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The Eastern Echo Saturday, June 22, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

Zeporah Payne - Women in art at EMU

Women in art at EMU: Zeporah Payne

While this student is studying clinical psychology, she hopes to mesh her field with the arts.

Art is a constant in the world and can often be mixed with most areas of life in ways that many people fail to think of.

Eastern Michigan University student Zeporah Payne is studying clinical psychology, but she hopes to mix her artistic talents with her scientific field.

Growing up in an artistic household where both her parents and her brother all draw, Payne said that art came as a second nature to her. Now, she sees herself as an artist in a multitude of ways: a poet, a sketcher, a painter, and a dancer.

When it comes to visual art, Payne said her main theme is afro-futurism, which she described as "taking Black people or the African experience and putting it into a futuristic way."

One of her favorite paintings she did demonstrates this greatly, showing a couple in space holding tools in a cool-colored scenery.

"It offers a different perspective of different situations," Payne said. "They have knives and screwdrivers in their hands and people can look at that piece and they can interpret that however they want to interpret that."

Payne said that most of her work has some type of significant metaphoric meaning, some more obvious, and others left up for interpretation.

Starting out though, she was mainly a commission artist getting paid to paint portraits for people. So, she has a short-term goal of creating more paintings for herself and have a collection of art pieces.

"I want to hop in to the art world more, I want to get to know people, I want to do a showcase," she said.

Apart from the piece of the couple in space, which was the largest she has ever done, another one of Payne's favorite personal pieces is titled "The Blueprint."

"I think I liked the piece so much because it really proved to me how much I can do," she said. "I really felt like I stepped outside of my comfort zone."

While she isn't studying art at EMU, Payne still hopes to embed art into her future career, maybe in the form of art therapy.

"I feel like art is in everything," Payne said. "Even if I'm taking the scientific route, there's artistry in it. Whether it be the art of spoken word, whether it be the art of painting, I plan to work with children and some children need visuals to learn things."

Furthermore, Payne plans to open her own nonprofit called "Little Paintings" to help get more children of all backgrounds get in touch with their artistic sides.

"I have so many career goals, the ultimate goal is that I want to work with children," Payne said. "If money were no object, if, you know, I wasn't even thinking about how much schooling it was gonna take, I would be a child psychologist and I would have my own practice, and I would work with them through art therapy."

Payne said that she thinks art is important for communities because of how it is used to express emotion in such a multitude of forms.

"I think art brings people together because it allows you to escape from all the seriousness," she said. "For most people, it's an outlet to just get away... Art is an outlet for me. When I know I'm stressed out, I'm going to paint."

At EMU, Payne is the founder of student organization Her Space that helps promote mental health for Black women. She also said that she is co-founding an upcoming organization on campus called The Art Collective, where all forms of artists will be able to come together and create.

"It's gonna be full of photographers, poets, artists, painters, you name it. It's an organization catered to the economic development and advertising of new and upcoming artists," Payne said.

To see more of Payne's work, visit @paynetings_ on Instagram.

"Art is subjective, art is unique to you," she said. "Learn the basics, learn color theory, learn anatomy, learn how to sketch or whatever, but I say for the most part, find your own style."