The Search: Photographs by Gregory Seward

Artist in Residence at the Lamar Soutter Library

By Sandra Gray

UMass Medical School Communications

May 11, 2011

Lamar Soutter Library Artist in Residence Gregory Seward, MSHCA

The Lamar Soutter Library Artist in Residence Series presents The Search, an exhibit of photographs by Gregory Seward, MSCHA, from May 16 to June 24. For this, his second time exhibiting at the library, Seward has broadened the variety of subjects and techniques, assembling a metaphor for the ongoing, ever-changing search for meaning as an artist and an individual. His 2007 You and Me and What Was Missed, an exhibit of conceptual photography, was one of the first in the Artist in Residence series. 

A licensed social worker and certified master tobacco-treatment specialist who directs the Tobacco-Free Initiative now in its fourth year at UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Health Care, Seward has devoted his career to helping others. Photography has long been a means for the busy consultant, clinician and father of four to look inward and express himself. “I always carry a camera with me,” said Seward, who has been taking photographs since he was in the fifth grade. “You never know what you might come across—for example, the beauty of a sunrise over the new construction on campus.” 

Photographs in the exhibit showcase Seward’s experiments with unusual lighting techniques. Some photos were taken at night with details revealed by infrared illumination, and others display the stark contrast of light and dark afforded by just a single candle. “I look for things that people miss in everyday life, often taking extreme close-ups to capture them.” 

“The Sweet Colleen” by Lamar Soutter Library Artist in Residence Gregory Seward, MSHCA

On the occasions when Seward assists his wife, a wedding photographer, he adds some unusual perspectives, such as extreme close-ups of the wedding cake, to enliven more traditional subjects and poses. 

Seward has recently expanded his means for artistic expression by taking up the bagpipes, a particularly emotive instrument. His goal for the new undertaking is “to become good enough to play at Commencement,” he said.

Seward will be on hand to answer questions about his subjects and techniques at a reception on Wednesday, May 25, at 5 p.m. on the first floor of the library. Light refreshments will be served. For more information about the Artist in Residence Series and other events at the Lamar Soutter Library, visit 

Related links: 

Women’s Words Art Exhibit showcases local women artists 
Landscape photographs celebrate nature unedited 
Artist in Residence exhibit showcases a love of painting, landscapes 
Photographic exhibit at Lamar Soutter Library goes 'Behind the Mask'