Julie Lapping Rivera is a life-long artist and educator. She has taught art to children and adults for 34 years. She was the art teacher at Wildwood School in Amherst, MA for the past 17 years, and is currently on the faculty of Zea Mays Printmaking Studio in Florence, MA. Julie is committed to guiding her students towards their innate creative freedom and confidence.
Visit lappingriver.com to view more of Julie’s artwork.
It is 1984. We are in a public school classroom/studio in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, with students from mostly first-generation Latino and Chinese families. We are busily constructing sculptures out of found materials, and we are covered with paint. In walks… Roy Lichtenstein, one of the Board members of the Studio In A School Association, to spend the morning with us. He walks around the studio, smiling quietly, his presence more low-key than I was expecting, as I had imagined him to be like his paintings – big and loud. I vividly remember the joy of students immersed in their creative activity, the sparkling look in Roy’s eyes, and my deep sense of satisfaction as I savored the magic of that moment.
My teaching philosophy grew out of my experience as an Artist in Residence with Studio In A School, which began in 1981, when I was a graduate student in Painting at Pratt Institute. I developed a sense of myself as an artist who also has a commitment to making the world of art accessible to others. My two passions – making and teaching art – have continually enriched one another.
As an artist/educator, I have taught at the college level, in museums, in urban, suburban and rural school settings as an artist-in-residence, consultant in arts in education, and as a public school art teacher. I have mentored a steady stream of Art Education students from the University of Massachusetts, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges. With public funding and community support I’ve engaged the community in public art projects in both Massachusetts and New York. (Images can be found on my art website: lappingriver.com).
Feather Press is the realization of a long-held dream which I am excited to share with you. Nestled in the woods in Leverett, the intimate studio atmosphere provides the perfect space for artistic exploration.
If you are interested in home school classes, private or semi-private instruction, or any other particular class offering, or if you have questions, use our Contact Form to reach out.