Jayanti Seiler advocates for the ethical treatment of animals as an artist, using photography as a vehicle to incubate discussion, broaden awareness, and ultimately serve as the basis for change. Jayanti has generated comprehensive and provocative photographic art for over twenty years. As an Associate Professor at the Southeast Center for Photographic Studies in Daytona Beach Florida, she has taught technical and creative art courses in photography since 2011. Her contributions to animal activism extend beyond her photographic work to include supportive collaborations with animal rights groups. Because of her public advocacy for the rights of animals, in 2015, Jayanti was called on by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in a court case involving the exploitation of animals in violation of state and federal law.
Jayanti’s photography has gained national and international recognition in publications including The New York Times LENS “Humans and Animals: A Complicated Bond”, LIFE FORCE Magazine in the UK, LENSCRATCH, Véganes Magazine in Canada, Vision Magazine in Beijing, Edge of Humanity Magazine "From Lifesaving to Exploitation-The Human Factor in the Animal's Life”, Muybridge’s Horse Magazine, and Bird In Flight Magazine “The Golden Cage” in Russia. Her photography has been exhibited in the USA and internationally including the Southeast Museum of Photography in Daytona Beach Florida, Chiang Mai University Art Museum in Thailand, Workspace Gallery in Nebraska, Harvard University, Museum of Contemporary Art Georgia, The von Liebig Art Center in Naples Florida, and Washington State University. In 2014, Jayanti was commissioned by Big Cat Rescue, one of the largest accredited sanctuaries in the country dedicated to abused and abandoned big cats, to create a film featured on the Discovery Animalist Channel.
In 2013, Jayanti focused her attention on the exploration of the unique relationships between wildlife rescue and rehabilitation caretakers and birds of prey in Florida. She was a speaker at the 2013 Society for Photographic Education Southeast Regional Conference in Florida, where she presented her photography series, “Clemency Raptor”. The images were captured at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland and the Marine Science Center in Ponce Inlet Florida and featured a vignette of conflicted life for birds of prey in captivity.
Jayanti’s motivation to give a voice to the voiceless through her art is an extension of the work that she did as a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) in Alachua County Florida. GALs are court appointed advocates who represent children's rights in the foster care system. This experience inspired the creation of a film installation titled, “Docket”, featuring monologues of former foster children and GAL volunteers. It served to heighten awareness about abuses suffered by foster children caught in the child welfare system. In 2011, the film was exhibited at University Gallery at the University of Florida, and screened at the Pride Community Center of North Central Florida and the Alachua County Partnership for Strong Families in Florida.
Jayanti was granted a fellowship from the University of Florida where she received her Master of Fine Arts Degree in 2011. She was the sole recipient of this award as well as the Dennis and Colette Campay Scholarship. Jayanti earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2000, where she received the T.C. Colley Award and Scholarship. Following graduation, Jayanti was hired by Luna Imaging, Inc. as a photographer at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City to capture the Design Collection for the DDC digital database project and went on to run a commercial photography business while teaching art full-time in the Sarasota County school system. She also led photography workshops at the Sarasota Art Center and Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida.