on the high level of creative and experimental work being produced at the college level.”
Meyer’s pieces “clash” and “cult” will be featured in the exhibition.
Could you describe your current body of work that is featured in the ACA 31st Student Exhibition
Michele Meyers: I have always been drawn to the divergent nature of life and the way people maneuver within it. I utilize my photography to reveal this underlying reality especially in this body of work. It was necessary for me to alter my perspective and going up to a vantage point that would be undisputed, unchallenged, seemed an innate course of action. A condo, a parking garage, a bridge, a pier…it was all fair game. I wanted to get a glimpse of people existing within their confines, their constructed spaces.
Why did you decide to go to UCF for photography?
Meyers: After leaving the fitness industry which I’d been involved with most of my adult life, I moped around and decided I needed to reinvent myself. My grandmother was a photographer and my father took his camera to Vietnam even though he was a pilot. I loved the arts, social media was booming so I decided to take the business approach to photography and started with Daytona State College in their interactive media program. That quickly changed after being in Professor Gary Monroe’s photography class. My images were not great but he and the class were encouraging and I persisted! I had found my passion, switched majors and entered the 2+2 photography program.
What’s next for you?
Meyers: I will continue to build my photography business but I am seriously considering an MFA in photography. Whether that takes me to a different school or a different state entirely, I welcome the adventure!
What advice do you have for students interested in photography?
Meyers: Work hard at your craft! Hone your skills! Learn from all of your professors even the ones you don’t care for! Ask questions! Take the time to learn about all the equipment necessary to get the job done. That will give you flexibility. Try a variety of photography jobs in the beginning! Don’t let criticism slow you down! If it does, pick up your camera and go shoot, anything! Use your camera ALL OF THE TIME! Ok, maybe not while your prof is giving a lecture but you know what I mean! Learn video, at least the basics…it’s important today! Remember, even while following your passion there is a natural ebb and flow. Regrowth follows the ebb!