Psychology and Studio Art double major Emily Cooperstein ‘20 currently has a lot on her plate, not just academically, but athletically and artistically as well. The junior is a key member of the Muhlenberg Track and Field team as a top sprinter and hurdler, and, along with making pieces for her art classes, she creates and sells stickers on the site Redbubble.
When asked how she decided that she was going to major in art, Cooperstein said, “Art has been a big help to me.
Art has been my ‘thing’ throughout my life; it’s a place to get out stress and express myself.
When I came to college, I was not sure what I wanted to do. Now I’m thinking about becoming an art therapist because, before I got to college, I was thinking about just doing therapy for adolescents, but then I realized that art is a huge part of my life, and I asked myself ‘why don’t I put art into my career?’ and I started looking into it. My art teacher in high school went to grad school for art therapy, and she recommended some programs and helped me a little bit with the process.” She briefly paused, then continued, “I just thought that art therapy would be a really great choice for me, so that is my goal for after college.”
Cooperstein’s two majors crossed over very nicely during her first year seminar. “My FYS was actually about how art and psychology mix a lot. We looked at a lot of paintings and at the artists themselves and how their mental health and the way that they were affected their art. For my cluster I took psych of creativity, which was really cool because we learned about how you grew up — your environment, how your parents raised you, your education — affected your level of creativity. We also learned how even the light in the room, like if it was white light or yellow light, would affect your creativity. It was a great class.” These courses will provide a solid basis for Cooperstein as she pursues a career in art therapy.
When asked about her inspiration for her art, Cooperstein replied, “It’s changed a lot throughout my life. I think in high school, I got more into experimenting with light, so I did a whole series on my friends covered in sheets in charcoal and my goal was to not use line at all, and that actually turned out really well. But, recently I’ve gotten into more digital art. . .” she paused. Then, through a fit of giggles, said, “I don’t know; I’m just really into skeletons right now, which is weird. I have a whole series which I did last year for Printmaking II on just animal skulls with organic and inorganic things on top. For one piece I used slime, which was neat.”
Cooperstein’s favorite art class at Muhlenberg so far has been Printmaking II; however, she states,
“Drawing from Nature was really cool, because that helped me a lot with refining my drawing skills and also helped me to grow as an artist.”
Although Cooperstein’s favorite medium to work with is watercolor, she currently creates a lot of her pieces using various printmaking techniques and processes. “I concentrate in printmaking within my major, which is kind of weird for me,” she laughed. “Printmaking is really, really cool though. I’ve gotten into it a lot within the past year. It’s awesome because it’s not just drawing on a page; it’s drawing, it’s painting, it’s science — it’s a cool mix, and I love it.”