Marquis Pickering: A Balance of Athletics and the Arts


Marquis Pickering

Pace Football player Marquis Pickering is well-known for his athletic skills on the field, and his artistic prowess off of it.

Sequoia Cumming, Editor In Chief

Starting at just five years old, being a running back was all Marquis Pickering ever knew.

“My mom, she put me in it, and I didn’t understand it because I was so young, but I was so fast,” he said. “I was racing kids at first and then that turned into being a running back and I was good at it.”

Once he came to Pace, Pickering had to choose between playing either slot receiver or running back. Having a life devoted to his sport only changed during the second semester of his sophomore year.

“I took a photography class spring semester and it gave me a way to express myself, and I liked that a lot.” Pickering beamed.

The rise to local stardom for Pickering began when his friends recognized his talent.

“They were like ‘Hey, maybe you should take this more seriously,’ but at the time I just had a little Sony camera that wasn’t doing much,” he said.

Pickering’s mother raised him on her own in North Shore, Staten Island.

“It’s not really the wealthiest part of Staten Island, I saw a lot as a kid,” he stated. “I feel like that jagged edge really shaped the person who I am, which you can see in my art.”

Pickering’s mother has also been his greatest supporter throughout his life, and always pushed him to chase his dreams.

When Pickering is not shooting photos of people, he takes aesthetic shots of buildings.
Pickering’s shot of new Pace football quarterback Brandon Simmons.

“She asked me this past Christmas what I wanted and I said a camera, I wished for her to invest in me,” he stated. “She picked up another job, bought me a camera, and that’s when things took off”

The inspiration for Pickering’s photography comes from the people around him.

“I really look for people just to be themselves,” he exclaimed. “I like people’s happiness, I put other people’s happiness over mine.”

Many students at Pace know of Pickering’s skill for taking gorgeous portrait shots and posting them online under the name “Pick’s Pics.” Students often reach out to him for pictures to post on their social media accounts.

“I can’t go a day, or even a few minutes without people calling up ‘Hey, Pick’s Pics!’” he said. “I got to tell them that I’m in football mode, or I’m in school right now.”

Pickering values the lessons taught to him by being a member of an artistic community, as well as an athletic one.

“There’s so much passion in athletics, that carries over to the things I do with photography,” he said.

As for the future, Pickering is not sure what he wants to do yet. Currently, he works as a marketing intern on Broadway, which is very different from what he’s accustomed to.

“I’ve never been to Broadway shows, but then I got the opportunity to work there, interview producers and stuff like that,” he said. “It really opened up my eyes.”

Pickering’s shot of Portuguese singer Mariza.

When it comes to his photography, Pickering wants to continue his endeavors by opening up his own business, or a studio. He said he will choose “whichever works best” for him.

Either way, Pickering has made it clear that he carries a passion and drive for both athletics and the arts, and that being a member of both communities has encouraged him to express himself and his individuality.