The total number of Granville students with artwork displayed at the recent convention of New York school boards was not many; in fact, it was just one.
Granville Elementary School sixth-grader Matt Fuller had three images displayed among the art by students from schools across the entire state at the New York City event. “When I saw Matt’s talent and skill in taking photographs I immediately thought of his work to represent the Granville Central School District at the (convention) and I hope he continues to pursue his hobby; he had a wonderful eye for capturing images,” elementary art teacher Jennifer Dashef said.
Matt is catching a lot of attention for a hobby he only picked up about a year ago. Dashef picked up the ball and ran with it after seeing Matt’s work.
Dashef then did the leg work necessary to get the photos entered into contention; everyone found out they had been put in the show in September.
The 12-year-old budding photographer said he hasn’t had any formal instruction; he just read a book about how to operate a digital camera and then shot a lot of photos.
“I was surprised, like happy…excited when I heard because my pictures were going to be in New York City,” he said.
Matt said he watched adults taking pictures at sports events and asked to try. It didn’t take too long and he was hooked, he said.
Matt recently had a sports photo featured in the Granville Sentinel and said shooting sports is something he really enjoys, when he isn’t playing on his own team.
While he enjoys taking shots of his sister Emily Fuller’s Golden Horde soccer team, sometimes his own schedule interferes with taking pictures. Like many, a busy schedule means having to plan time for a photo outing for the grade school student.
“When I have time and don’t have homework or a game myself –usually on the weekend that’s when I go,” he said.
The images that went to New York City were of his dog, a campfire and rocks or as they were titled “dog days,” “fire” and “rock concert.”
In addition to sports, the budding artist said he enjoys going outside and taking his camera for a walk. “I like doing that and just figuring it out for myself,” Matt said. “I like it a lot; it’s fun to go outside and take pictures.”
“I just go out and try to think of things I haven’t taken pictures of yet,” he said.
Matt said despite having worked at photography for less than a year, all of the success he’s had and the attention it’s garnered have him thinking about the future.
Majoring in photography and continuing on to a career behind the camera are goals Matt said he thinks about even as he finishes his final year at GES and prepares to move across the street.
While many grumble about the coming winter, Matt said the snow and winter sports are two things he’s really looking forward to. “I can’t wait to try (photographing) winter and snow,” he said.
Board of Education Vice President John Steves said an entire room the size of the district offices was dedicated to student artwork from across the entire state and Matt’s photos were amongst the art from New York City and Rochester and really big districts. Along with Steves were board President Kathy Nelson, board member Dee Bergeron and Superintendent Mark Bessen.
“I was proud to see that; my chest was all pumped out. It was really exciting to see Granville in there,” Steves said.
“We’re going to have it displayed in the school to everyone can see,” Bessen said.
“His pictures were very striking; I was very impressed with them. You can see that he just gets it; he gets what the lens can do,” Bessen said.