Artist Spotlight: Payton Seats

Sophia Englehart , Community Editor

Artistic talent comes in many shapes, sizes and colors, but no matter how unusual or unique the artist, their success can be a prominent indicator of their hard work.

Senior Payton Seats is certainly a person who fits this description. An actor, musician, inventor, future engineer, coffee enthusiast, published author and advocate for American culture, Seats is the very definition of a successful teenager.

Seats first began his journey as a young actor, performing for the Powell Parks and Recreation theater department. As Seats got older, however, he began branching off from typical high school drama and began working on theater productions  that were much more his style, and that could be considered on the spectrum of unusual.

“I travel all over performing in Civil War reenactments and presentations,” says Seats during an interview. “The topic of the Civil War has always been an area of interest to me and being able to participate in these reenactments has become a huge hobby for me.” Seats’s family originally came from West Virginia, an area of the U.S that is well known for its deep involvement with  the American Civil War.

However, as talented as he is as an actor, Seats is an even more impressive musician. Like his acting, Seats prefers to play outside of school, performing in four different music groups and playing up to thirteen different instruments, including the guitar, drums, mandolin, bass and violin.

“I prefer the musician side of me, because music is refined,” says Seats. “With theater you are playing the character right off the script, then add your own style, but with music, you can immediately start that creative process. You can bend all of the sound from different instruments and make it sound as one and for me, that is amazing.”

In addition to his activities, Seats helped write several chapters of the book Fresh History Brewed Daily alongside writer Danny Coon. He also working on creating and inventing a multi-purpose turbine, and creates music via SoundCloud on his free time.

Payton Seats is also a passionate activist working to preserve West Virginia culture and lifestyle, particularly that of coal miners and their families. He, along with classmate and fellow senior Andrew Hicks, wrote a compelling essay about expanding the economy to create more jobs for the mining community and keep the mining culture intact.  

Because of their hard work, E. Gordon Gee, former president of OSU and current president of West Virginia University (WVU), offered Seats a place in the WVU class of 2018. At WVU, Seats will be able to have the ability to design his own classes and course work, so he can study in multiple colleges and courses instead of just one. 

Seats will be attending WVU on scholarship to study civil and environmental engineering, with a hopeful minor in public policy. He also has hopes of attending law school in the future.