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With Ms. Deirdre Murphy, Art Comes Alive

Updated: Dec 9, 2018

By Katia Campos ‘22 10-3-18

In July of 2018, Ms. Deirdre Murphy joined the faculty of Friends’ Central as a teacher of the Introduction to Drawing art class. Joining us from Earlham College in Indiana, Ms. Murphy has studied art in various ways for years. Whether in the classroom or out, she has always been a passionate artist. Part of what Ms. Murphy loves so much is using color to dictate the mood of a painting. She explains, “Color usually gets the artistic juices flowing, there is always content to look at and admire. Whatever color I choose is how I want this painting to feel.” In high school and college, Ms. Murphy was very enthusiastic about art and loved to paint, draw, and sketch. She had always known that she wanted to be an artist, but her call to teach wasn’t apparent until later in life: “I didn’t know when I was younger that I was going to be a teacher, but teaching came so naturally and I enjoyed watching the little light bulb go off in students’ heads. It’s incredibly satisfying to watch them grow.”

When asked about her favorite aspects about teaching, Ms. Murphy responds, “I enjoy taking my students out on field trips to art galleries and museums to show them that art isn’t just in the classroom. It’s everywhere.” When not at school, Ms. Murphy works as a professional artist alongside her husband who is a sculptor. In her spare time, she does yoga and gardens, but admits that nothing can replace the love she has for art. “I am very passionate about art, so much so that whenever I am traveling or hanging out with my girlfriends, they usually make fun of me because I am always looking at museums or galleries, looking for inspiration, or just examining the beauty,” she exclaims.

Ms. Murphy received an award for composing a print-based piece depicting the migration of birds going past the Schuylkill River. Every Friday, she goes to a lab, where she is hired to paint bacteria, and works with scientists that observe various diseases such as Ebola. She had also partnered with her husband and they created a beautiful piece of art that can be viewed on her website,, where it shows a blue tainted octagon with the constellations of bacteria.

Ms. Murphy encourages everyone to live authentically, saying that it is important for people to be their true selves, for one never knows where doing so may lead. This is made manifest in Ms. Murphy’s life, as her authentic love of art has given her spectacular opportunities. She is looking forward to meeting students and teachers alike at FCS, and is especially excited for an upcoming art project: making anti-collision artwork for an upcoming environmental justice project.

With such an outstanding new art teacher in our midst, it sure seems like this is going to be an extremely memorable year, doesn’t it?

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