PHS Profile: Mollie Murphy

photo by <span class="credit credit- "><a href="/credit/"Annie/" title="View all of this person's work">"Annie</a></span>

photo by Annie Gao

Mollie Murphy has taught art classes at PHS for 15 years, and she currently teaches Studio I, Studio II, and Studio III 2D classes. She has an undergraduate degree in English and a master’s degree in Fine Arts and currently resides in Princeton with her family.

What is your favorite memory at PHS or with students?

I think my favorite happiness here is when I think of a lesson or project, and everybody’s working on it happily, side by side at tables … It really feels communal and that’s a good memory.


Did you ever consider other career paths?

[Although I received a degree in English,] I was never thinking of being an English teacher … I mean I did think [of being a teacher] after I got my MFA of teaching, but it was always [important] that I would be doing my own [art] work, and I still do that.

 

What type of art do you do?

I think of myself really as a sculptor, but I do [photography]. I have made books, I’ve done painting … whatever [my] idea demands … Right now, I’m doing a lot of craft-based work, so sort of fiber, sewing, [and] knitting, but it can be just any medium, I love … doing new things


What has been the greatest struggle for you in education, or art?

Trying to balance everything … I’m a parent and an artist and a teacher so … my biggest struggle has been privileging my creative work.


What are you most proud of?

Probably my kids. I feel good about them.


Do you have other interests, besides art?

Pretty much no! I mean my family [is] really important, I love books, I love movies but … I always feel like if I have time I’m making time for my own work.

 

What is your advice for those planning to pursue art or teaching?

Always be learning— that never ends. The one thing I see [at PHS] is kids [who] think that they will [reach] some point where they don’t need to learn anymore … you may as well die. As an artist, the best thing is that you’re always learning, you’re always a beginner … that’s the single most important thing.

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