Name: Emily Harris Halpern
Position: Director of Communications
College/University: New York University, Tulane University
How long have you worked at the Dixon? Two years and almost two months
The best thing about living in Memphis is…diversity! People, culture, landscape, food and entertainment; potential to make a difference in the community; large green trees; my neighborhood, Vollintine Evergreen; spending time with my family.
What famous artist (deceased or living) would you want to be for one day and why?
There are too many to list, but here are two:
Cindy Sherman: Made her debut in New York City’s Lower East Side in the mid-1970s. As a photographer she challenged so many conventions and concepts, made huge impacts on ways of seeing, art making, and the history of art, and looks like she had a lot of fun doing it.
Yves Klein: Lived in Paris, 1928-1962; Pioneer of performance, conceptual and pop art. Managed to drive 3000 people to a gallery opening containing no art at all, but only cocktails. Created his own color, International Klein Blue, and pushed people to think and dream.
…and probably Warhol, for a few hours!
How old were you on your first visit to a museum (art, science, history)? How did it shape your interest in museums?
As a child, I actually visited the Dixon very frequently on Sunday afternoons with my Dad (no joke!) Since then, pretty much every aspect of my life has been centered around working with art, artists or for an art organization. An introductory art history course during my senior year of high school at St. Mary’s sparked my understanding of how greatly art effects and reflects places, people and politics. The lives of artists seemed so revolutionary and inspiring! That course led me to take classes in undergrad, pursue internships at galleries and museums, such as the Ogden Museum in New Orleans, and then to a graduate program in arts administration and museum studies at NYU.
Do you have any pets? If so, what are they and what are their names?
A 60-lb pit mix named Kiki who is everyone’s best friend.
What is your favorite piece in Jean-Louis Forain: La Comédie parisienne?
Sur la plateau and le dialogue (dramatic but intimate scenes of off-stage at the ballet; mostly hues of deep green and gold)
What do you like most about working at the Dixon?
Connecting people with joy, creativity and inspiration. Helping realize challenges and achieve goals for the greater good. Meeting and collaborating with amazing people from Memphis and all over the world. And working at one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.