Faculty Feature: Professor Jeff Morton
Faculty Feature is a series in the Blue Tribune that recognizes the excellent professors and staff of Covenant College through a series of questions.
This week we're highlighting Prof. Jeff Morton, Professor of Art and Department Chair.
What brought you to Covenant? How long have you been teaching?
Through the encouragement of my friend Brian Fikkert, I applied to teach at Covenant College and help Ed Kellogg develop our art program. That was about 22 years ago.
What is your history with Covenant?
While I didn't attend Covenant College, my wife was a student here in the 1980's and so too was my younger brother. Being the cousin of History Professor Paul Morton is notable.
What do you love about teaching at Covenant?
The classroom is so energizing. Teaching art at Covenant affords us the opportunity to see how our theology of creation and the incarnation (the embodied Christ) frames our purpose to make material things that give us meaning in what we do.
What's your history with the PCA or Reformed Tradition?
My father was a pastor in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and he had a view of creation and culture that encouraged my participation with both.
What's your favorite Covenant tradition?
Hands down, I love Convocation. The visual and performative liturgies of our academic culture that sets serious tone filled with excitement and anticipation to start a school year with focus.
What is a current research project or area of interest you're excited about?
The driving question behind my artistic research is "where do I belong"? At this time this question has driven me to make drawings and paintings while knee-deep in kudzu.
What's one of your favorite cultural or family traditions?
Cooking Thai Basil for my children and friends while we laugh, make fun, and cry together.
Anything else prospective students should know about you?
While I wear many hats as the department chair, I literally have many hats that I wear on my head. Notable pieces include a bear knitted hat by my wife (seen above), a colored crochet hat purchased in support of cancer research, and a hat that channels an art historic figure.
Tell us a little about your family:
I've been married to Betsy for over 28 years, we have four children, two of whom graduated from Covenant College.
How do you/your department encourage each student to pursue academic excellence?
We want our students to discover the question that drives their heart and to find artistic materials and processes to explore what it means to belong in God's world.