March 30, 2023
We are very pleased to share that Prescott Hutton ’23 is presenting “Beyond The Surface: A Photographic Installation” in the Gallery for the entire community to enjoy, May 1-5. It will feature not only his art but the art of four additional Upper School students: Ansel Streier, ninth grade; Emmet Johnston, ninth grade; Graham Jakway, tenth grade; and Andy Taylor, eleventh grade. He has organized this opportunity as part of his Senior Service Project and hopes that it brings perspective and joy to the community.
In addition, please join him at the Opening Reception on May 1 at 6 PM in the Family Commons to learn more about the project and the artists. This event is most appropriate for ages 8+.
We hope you enjoy learning more about Prescott below!
What inspired you to create this event for your Senior Service Project?
I have been at MPA for 12 years. During those 12 years, I have seen most of the senior service projects that have occurred at MPA. As I was looking at these projects, I couldn’t help but think about my future contribution. What I didn’t want to do was a project that I did just to get done. I wanted to do something memorable and vital that is personal to me and motivates others around me. The inspiration for this project came after thinking about what makes me happy as an individual. Last year I had the privilege to be a teaching assistant in photo I and photo II, and during that time, I developed a love for teaching others about the arts—specifically photography. In addition to that, I spent more than 30 hours alone preparing the darkroom here on campus for use. So as I was brainstorming for this project, I thought, “Why not combine them both?” That’s when the idea came to teach a select group of students film photography and how to bring ideologies and emotions into photography.
What are your hopes for this event?
My hope for this event is to spread thought-provoking art and to show the community around MPA what’s possible for a student to create and hopefully inspire others to create art of their own and celebrate it. From a personal standpoint, my goal is to leave a memorable impact on the community that has raised me and pushed me to become the person I am today. I also hope that people see how much I care and what is possible if you put effort into something.
What does photography mean to you?
Photography for me means storytelling, especially film photography. This is because with each photo I take with my Hasselblad, there is a story behind how I got that image and why I took that image. From a personal standpoint, it allows me to express ideas or emotions that I have trouble talking about; it also is an outlet for emotions that I can turn into creativity and joy.
How has MPA contributed to your artistic insight or passion?
Ever since I came to MPA in first grade, I have always been pushed creatively. I remember Ms. Rossbach always putting an emphasis on hard work and always trying your hardest even if your art did not look good as the other people in your class. As I got older, this lesson was reinforced in most aspects of my life. When I applied this to photography, it meant taking my time with each photo, understanding the importance behind it, and, most importantly, acknowledging the reason and story of how I got that photo.
How do you describe your art?
I would describe my art as visual representations of emotions and storytelling. I believe that the impact of the photo I take has to have an emotion tied to it. I also want my art to have a story tied to it so that each aspect of the photo can be explained in great detail. Another way to explain it is that the viewers decide the emotion they feel, but I decide the story that influences the emotion.
What do you think makes your work unique?
One of the aspects where I think my artwork is unique is the fact that each one of my fine art portraits I have taken has a sense of raw emotion that is communicated directly to the viewer. Because of the style that I take my photos, there is a direct connection between the use of the camera and the subject’s emotions in the moment. I don’t like studio portraits, and I don’t like pre-determined photoshoots. I love the surprise and adventure of spontaneous portraits. In the event that I’m not taking portraits, I want to include emotion in all my photos and become a provocateur of thought.
Have you had any major artistic influences?
When it comes to influences on my personal style, the biggest inspiration and role model for my work is Platon. His work captures what I believe is the perfect portrait; he manages to look into people’s souls and capture their lifestyles on the camera he uses. He manages to capture photos of the most well-known people on this planet and make them relatable and personal.
Do you have any long-term goals or plans for your art career?
I plan to pursue photography as a minor in college and hopefully continue my business. I would love to venture into documentary photography and travel all over the world.
What kind of support did you receive for this event?
There are multiple people I would like to thank: Mr. Dean because he encouraged me and supported me through the beginning stage of this project and has spent a considerable amount of time helping me. Dr. Hudson, for meeting with me, supporting the project, and putting MPA behind it. Mr. Braafladt for graciously allowing me to use the Makerspace as a home base for this project. And Ms. Flinsch for teaching me all I know about photography and making this possible project possible by inspiring me to pursue photography.