Emily graduated from The University of Montana in 2011 with a BFA in painting.
Artist statement for her thesis work, 20 Miles East of Faith:
As an artist, I aim to describe the interactions we have with our environment, to explore these often quiet but powerful experiences that have a profound impact on our lives. Having grown up in South Dakota, I was deeply influenced by the geography of the landscape around my family’s ranchland near Faith, a town in the western central part of the state. [...] 20 Miles East of Faith focuses on relating ... [this] personal but distant landscape in a way that highlights its infinite and relentless nature: it is the storm which drives the nature of the land, and dictates the fate of the people who rely upon it.
Click the images to enlarge.
During Emily's last semester of college she enrolled in an independent study internship with the University of Montana's vertebrate research collection, the Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum, to work on building a portfolio of illustrations and studies from first-hand observations. After graduation she continued to volunteer in the Museum, assisting with specimen preparation and day-to-day curatorial duties. She also created a series of still-life paintings that aimed to highlight the individuality of the specimens she was encountering. Emily chose to feature those which exhibited dramatic trauma or pathology within their skeletons as a way to consider the harshness of the natural world, and to applaud the resilience of those animals that endure such conditions as a means of everyday life.
In the fall of 2011, Emily started a blog to share the work and collections of the P. L. Wright Museum with an audience outside of our local community. These photos were taken between 2012 - 2013.