The 15 best student artists:Kate Patsch

Fifteen artists were chosen to share their stories in our special issue, created to showcase some of Temple’s most passionate and creative on-campus talent.

(Courtesy Julie Miller)

Year: Alumni
Degree: BFA in Photography

Traditionally, water and cameras are two mediums that do not mix. In fact, the combination can be quite disastrous.

But in the case of Kate Patsch, who has a bachelor’s of fine arts in photography, she not only figured out how to combine the two, but how to use her love for art, photography and lifelong interest in psychology as a tool to help others.

“Art is an outlet,” Patsch said.

A little more than a year ago, Patsch was a senior at Tyler’s Elkins Park campus. She plunged into underwater photography while lifeguarding for Temple.

Taking pictures of models under water required underwater housing, or an “$100 of black bag,” as Patsch calls it. The bag protects a photographer’s camera and lenses underwater.

The underwater photography was a therapy for Patsch.

“I was submerging myself in this completely deafening world like it was nothing. You’re encasing yourself in nothing, and it’s calm,” Patsch said. “To be in that environment and feeling such a sense of that but having this inspiring person in front of you moving around… I loved every second of it, and I never stopped doing it.”

“The figure is a very key component in my work,” said Patsch about the freedom of the figure while encased and floating.

All her models had different reactions to the environment, and this is what Patsch captured. Whether they were terrified, wrapped floating in billowy sheets or fell to the bottom relaxed and serene, their spontaneous reactions were recorded.

“It’s so natural. It was insane how natural it was, and I just loved every second of it,” Patsch said.
Patsch grew up in Three Tuns, Pa., where her interest in photography was cultivated. Her father was a photographer for 26 years, and his experience continues to inspires Patsch.

Patsch graduated in December 2008 but has been showing and selling her work since 2005, when she participated in the Greetings and Grievings exhibit at the Muse Gallery in Philadelphia.

“As my photography matured, it sort of morphed into an art form, like something that embodied me instead of just something that I did and didn’t even think twice about.”

Patsch looks forward to earning her master’s of fine arts in art therapy. She also wants to teach art at the college level.

Patsch has already been accepted to the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. 

Patsch is dedicated to helping people find, create and wholeheartedly travel down their paths.

“Art, especially photography … struggles to be seen as art,” Patsch said, “but it has its place, and it has its purpose and is some of the most beautiful work I’ve ever seen.”

She admires artists who show the world something new.

“That’s the thing, we’re recreating. We’re not creating anymore,” said Patsch with a smile. “We take for granted these days the beauty that’s to be found in each frame.” 

Kali Wyrosdic can be reached at

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.