Art is this Professor’s Way of Life
Marc Mannheimer descends from a family of artists and while paint may not run through his veins, it has certainly colored his life and by extension the time he shares with his students.
The Haverhill resident has been teaching art for 44 years…41 at the university/college level…and 19 at Northern Essex. A working artist, Mannheimer teaches a variety of art courses, but counts Art History, Introduction to the Creative Experience, and the Honors Seminar he teaches with a colleague as among his favorites.
Even after more than four decades at the front of the class, Mannheimer insists it’s as fresh as …well wet paint.
“I learn from my students in every class and while I have always been an information “junkie,” I feel it is my duty and responsibility to my students to stay as current in my field as I can,” he says. “Basically I get to relate what I love to my students.”
What can his students expect?
“I try to be very topical, to understand as much as I can about their interests and then use these as a filter through which to present the information to them in class,” he says. “I try and be a little weird and unusual to engage them, but ultimately I make sure I’m there for them.”
Mannheimer came to teaching as a way to support himself while earning a graduate degree in art. He was so taken with teaching elementary school he changed his focus and earned a dual master’s in studio art and art education. He also holds a bachelor’s in industrial design from Pratt Institute.
“Since I was five years old I wanted to be an artist,” he said. “My mother had four brothers who all were artists and internationally known cartoonists.”
Today, Mannheimer is primarily a painter, but does create work in other mediums including printmaking, drawing, sculpture, and mixed media.
“When I’m working I feel totally in the moment,” he shares. “Nothing else is important, I easily lose track of time.”
This is one educator who is an eternal student.
“I have traveled extensively, going to museums and locations where art exists, sometimes way off the beaten path,” he says. “There is always something interesting and dynamic happening in the art world and I feel the need to see it and synthesize what I experience into my own work.”
While he spends a great deal of time in his studio, Mannheimer shows his work frequently and writes about art. He also writes poetry and fiction. He belongs to a group of artists and the four of them work together and produce art.
In addition to a rigorous teaching schedule, Mannheimer, is the coordinator of the Linda Hummel-Shea ArtSpace Art Gallery in the Harold Bentley Library on the Haverhill campus. He has recently taken on the task of administrator of the @neccartdesign Instagram account, which features the stories and works of numerous NECC art alumni.
Art, Mannheimer suggests, isn’t just for the serious art student.
“Creativity is probably the one factor that prepares one to succeed in any profession,” he offers. “The more students expose themselves to the arts and creativity the better prepared they will be for any career pursuit.”
He takes it a step further.
“To be successful in the arts and in any field, you need to take chances, be willing to make mistakes, and persevere,” he cautions.
Mannheimer is as varied and colorful as his art. He is an ardent reader, enthusiastic traveler, cook, swimmer, power walker, Tai-Chi instructor, and clinical hypnotherapist.
He promises that a Northern Essex student, art or otherwise, will receive an individualized education.
“The kind of education you receive at Northern Essex is so much more tailored to “you” than it usually is at a larger college or university,” he said. “We really are a community.”
Are you interested in art? Want to take a class or enroll in the associate degree art program? Email Mannheimer at email@example.com