The 15 best student artists:Kelsey Morton

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.

(Josh Fernandez/TTN)

Year: Sophomore
Major: Printmaking

Kelsey Morton is a creator. When she’s not busy creating artwork, she’s creating a name for herself in the art community.

The Tyler School of Art sophomore has always held art in high esteem, trying her hand in countless media ever since she was able to hold a pencil.

“Everything you look at that is man-made was touched or influenced by an artist in some way,” Morton said.

Originally from York, Pa., Morton came to Tyler to be a painting major but decided on printmaking, a technique that combines drawing, painting, woodcutting, engraving or etching to produce a unique sequence of prints.

Her most recent work is a series of detailed baseball card-sized prints depicting Queen Victoria and the caste system.

Although she is the only one in her family to pursue art as a career, Morton attributes her success to her parents and the Tyler staff.

“The teachers are willing to work with you and develop new ideas, expand on your knowledge and really push you to become a better artist,” she said.

Morton is also working toward receiving a teaching certificate while at Tyler and hopes to one day educate high school or college students.

Until then, she spreads her love of art throughout the community by returning to her high school to speak with students about careers in art. She plans to start a cross-stitching and needlepoint club with her church members this summer.

When she’s not in the studio working on projects that may take more than 70 hours to complete, Morton works at a hospital transporting patients.

“I work with every kind of patient there is, and I think that transpires into my art,” she said. “It has helped me network and learn how to talk to people.”

Morton said communication is one of the most important parts of being an artist because of the stereotypically secluded nature of the field.

Morton regularly schedules her art exhibitions and will be showing at the Maryland Federation of Art’s Emerging Artists Exhibition April 18. Her work will also be on display May 9 at “Jazz on the Ave,” an annual jazz festival and health fair that takes place at Broad Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue.

This may only be her second year of art school, but Morton is already a confident and passionate artist.

“Artists may only be 3 percent of the world’s population,” she said, “but we’re an important 3 percent.”

Julie Achilles can be reached at

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