Sister Lucia's photography wins Honorable Mention

Sister Lucia Surmik with another of her pieces, "Realm of Beauty"

"I love nature and have been gifted with an eye that sometimes sees it differently," said Sister Lucia Surmik when asked what attracts her to photography. "For example, I'm always checking the sky, watching for the moment when I know this is THE sunset. There's a great satisfaction in capturing nature's beauty in a photo at the perfect moment."

That gifted eye and patient watching has rewarded Sister Lucia once again with recognition for her work: Two of her pieces, "In Harmony" and "Joyful Moment" were accepted into the 2020 Independent Council on Aging Senior Art Show, "In Harmony" received an honorable mention. Sister Lucia's award-winning photography has been in many shows over the years. This particular show will be on display at the ICA’s Art of Aging Gallery inside Traditions Unlimited at 1608 West 8th Street in Erie until January 5.

Like fisherfolk, photographers also lament "the one that got away": "We were walking outside and I looked up to see a magnificent cardinal perched on a bus antenna. He sat there for the longest time, just daring me to capture him with my camera. But I'd left my camera in the house!" She rarely leaves it behind.

Sister Lucia started down the photographer's path more than 50 years ago (she's 87 years young now) when she was a grade school principal using a Brownie camera to document school events. Now, although officially "retired" after many years as head cook at Emmaus Ministries Soup Kitchen, Sister Lucia fills numerous support roles in community and continues to advocate for peace and justice, most recently through the Poor People's Campaign. She can be found on Mondays and Tuesdays, wearing her mask and seated outside the soup kitchen helping people register to vote.

Sister Lucia is pictured with her entry into another art show, this one at Mount St. Benedict Monastery. It is titled "Realm of Beauty."