Markus J. Buehler -
McAfee Professor of Engineering and Department Head of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT
" Joan Levy Hepburn is an effective lecturer. At MIT, Joan and Joe Bouchard presented a brilliant seminar to engineering students, staff and faculty that was very well received, highlighting the intersection of art and science, especially focused on the creative process. She is very effective in communicating her fascinating work as an artist, musician, teacher, color expert and visionary. Joan also taught a very successful week-long course at MIT, focused on seeing and thinking outside of the box, hosted by the MIT CAST program."
James B. Golden, Ph.D.
"My daughter Charlotte has studied with Joan at Art at Murray pond for several years; she is now part of the honors art program at the Millbrook School. Joan is an inspirational and skilled children's art teacher. Her ability to engage children in a love of art, knowledge of painting and painters, and developer of artistic skills has been central to my daughter's education as an artist. Art at Murray Pond is a wonderful place for kids, and adults, to develop a life-long passion for art."
"I often reflect that everything happens for a reason. And when I think of my academic and career trajectory, I can trace its beginnings to the day that I met Joan.
I took classes with Joan for many years, and they were different from anything that I had been taught before. While my high school art classes taught me to simply “copy” an image from a photograph, Joan’s classes taught me how to truly see. She talked about light, form, tone, color, composition, and art history. We learned how to use different materials and techniques -- from charcoal drawings and pastels, to oil paintings and printmaking. The concepts that Joan teaches are similar to what is taught in art education at the university level (although Joan makes this information understandable and accessible for students of all ages). This exposure to art making and art history gave my portfolio a maturity that it wouldn’t have had otherwise, and helped that portfolio stand out in the competitive college application process.
I was accepted to the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) where I studied architecture. That led me to a multiscale material design course at MIT, and to be accepted to Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, where I studied resilient design. I am now completing a year of post-graduate design research on climate change adaptation in Europe, sponsored by the Harvard Sinclair Kennedy Traveling Fellowship.
It can be intimidating to be faced with a blank piece of paper and create something new. Even adults of all ages struggle with this! But Joan’s classes give you the skills and the confidence to create something from nothing. These classes help you to see, understand, and represent the world around you. These representational skills are applicable in many areas of life – certainly, I have used these skills every time I use drawing as a problem-solving tool or as a way to communicate my ideas to an audience.
I can recommend Joan’s classes wholeheartedly!"
"During my first session with Joan, she described a student on the brink of perusing an art education as "hungry." She told me that either one is intimidated by the sound of a life with art, or one is eager to get their hands dirty. Joan seemed to know right from the start that, although I was nervous, I was meant to be an artist. It was Joan who looked at my first few doodles and said "Why not illustration?" She was the first person to introduce me to what would then be my career.
She is able to notice a student's strengths and weakness equally, and guide them in making their best work. Joan provides a well balanced education, both with one on one education- during which I was lucky enough to hear stories of her own artistic journey- and hours spent alone, solving my own design problems, allowed to guide my own hand. Joan always made herself available to me, but allowed room for self growth at the same time. I still vividly remember re-creating a Cezanne study, a project that taught me spacial relations and balance- a technique I use in my job every day.
I graduated from Pratt Institute, an accomplishment I would not have achieved without Joan's particular guidance and portfolio prep. I now work as a Graphic Designer at Scholastic in NYC, a dream job. Although I do not work as an illustrator, I have the education and eye of an illustrator and a painter, which benefits the books I design and the artists I hire.
I highly recommend Joan's classes for any artist- but especially those who need an extra push in the braver direction. I will always be grateful for Joan's guidance."
Art at Murray Pond