Meet Kelsey K. Jordan

Kelsey smiles between Jack and Marilyn Kehoe, the donors of her Cortona Scholarship, during a reception at one of the Dodd Galleries.

Cortona Semester: Summer 2011      
Kelsey is a University of Georgia student expecting to graduate in Spring of 2013 with a B.F.A. in Scientific Illustration and a B.S. in Biology. She hails from Lilburn, Georgia, and was a Cortona student during the 2011 Summer Semester. In addition to serving on the Lamar Dodd School of Art Student Advisory Council, this smart and talented student was a recipient of the John D. and Marilyn Kehoe Scholarship. “The generous John D. and Marilyn Kehoe Scholarship helped me afford the trip” Kelsey told us. “I’ve had the honor of meeting them twice; they’re really kind and wonderful people who have done so much for me and the Cortona program.”

Though very busy completing her double major, Kelsey was happy to share a little about herself and her Cortona experience for C.I.A.O. and her fellow Cortona alumni:

First impression of Cortona
“I have to say that the first impression might have been on my calf muscles, climbing the hill up to the dormitories for the first time! But after that, exploring the town at twilight was a beautiful and surreal experience. There was something about the quality of light and color touching everything that was at once unfamiliar and breathtaking. I especially remember the color of the sky that night; it was the most brilliant blue I’ve ever seen.”

Biggest surprise
“How quickly everything seems normal. Before you’re even aware of it, habits sneak up on you: the places you hang out, your favorite gelateria and gelato flavor, the ideal nap time…”

Greatest challenge
“I think it was a constant struggle between getting enough sleep to fully appreciate everything and wanting to stay awake to see it all.”

Favorite Cortona class
“I loved everything I learned, but book arts might have been my favorite, because as an illustrator, I sometimes miss the chance to create more three-dimensional work and do the transformative things with media that defines the art of papermaking and book construction.”

Life lesson learned
“ . . . to jump in and accept that you will make a few mistakes. I think it helped me get over a little communication shyness, between making the best of a limited Italian vocabulary, giving speeches on short notice, and meeting 70-odd people all at once.”

Best Cortona memory
“There are so many that regularly pop up: the time I ran up to the fortress in the middle of a rainstorm and climbed up on top of the giant stones just to watch the landscape. Or making a speech in Italian in front of Cortona’s mayor. Or getting lost in Rome at night after discovering a Lady Gaga concert… it’s really hard to say.”

Kelsey’s Fantasy Artist Dinner Party Quintet
“Leonardo da Vinci, Cindy Sherman, Hayao Miyazaki, Terry Gilliam, and Clive Barker would make a spirited dinner group. But I’m sure I could think of five more for dinner the week after.”

What Kelsey does for fun
“I adore cooking, especially anything Italian or chocolate. When the weather is warmer, I keep a basil plant for my cooking, ceremonially named “Signore Pesto”. I’m also an avid reader when I have time, and trying out different kinds of dance is my favorite way to stay in shape. And although most of my energy for artmaking is channeled into school right now, I love to amuse my friends with weird monster doodles.”

What’s Next?
“Graduate School in Medical Illustration.”

One of Kelsey’s recent works: watercolor and pencil illustration of a green anole in its natural habitat

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