Emily Vaughn wanted to use art in a new way.
A native of Baltimore, Vaughn spent her years studying at the Maryland Institute College of Art dreaming of a life working as a gallery artist, but discovered soon after graduating that her true interest is in using art to directly impact lives.
After graduating in 2004, Vaughn participated in the JET program, teaching English in Japan and working with children for the very first time.
Vaughn joined Americorps upon returning to the U.S. and began assisting in an after school art class for inner city youths in Baltimore.
Inspired by the positive impact the work did for the community, Vaughn said, she had found her calling and wanted more experience using art actively.
After relocating to Shepherdstown to be with her boyfriend, local artist Michael Davis, Vaughn was pleasantly surprised to find a close-knit and supportive that community where art for children could thrive.
"Having a community setting is a new experience for me," she said.
"Shepherdstown allow for a more personal relationships with client, student and families," she went on to say.
For the past year and a half 'Miss Emily,' as she's known to her students, has been holding weekly art classes for local kids at Four Seasons Books.
After working for Craftworks for a year and half, Vaughn decided to venture out on her own teaching children a blend of art history, technique and general education.
Exposing kids each week to a new 'Artist of the Week,' or subject, Miss Emily's art classes have featured instruction on poetry, the environment, and even politics.
For election day, for example, student crafted pieces inspired by Shepard Fairy's iconic 2008 'Hope,' poster for the Obama campaign and then held a mock election to pick their favorite.
Living and working along side her boyfriend Davis, who makes a living a classical realist painter and also teaches class at the Loudon Academy of Arts, Vaughn said that the pair have the ultimate goal of making the instruction of children in art their career.
"We always have this pipedream of opening up an art school of own," she said.
For now, Vaughn is concentrating on Miss Emily Art as well as teaching classes at the Shepherdstown Montessori school and Morgan Academy.
Each week Miss Emily holds a Wednesday, 10 a.m. class for home schooled children and a Wednesday, 4 p.m. after school class.
Thursday at 10 a.m. toddler art classes are held and a fine art studio class for older kids is held Thursday at 4 p.m.
Classes are $15 each, or parents can purchase punch cards for four classes at a cost of $40. Drop ins are welcome. Miss Emily can be contacted at 443-798-5150 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.