Titled "Forever LSU," University alumnus Michael Key's collection of landscape photography introduces a new perspective of the beauty all around LSU's campus. The exhibit opened in the Student Union Art Gallery on Aug. 24 and will be open through Sept. 24.
Key graduated with a Bachelor's in Political Science and a Masters in Marketing. Key now works as a Public Information Officer and still finds the time to hone in his talent for photography. In Jan. 2018, Key decided to use his developed skills to show the University in a way that he did not experience while he was attending the school.
“I had to disassociate my personal ties to the LSU campus because I was always looking at it in just a one-world point of view,” Key said. “I really had to separate myself and just kind of start from scratch on how I look at LSU because when you’re focused as a student, it’s different as an alumnus and it’s completely different as a photographer. So it’s like going through these separate phases as having to view LSU through a different lens."
The gallery depicts landscapes that students, teachers and visitors see everyday in a way that many don’t notice in passing. Key said he wanted people to see there wasn’t just one thing that defines the University –– it is the things that you see in your day to day life that just need to be seen from a new perspective.
“You really have to be weary of depth, the details and how you give the viewer a sense of prospective,” Key said “That really pushed me to look at all of these well-known LSU locations and put them in different perspectives and just a more surrounding, open worldview and how everything just fits together in and of itself.”
Since the beginning, Key’s main interest was landscapes and all he ever wanted to do was to travel and take pictures of the the natural charm of the world around him, he said. Photography wasn’t an interest of his until his senior year and since then, he has hoped to capture the aspects of the campus that are sometimes overlooked.
Like most students, Key said his main focus was just getting to class and hanging out with his friends, never really taking the time to look up and take in all the campus has to offer. Key advises students to branch out and really get into the University’s surroundings.
“Don’t have your experiences at LSU be so defined by what you know,” Key said. “Try different things and incorporate new things into your life that really just enrich your experience during your time at LSU.”
Key brought his talents back to the place that he discovered his love. He found a way to make the campus look different to people who see it every day. Key hopes his gallery will inspire old, new and future students alike to go out and take the time to explore the campus in their own way and really take in the beauty of it all.
“I want to give thanks first to God for blessing me with this building and being able to share with LSU campus,” Key said. “But more so with LSU auxiliary services who give services like these to both current students and alumni the opportunity to show off their art work in a formalized, gallery-set setting that is accessible to both students present, past and beyond.”