Unlike junior high, art courses in college gave Powell some direction and helped him discover his niche -- digital photography.
A 2006 graduate of Sikeston High School, Powell said his love for photography actually took off while he worked as a sports writer at the Standard Democrat beginning in 2007.
"I enjoyed going to the games, covering stories... conducting interviews but my favorite part was always shooting the photos. Capturing that perfect moment and seeing it hit the press the next morning -- there was nothing like it," Powell recalled.
Eager for a change, Powell said he transferred to the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2009.
"Fulfilling the rest of my general education requirements I enrolled in an art appreciation class that fall semester, thinking it would be easy credits to pick up," Powell said.
But little did Powell know, it was there his collegiate career would take a drastic turn, he said.
"One day a printmaking professor from the art department named Chris Daniggelis came in to give a guest lecture on art and what it meant to be an artist," Powell recalled. "His passion was contagious."
It was during that lecture, a message struck a chord with Powell when Daniggelis said: "Anyone can be an artist. It just doesn't mean everyone is going to want to look at your art."
"It was that day that I found out the art department offered a photography emphasis so I thought why not -- if anyone can be an artist," Powell said. "After all, photography was what I loved most about my last job."
Fast forward two years, and the 23-year-old Sikeston native's work is on display in his first solo show. Powell's exhibit, "Altered Landscapes," opened June 20 and runs through July 10 in the Craft Studio Gallery at Memorial Union on the University of Missouri's Columbia campus.
For the entire story, see the July 5 edition of the Standard Democrat or click here to log on to the electronic edition.