Kelsey Grafton


GRAF 0083 PotbellyFauxBoisVessel L

Kelsey Grafton    Lewiston, ID

Grafton is an award-winning Artist and Illustrator, an Idaho native, and a mother to two amazing humans. She earned her BFA, Magna cum Laude, through Cornish College of the Arts and her MFA through the University of Idaho in 2021. She served five years as the Exhibit & Programming Coordinator at LC State's Center for Arts & History and currently serves as the Visiting Professor of Art at LC State in her hometown of Lewiston, ID

I am a multi-disciplinary artist rooted in the Pacific Northwest. My work honors the beauty of the natural world while investigating the impact man has on that beauty.

“My recent work stems from an investigation into the Kegel Family Homestead, near Colville, WA founded by my Great-grandparents in 1905. Through a grant-supported project, by the Idaho Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, I spent time painting en Plein air, hand-harvesting clay, pulling textures from fallen structures, and unearthing artifacts left behind by my ancestors. This was my way of preserving our family history through art.

The Nestation series uses the weathered wood texture from the fallen buildings while emulating the aesthetics and symbolism of the paper wasp nest; a reminder that we have control over our choices and therefore control over our outcomes. The tactile and organic structure is set into vessel form through interconnecting slabs of clay. Once fired the ceramic becomes rigid, yet fragile, mimicking the permanence and precarious nature of our choices. Catalpa seed pods are reminders of this fragility and the regenerative cycle of life.”

-Kelsey Grafton