Many adults have memories of childhood art class – trying to replicate and iconic piece, making gifts for mom or finding pride in something created from scratch. Though there is a potential artist in every child, it takes a dedicated mentor to help guide the artist within.
For more than 30 years, Alan Hall has been one of those mentors who have helped young artists develop their craft.
Originally from the Denver, Colo., area, Hall says he had a passion for art and design from a young age. The school district he attended highly valued art and design.
“It always came natural to me. In fact, I made all of my own toys,” Hall said.
Hall pursued art throughout his higher education and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in sculpture. Post-graduation, he began to work as a graphic artist for a newspaper in Fort Collins, Colo. Soon, however, Hall began to feel a sense of boredom with his position and wanted to work in a field that would benefit more people; something larger than himself.
“I had all the school credits for art education minus the student teaching hours. So, I went back and student taught at a local middle school. I loved it and I decided to start teaching.”
In search for any teaching position available, Hall discovered the quaint town of Lake Havasu City. He saw an opening for an elementary art education teacher and via phone conference, Hall was given the job in January 1979. The 24-year-old said goodbye to his previous life and moved to a town he had never visited before in hopes to start a new chapter following a fresh dream.
“There was just a different spirit [in Havasu]. Like you were building something, making things happen”
Havasupai was the only elementary school in Lake Havasu at the time and had no established curriculum for elementary art education. Hall gathered with other members of the Lake Havasu Unified School District and created its first art education curriculum.
Shortly after moving to Lake Havasu, Hall met his wife, Joni. Joni teaches English at Lake Havasu High School.
After Havasupai, Hall became one of the founding faculty members of Nautilus Elementary. For the next 13 years, he taught at nearly every elementary school within the district and eventually transferred to Lake Havasu High School for three years.
“From moving up the grades, I was able to teach my original kindergarteners as they graduated high school. I still see some of them around town.”
Though Hall loved education, he missed his original passion: Art. He decided to go back for his Master’s Degree of Fine Arts in painting with the intent to leave teaching and become a full-time studio painter. To the Hall family’s surprise, however, they discovered a beautiful baby on the way. So he continued teaching while creating art in his free time.
In 1986, Mohave Community College was seeking a faculty art instructor for the Lake Havasu campus. Hall landed the position and taught painting and art history while still teaching at the Lake Havasu High School.
Currently, Alan Hall is the sole resident faculty member of the MCC Art department on Lake Havasu campus. He teaches drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics and design.
Of all art forms, Hall’s choice medium is casting bronze. To him, the combination of fire play and durability makes bronze the eternal art form.
For those who wish to pursue art as a hobby, a career or in an educational setting, Hall advises to never forget the spark that art creates and to really know your passions.
“When I retire from teaching, I hope to fully give myself to my art. As a teacher, I translate all my energy into my students. What makes it worthwhile is when they get an idea and I can help them develop it into something great.”
For the last 38 years, Alan Hall has assisted in the metamorphosis of many young artists in Lake Havasu and continues to do so.