Professor brings creative vision to campus

Pictured here is Kings of Steel, one of the paintings Assistant Professor of art Parkerson Seward has created. His artwork in the style of hyperrealism, which makes the work appear similar to a high-resolution photograph.

by Social Media Coordinator Natalie Bee

The College of Arts and Sciences welcomed Assistant Professor of Art Parkerson Seward to the department last semester.

Seward said he has always had an interest in art but did not become actively involved until his time at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. He was originally a double major in psychology and art.

“I took an anatomical illustration class and the professor made such an impact on me that I decided to fully concentrate on art,” he said.

Seward said this was also the reason he became interested in teaching.

Senior Ragan Eaves took Painting 1 with Seward last semester. She said he made the class fun by interacting with the students in a lighthearted manner.

“(He) wasn’t boring, which I appreciate,” she said. “Painting isn’t something I’d normally be interested in, but he made it fun. Over time, he started to open up toward the students. He was more fun, cracked more jokes and (became) more lighthearted toward the end of the semester.”

Seward said his work is in the style of hyperrealism, an advancement of photorealism, in which he creates paintings that appear to be high-resolution photographs but also portray a false reality.

“The subject matter may be recognizable, but it’s pictured in a way in which it could never exist and in a way that couldn’t be seen by the naked eye,” he said.

Seward said he uses oil, acrylic and spray paint as his mediums for his paintings, and his work focuses on the tools, surfaces and letter styles found in both street art and public art and its impact it can have on different communities.

Of all his achievements concerning his work, Seward said his greatest accomplishments are a recent solo exhibition and publication he had.

Seward also has a research project coming up soon for a few large-scale murals.

“Some of my students will be helping me which will be a great hands-on experience,” he said.

As a new addition to the UNA faculty, Seward said he hopes students learn to create work with both a technical and conceptual focus from his classes or to simply explore their creativity.

“Even if I never have them in a class again and they walk away having gained an appreciation for art while at the same time creating work that is honest to themselves, then I’m happy,” he said.

Eaves said she believes Seward fits in with the rest of the professors on campus.