George Morton

George Anthony Morton is an Atlanta-based award-winning and internationally recognized artist, specializing in classical drawing, painting and most recently filmmaking. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, Wall Street Journal and USA Today. He also has exhibited in Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration, curated by Nicole Fleetwood at MoMA PS1. 

George nurtured his craft and unique artistic ability in his twenties, while serving a ten year sentence in federal prison, spending his time rigorously studying the Classical-Realist tradition that emanated from immortal Renaissance painters and creating his own stunning works. 

After his release, George secured a spot at the prestigious Florence Academy of Art, where he continued to hone his skills. While attending the Academy, George traveled to museums across Europe to study and deconstruct paintings by revered Renaissance and seventeenth century “golden age” painters including Peter Paul Rubens, Diego Velazquez, and Rembrandt. George won competitive awards for Best Figure Drawing in 2015, and Best Portrait Drawing in 2016, and he became the first Black student to graduate from the Academy. 

In 2019, he founded his studio, Atelier South, with the mission of bringing a classical art based renaissance to the metropolitan Atlanta area. Through Atelier South, George offers painting students of all levels timeless principles from the 17th century Golden Age of Art, and seeks to emphasize craft-oriented and skill-based art rooted in a solid classical tradition. George has led several trips to Egypt seeking the timeless principles and African origins of art and self improvement. George has also traveled the U.S. speaking and teaching these principles at Correctional Facilities, Universities, and world class Art Museums.

George co-created the award-winning documentary Master of Light, a portrait of George as an artist, which lyrically shines a light on racial injustice, intergenerational trauma, and resilience. Master of Light has already won top awards at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival, 2022 Sheffield Doc Fest and 2022 San Francisco International Film Festival among others. In fall of 2022, Master of Light was acquired by HBO,and is now streaming on HBO MAX.

Right of Return Project

George will create a new series of contemporary portraits and still-lifes using Classical-Realist painting techniques to highlight how incarceration impacts family structures and the broader community.