Studio Art Alumnus Wins World Photography Award

Jarod Lew portraitA Department of Art, Art History, and Design alumnus has won the Annual Exposure Photography Award. Over the past six years, The Exposure Awards have honored top photographers from around the world, distributing more than $1 million in prizes and awards. Jarod Lew was the Grand Prize Winner from thousands of entries.

Lew’s (Studio Art ’09) winning photo series, “Maybe I'll See You There,” documents the aftermath of Detroit's decline and its uncertain future. Using the desolate cityscape as the backdrop, Lew wanders through this landscape searching for a past that creeps along with the present. By creating a narrative that is sincere to everyday life in Detroit, he hopes to raise questions that need to be asked when in search of something that is slowly being hidden away. 

Great work can come out of just paying attention to the subtle things that you find interesting and translating them into a visual image.


“Winning the 6th annual PDN Exposure Award means that one does not have to travel somewhere completely exotic to make great work,” Lew said. “Great work can come out of just paying attention to the subtle things that you find interesting and translating them into a visual image.”

one of jarod lew's photographs featuring a woman behind a screen doorFor Lew, Detroit was always a place where he could not enter as a child. After graduating from MSU, he wanted to try to figure out why it was so feared. He started to explore the city and noticed how the old and the new were coexisting through dramatic resurgence and change. "I photograph these subtleties to better understand the daily lives of people who are living in the city," he said.

In addition to the award, Lew will receive an exhibition at Photoville in New York City.

The Exposure Photography Awards is sponsored by PDN Magazine. For a list of winners, including Lew’s winning selection, please visit the Sixth Annual Exposure Photography Award website.

Photos by Jarod Lew