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Shillabeer receives Jean Lake scholarship

Lloyd Shillabeer, a Charles Henderson High School senior, has been named the recipient of the 2010 Troy Arts Council Jean Lake Scholarship.

Shillabeer is an Advanced Placement art student at CHHS and his medium is photography.

Pam Smith, CHHS art teacher, said the competition for the Jean Lake scholarship, sponsored by the Troy Arts Council, is always very stiff.

“What set Lloyd’s work apart is the high degree of professionalism he exhibits,” she said. “He is a very talented photographer and that is evident in his work. Anybody can take a picture but few people can take photography to an art form. It takes someone who has a different way of looking at things. Lloyd’s work looks more like paintings than photographs. He finds art in things that others think are too commonplace to even look at. That takes a special person. Lloyd is a special person.”

The concentration for Shillabeer’s AP portfolio is “Walls” and the 12 photographs included were taken over a two year period and from as near as Pete’s Package Store to as far away as Scotland.

He and Smith chose the photographs from the thousands he has taken.

“I traveled a ‘million’ miles with my family and I’ve taken thousands of photographs,” Shillabeer said. “Everywhere we go, I’ve found walls that are interesting and I’ve photographed them. Some of them do look like paintings.”

The “subjects” of Shillabeer’s photographs have been found in the architecture of Scotland and Ireland and historic Savannah, Georgia and even the stairwell of the USS Alabama.

He captured the beauty of both a northern Alabama sunset and the rotting foundation in a dilapidated warehouse in the southern part of the state.

That ability to find the beauty in the all things earned him the prestigious TAC Jean Lake scholarship.

Shillabeer said he is very appreciative of the scholarship awarded to him by the TAC because it validates his work as a photographer.

He will attended the University of Hartford (Connecticut) in the fall on an academic scholarship and he will also play for the university’s Division I soccer team.

“The University of Hartford has an outstanding art school so it offers me the opportunity to do the two things that I enjoy most,” Shillabeer said, “play soccer and take photographs.”

Shillabeer said being a professional photographer is not out of the question but his first career choice is as a soccer coach. But photography is something that he can enjoy as a hobby and, if it becomes his profession, that will be quite all right with him.