Shelia Pree Bright, an acclaimed international photographic artist, stands next to APSU’s Art and Design Building on Tues., Mar. 14. Photo taken by Isabella Morman I The All State.

So I said here is photography, I don’t have to talk, the photographs can talk for me.

Shelia Pree Bright, Photographic Artist

Stunning and uniquely talented, Shelia Pree Bright, was welcomed to Heydel Hall for a public lecture on Tuesday night with the support of Austin Peay State University’s Department of Art+Design and the Creative Arts, better known as CECA (Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts).  

This award-winning photographer and author of #1960Now: speaks of matters such as the Civil Rights Activist and Black Lives Matter protests, highlighting individuals and communities that the media may not often portray.  

Bright shared her humble beginnings and why she got into photography commenting, noting that she was, “Very shy and very introverted. I was a book lover when I was younger, and I still am, and I wouldn’t really connect with people. I was very shy and in my last year in college, I took a photography class course, and it opened up a new world for me, so it allowed me to take images and people and that’s how I got into it.” 

Looking at her work, Shelia’s primary goal was clear: using her photography to give the viewer an experience of something that is unknown to them and voicing their opinion on issues, as well as getting overall reactions to the world that is unfolding around us.  

Inspiration for Bright’s work draws from culture, modern trends, and select people such as Richard Avedon, Gordon Parks, Nina Simone, and James Baldwin.  

Bright expressed her main point of interest in her photographs, saying, “I was always curious about people and very shy and I feel that people are the ones because I love to talk to them. Building the story within the story, but lately, since I’ve been photographing the BLM movements since 2013, it kind of drained me to be honest, and I went, and I started photographing the landscape.”  

Examples of Bright’s landscape photos include Invisible Empire and Land of Blood and Dirt. The Invisible Empire tells the story of Georgia, a disturbing and strange empire that was long forgotten. Land of Blood and Dirt, however, displays the Atlanta harvest and the future of urban farming. 

Bright explained, “When I photograph the landscapes, and even when I was photographing the protests, I call it portraiture. I am trying to rewrite how we look at and view pictures.” 

Bright is one of multiple visiting artists coming to the area. Others, such as Prem Krishnamurthy (Aug. 5th), and more can be found here with specific times and locations.