The 15 best student artists:Sarah Longenecker

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.

(Nic Lukehart/TTN)

Year: Sophomore
Major: Ceramics and Photography

Sophomore Sarah Longenecker didn’t always aspire to be an artist. However, encouragement from a high school art teacher along with an unsuccessful venture into accounting led her down that path.

Longenecker is a ceramics and photography major with a new outlook on life. When she first came to Tyler School of Art, Longenecker had her whole life laid out.

“This semester, I’ve really changed my work, and I’m exploring new techniques,” Longenecker said.
Not only was she bored with using the same approach to her art all the time, but a ceramic tiles class forced her to think within the 2D realm, which was something new for her.

Longenecker is most proud of her current work and gives credit to her teachers at Temple for helping and motivating her.

“The teachers [at Tyler] push me to expand my work and skills,” she said.

Recently, Longenecker has been combining her two majors into single pieces of artwork, baking photographic prints onto ceramic pieces. “I think photography was the most amazing invention—that you can capture a moment in time,” Longenecker said. “And with ceramics, it’s fun to just get dirty sometimes.”

Longenecker’s outlook seems to have affected the way she approaches art.

She brings the two realms of ceramics and photography together in a very successful way, using the human body and light.

“I would like to present an innovative beauty that inspires others and pushes them to think about the everyday ‘simple’ forms that can be surprisingly complex and alluring,” Longenecker said.

She’s also exploring different hobbies, from cooking and singing to playing guitar and bookbinding. She has also added salsa dancing to her list of activities.

She said her favorite part of being an artist is that you’re “free to do whatever you want because there are a lot of opportunities and paths that you can explore as an artist.”

Longenecker hopes to incorporate both majors into her future after graduation.

“My dream job would be to be a traveling photographer. Maybe even to work for National Geographic,” she said.

She has developed flexibility in regard to her future.

“I think every artist should always be in that stage of constant development,” she said.

Elizabeth McIlnay can be reached at

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