Back Story

“My soul’s mission is to think clearly & enable myself to see all the dots connecting the universe!” – GOLARA

I am an artist, chemist, and innovation oriented designer. My life experiences have also granted me the fluency in three languages (Turkmen, Farsi & English) and proficiency in Arabic. Currently, I am employed as an Artist-in-Residence at the Make to Learn Laboratory in the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education and Human Development. There, I teach maker education workshops and develop K-12 invention kits in collaboration with the Smithsonian, Cannon, and local elementary schools. I also partner with local organizations through my consulting business, providing support for artful communications, problem solving, and design thinking strategies. I devote my spare time to conducting community workshops that integrate the arts, humanities, and technology. For my creative work, I was privileged to be invited to speak at CreativeMornings, win a residency at TomTom Founders Festival, and conduct numerous other gallery showings and exhibitions. I am a graduate of the University of Virginia and hold a B.A. in both Chemistry and Studio Arts.

Background

Golara and her family immigrated to the United States on 11.11.11.

“Back in Iran, we had to pick a major to specialize in during our sophomore year of high school. I always dreamt of becoming an engineer and pursued a degree in mathematics and physic sciences. I have studied Architectural engineering for four years. During my last year, instead of working on my thesis, I decided to drop out of school and follow my dream of coming to the United States after being selected for a diversity visa.
In States, I was given a second chance to choose my career path. Helping people always added more joy to my life and I decided to pursue that dream by getting involved in pre-health and medical environments. Towards the end of my chemistry major and my pre-medical requirements at UVa, I realized that there are many more ways to help people than becoming a doctor. Therefore, I added a second major in arts and have been involved with women empowerment projects by creating and selling art work.”

During this transition, Golara enjoyed the process of selling. She loved the hustle and the excitement that came with it. While learning about entrepreneurship, startups, sales, and enterprise, she became involved with local entrepreneurship hubs. After many failed startup attempts , never published articles, and her research and info interviews, she realized pursuing innovation and entrepreneurship is the path for her because she is ambitious, competitive, resilient, and BOLD.

Design

Golara attended University of Virginia, where she received a dual major degree in chemistry and studio arts. Since graduating from college, she worked for an innovative chemical instrumentation company called BrightSpec, Inc. as a product designer, while creating and exhibiting her own art. Later she joined UVA’s Make to Learn Lab to assist on development of Invention Kits.

For art purposes, Golara, who is originally trained as a painter, is interested in creating miniature landscapes and poetic spaces designed by technology, science, and art.

“I want my work to have a colorful aesthetic and convey an experimental approach to shapes, colors, and their interactions with each other in space. In particular, I am interested in creating poetic spaces based on our very human emotions and behaviors. My mission is to brighten souls all over the world by engaging them with their beautiful yet durable basic feelings and emotions. I aspire to break down boundaries, layers and defenses to magnify our unity as human beings.

In sum, my projects take short tours into the realms within us, a journey from the inside out. The entrepreneur inside me, loves to plan backward while thinking forward to bring her audience’s attention to their core.”

Golara Haghtalab has an inquisitive mind. She is fascinated by spectroscopy, Lissajous figures, design thinking, human centered designs, geometric patterns, technology, and dance. Her artistic philosophy is influenced by ModernismPostmodernism, Dada , Fluxus, The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard, Seymour Papert and UNDERSTANDING: ART AND SCIENCE .

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