Arts for All
| Jun 25, 2013
In a classroom festooned with vibrant art projects and dangling paper clouds, Emilie Halpern demonstrated how to create a tree inspired by fall colors.
As a teaching artist from Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, Halpern was spending her morning with first grade students at Hamilton Elementary School integrating the arts into the classroom teacher’s lesson on weather. Arts for All’s Residency Grant Program brought the Armory and Pasadena Unified School District together for this residency at Hamilton.
To the students, Ms. Halpern is just a really fun art teacher. But what they didn’t know is that she is a Paris-born artist with a resume of exhibitions from Los Angeles to Texas to the French West Indies.
Halpern grew up in family of artists. She moved to California as a young child. But she went back to Paris during the summers and was influenced by all that surrounded her.
“I loved watching my grandfather paint and sketch, and spending time in my grandmother's studio,” says the Art Center College of Design graduate. “Her home was filled with plants and musical instruments, and she painted by these large windows that overlooked the streets of Paris.”
She started her undergraduate career as an art major at UCLA with a concentration on painting. But eventually her passions for photography, sculpture, video and sound surfaced. Represented by Pepin Moore Gallery in Los Angeles, she has started to delve into ceramics professionally because of students’ influence.
“Bags of clay are literally met with applause from the kids!” says Halpern.
She loved the clay experience so much in her classrooms that she started to incorporate the medium into her own work.
“That kind of joy is easily lost in the solitary world of an artist's studio. By teaching children, I'm exposed to the love of art on a daily basis. And I feel that I am changing the world one child at a time.”