Artist Spotlight: Luke Ruggiero

Talking to Luke Ruggerio feels like you’re talking to an A-list celebrity. Both a photographer and actor, Luke is a sophomore nursing major from Del Mar, California. Someday, you might see his work featured in the MoMA or maybe you’ll see him win a Tony Award.

Kate Sagara: How did you become interested in photography?

Luke Ruggiero: In elementary and middle school, I started traveling a lot with my family. I have some Italian roots so we go back to Italy sometimes. That’s where I started taking photos. Once I got into high school, it became an outlet for me and I would spend a lot of time in the art room. I befriended an art teacher and we would spend every lunch messing around with Photoshop.

KS: What’s your favorite thing about photography?

LR: It allows you to be honest about how you see things. Some people argue that editing photos too much turns it into something that isn’t truthful. But I would argue that editing is really an art form of its own and integrated with photography, you can emphasize certain parts of images that wouldn’t normally be emphasized. You have the ability to point people’s eyes to certain spots. It’s really powerful.

KS: How did you get involved with theater?

LR: [My older brother and I] would see shows around our area when we were younger. In San Diego, there’s the La Jolla Playhouse and the Old Globe — it’s a really surprising place you wouldn’t expect to have a theater community. [My brother] started doing technical theater and a couple of years after he started, I decided I wanted to get into it. I think [my interest in theater] was mostly my parents trying to get me to have things to do outside of school. But it ended up being a really big passion of mine because, as anyone in theater will tell you, theater draws certain kinds of people who are open to being really friendly and just nice genuine people, and you make friends for life. And not just that but, it’s an art form that really combines so many mediums.

KS: How do you see art fitting into your future plans?

LR: Being a nursing major gives me a really busy schedule. I tried to take a semester off and not perform because I really wanted to get used to being in clinicals. I kept some photography up, but not performing for a while was kind of like starving myself. I ended up doing a play at the end of the year. I couldn’t stay away from it that long. If something is really important to you and you really enjoy it, it sort of feeds your mind and your soul. So even if it adds a lot of work, it’s still worth it if it makes you happy at the end of the day.

You can check out Luke’s photography on Instagram @lorugg or see him in upcoming College Player’s shows!

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