Elizabeth Emery Sculpts Students’ Minds at YSU

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Emery.

By Alexis Rufener

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Emery.
Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Emery.

Youngstown State University opened their doors while students opened their minds for sculptor Elizabeth Emery’s artist lecture on April 1.

The event began at 4 p.m. with Emery talking about her experience as an artist over the years. She spoke about her art, her residency in Alaska, the evolution of her sculptures and different boundaries she felt that she pushed with fabric, texture and color in her work.

Emery also spoke about the beginning process of her work from the foundation to the final product with a technique involving the designing and forming of her sculptures.

Dragana Crnjak and Missy McCormick, associate professors in the art department, came together with other members to bring Emery to YSU so she could present her work to students and members of the community.

“Elizabeth Emery is an interdisciplinary artist whose work operates in-between sculpture and painting, using a range of materials and processes in an inclusive and open-ended way,” Crnjak said. “Her working strategies are inventive, bold [and] based on discovery, and we are excited to have our students exposed to an artist who challenges our often pre-conceived notions of art.”

Emery spoke about certain textures, clay and the methods she used to create her sculptures. A fabric sack filled with clay is her foundation for every sculpture. From there, Emery allows time to run its course. Gravity pulls at the sack, creating the shapes and textures only achieved by this technique. Emery then places the sculpture in the kiln and after it cools down, adds watercolors to the piece.

“I love the feel of fabric; I love the color,” Emery said. “In the end it’s all about color and texture. I found it very difficult to mix different materials because there’s definitely a stark contrast between those and how you make them work together, and both of them do not conflict each other but just for them to be engaging.”

According to Emery, each artist’s dream is to install their pieces in a gallery and showcase their work to the community. Emery considers this part of the art and design process important for any graduating student who wants to get their foot in the door.

“The installation process is important,” Emery said. “I want you to see it the way I see it.”

To learn more about work done by Emery, students can visit her website at www.elizabethemery.com.