The Centennial Student Union building has a long history of showcasing students’ artwork, and this semester is no different. Minnesota State University, Mankato senior Kyron Winfield showcased his striking photography all of last week, in a collection titled “Human Xenon.”
Each of the 20 photographs shown in the gallery is a miniature time capsule, offering an in-the-moment view of everyday life and the unique, inimitable moments it can offer.
An art major with a concentration in photography, Winfield secured his spot in the CSU gallery through the Undergraduate Research Center. Winfield took an art program over the summer, allowing him to present his photo gallery in the fall.
Photography is a more recent development in Winfield’s life, and a gift he realized he had thanks to his family and friends.
“Whenever someone was like ‘Hey, can you take a photo of so and so’ … and I would take it and they’d be like ‘Oh wow the composition is really nice!’” Winfield said.
“And then I found this random photograph of me in middle school holding one of those point-and-shoot cameras at a field trip … and it inspired me to take it seriously and think about it some more,” Winfield continued.
“Human Xenon” is the title of the photo collection, inspired by the periodic table element of the same name. Xenon is a gas that can be found in lots of light sources, such as headlights or camera flashes.
“It’s a play on words, putting ‘human’ in front of it. It’s shining that type of light on humans, so ‘Human Xenon,’” Winfield said.
The common thread running through all the photos in the exhibitis an unmistakable sense of uniqueness; capturing a moment in time that will never happen again. The authenticity of the moments is what keeps Winfield motivated to continue snapping photos.
“There’s photos in there that are completely unique that you’ll never find anywhere else. Capturing that moment in space and time and trapping it and knowing we can’t go back to that moment, really means a lot to me,” Winfield said.
Because the photos are usually spur-of-the-moment decisions, Winfield doesn’t have a set process for how he takes his photos. Shooting the photos as he sees them contributes to the authenticity of the moment, a feeling near and dear to him.
“It’s in the moment, that’s what the whole thing is about. I really like the authenticity of it. Me, as a person, I really like original stuff, [and] not posing for the camera is as original as it gets,” Winfield said.
Photography is proving to be successful for Winfield. After opening his gallery in the CSU, multiple people approached him asking if he was interested in showing his works elsewhere.
“I already have a few offers to put my photos in some other galleries downtown. The future is looking kinda crazy right now. Hopefully, I just get myself out there,” Winfield said.
Despite the growing success, Winfield says that photography is ultimately a passion project and that having fun matters much more than any material object.
“It isn’t really about the fame or money part… I really do this for me and the people I love. I hope my love for photography never runs out,” Winfield said.
Header Photo: Kyron Winfield captures photos in the moment, giving them an authenticity that he hopes to share with others. (Lilly Anderson/The Reporter)
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