Art teacher by day… latte artist by night


Photo provided by Rachel Hall

Hall carefully designing a latte.

Tariana Williams, Staff Writer

When entering an art class, you probably wouldn’t expect to hear the backstory of one who can do competition-level latte art. You probably haven’t met Rachel Hall, an art teacher by day and latte artist by night. 

As a Visual Arts and Drawing teacher, Hall draws students to her classes by implementing hands-on lessons, art history, and visual demonstrations. She creates an atmosphere for her students to provide critiques to each other and help improve their art. 

“She has this term called ‘studio time’ where essentially she lets us do our thing,” junior Elijah Davis said. “She lets us progress on our work and periodically checks in.” 

Hall has been teaching at RJ Reynolds for two years but has educated for ten. Her love of teaching art stemmed from kids’ excitement for their creations. 

“When I was getting my studio [Bachelors of Fine Arts], I worked with different arts-based community programs providing art experiences to families,” Hall said. “It was so much fun to see the kids get excited about their creations and to help them execute their ideas.” 

Working as a barista in college, Hall gained experience in a different type of creation: latte art.

Hall’s latte with beautiful hearts. (Photo provided by Rachel Hall)

“[In college], I became a barista trainer and manager,” Hall said. “Latte art is not a fine art, but it is a skill that requires hands-on practice and patience, a lot like the basics of many artistic disciplines.”

By watching different films, admiring different art, and reading different books, Hall gains inspiration and is able to reflect this in her artwork for her loved ones. 

“I get a lot of inspiration from books and movies and other artists,” Hall said. “I love drawing and watercolor, so I will often make small artworks for my friends and family.” 

Art is a learned skill that requires you to practice. With continuous practice, you will connect with your work and excel. 

“Creating art is a skill just like math, dance, or football, so it does take some practice,” Hall said. “Practice means that not everything you create will be perfect or up to your own standards, but with a little bit of effort, you will improve every time you try!”

Hall’s emphasis on progress through practice and hard work rather than natural talent provides a positive environment for her students to truly enjoy art.