Meet Emerging Artist: Chelsey Luster

“Art is a way for me to turn simple emotions into complex ideas and visually express them to my audience.”
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Chelsey Luster is a 19-year-old talented artist from Baltimore, Maryland who paints, draws, and does photography. She showcased her paintings on October 21st at the Funeral: Death of an American Dream art showcase hosted by Temple Universities OEM (Only Elite Matters). 

Luster explained in her bio that: 

“Art is a way for me to turn simple emotions into complex ideas and visually express them to my audience.”

 Her paintings are captivating because their are infused with emotion; immediately grabbing your attention and pulling you closer into her creative form of expression. The black backgrounds and the characters she paints urge you to stop and question further. Compared to the other artists whose paintings were cartoonish, her paintings were more realistic and showed expression. You can follow her Instagram @luster_love or visit her website at

Catch our exclusive sit down with the Chelsey below: 

What inspires you to make art?

Luster: Pretty much I need to do it just to be happy. It feeds my soul as corny as that sounds. And everything inspires me from politics to how I feel about myself when I wake up, so its kind of just like how I express myself. It’s the thing that makes me... me. When I don’t do it, it tears me apart so its what I need.

Who are your top 3 favorite artists?

Luster: I love Sally Mann. She’s a photographer and her work is just phenomenal. Definitely all of the greats like Vermeer and Matisse. They are just original so you have to pay your respect to them.

What is the purpose of your art?

Luster: Most of my art is to create controversy and create a conversation. I make a lot of work about sex, religion, race, politics, so I want to start a conversation and make people feel uncomfortable. I think with my art I want to get people’s attention and speak my voice because if I’m going to make a statement, I’m going to make it big and I’m going to make it good.

How do you want people to view your art?

Luster: Whether they love it or hate it I want them to stop and think about it. I just want people to start a conversation, whether it’s I hate it why the hell would she make it or I love this, this is going to change my life. I want people to look at art a different way and stop and be forced to stare at it. As long as my art has a presence that’s all I’m looking for.

Out of the 5 paintings displayed here, which one is your favorite?

Luster: The last one with the American flag is my favorite. I love the color scheme and its one of the first ones I did this semester. Its really personal, it goes back to how I view women and how I was raised. It’s one of my favorite pieces probably ever.