By Catherine Wang
In an industry where careers often end when puberty begins, visual arts teacher Marianne Hall was an anamoly: she began modeling at age 26.
Hall modeled for a total of seven years, a period in which she was photographed for Seventeen and Vogue, acted in commercials for Coca-Cola, participated in fashion shows and had her face plastered on boxes of Kelloggâs Corn Flakes.
“What I liked about modeling was the traveling,” Hall said.
Hallâs career took her across the globe, from the beaches of Hawaii and Mexico to the cosmopolitan cities of Europe.
But modeling wasnât Hallâs dream, and she had no aspirations to be a star or to enter the top echelon of supermodels. Hall only sought to support herself through art school.
A friend who was working as an assistant to a fashion photographer told her that if she lost 20 pounds, she could model.
Her friend and the professional photographer took some test shots, which were then sent to a modeling agency.
The agency was intrigued and signed Hall to their roster of clients.Hall modeled in print ads and on film in New York for a year before her boyfriend, a writer in Los Angeles, asked Hall to fly out and visit him for a few weeks. The temporary trip became a permanent move.
Hallâs modeling agency in New York had a branch in Los Angeles, so she continued to model.
“The work was more fun,” Hall said of modeling in Los Angeles.
Hall also started her own art business, painting murals for clients and companies.
After a few years, Hall got married and had a daughter. Hall did her last commercial while she was pregnant, and her last photo shoot when her daughter was still a baby.
Hallâs daughter attended the same preschool as the daughter of Elizabeth Gregory, Harvard-Westlakeâs Director of Admissions. At the time, Gregory worked for Westlake School for Girls. Gregory told Hall that she would call her if there was ever an opening to teach art at Westlake. The call came soon after, and Hall has been teaching visual arts ever since.
“Modeling was fun, but art was my major thing,” Hall said. “I donât miss it at all.”