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Artist Emily Silver

Emily Silver



American,   —   Artfare artist Emily Silver was raised in Boulder, CO in a family of geologists and artists. She has a deep affinity for the American desert and the dynamics of our interaction with it. She’s especially interested in the history of religious thought in deserta. Our vision of place may originate in maps and satellite images but these don’t usually describe the intuitive qualities of actually being there. Through a coordinated practice of walking, mapping, writing, and painting Silver explores ways to map the perceptions and emotions we associate with certain powerful places. Often grounded in accurate cartographic skeletons, her abstract paintings’ obvious exploitation of the material qualities of watercolor challenge viewers to rethink and expand their concepts of “landscape” as well as "watercolor." Sometiems she turns horizontal renditions of earth and sky vertically in order to give viewers an abstract sensation and emotion of place without relying on pictorial recognition. This is true of her series "100 Vertical Horizons." Her painting is informed by time spent walking in the desert. “The physical act of painting is itself mysterious, profoundly disorienting,” said Darren Waterston. Like walking, painting is a sequential process of unfolding revelations and recognition. Silver is continually amazed by the physical ability of sediment suspended in water to describe transformative experiences employing the same elemental forces that sculpt land. Raised in Colorado in a family of geologists and artists, Emily Silver received an MFA in painting from San Francisco Art Institute and a BA in Visual Design from Stanford University. Her exhibition history includes solo shows at Mojave National Preserve (Kelso, CA, 2019-20); ReCreative (Denver, 2018); Canvas + Clay Gallery (Eureka, CA 2019); Piante Gallery (Eureka, CA, 2015); Saint Mary’s Art Center (Virginia City, NV, 2015); McKinley Arts & Culture Center (Reno, NV, 2014); The Springs Preserve (Las Vegas, 2010); The Painting Center (New York, NY, 2002); Morris Graves Museum of Art (Eureka, CA, 2002); Nevada State Library and Archives (2002); and Nevada State Legislature LXS Gallery (1999). Her awards include artist residency fellowships to Mojave National Preserve (2019), Joshua Tree National Park (2018), Playa (Summer Lake, OR, 2014, 2015, 2017), and Virginia City, NV (Capitol City Arts Initiative, 2015); Best of Show (Morris Graves Museum of Art, 2009); a Cadogan Fellowship (San Francisco Foundation, 2006); a Kosciuszko Foundation Scholarship (2005); an Artists Grant from Sierra Arts Foundation (Reno, NV, 1995); and a Wolf Kahn fellowship to Vermont Studio Center (2003). Reproductions of her work were featured in the literary journal Catamaran (2013.) Silver’s work has joined group exhibitions at, among others, Watercolor USA (Springfield Art Museum, Springfield, MO 2018); Umpqua Valley Arts Association (Roseburg, OR, 2016); the Museum of Northwest Art (LaConner, WA, 2016); Morris Graves Museum of Art (Eureka, CA, 2019); Campfire Gallery (San Francisco, 2013); Quercus Gallery (Oakland, CA, 2012); Conrad Wilde Gallery (Tucson, 2011); Oats Park Arts Center (Fallon, Nevada, 2004); Maryhill Museum (Goldendale, WA,1987); Columbia College (Columbia, MO,1984); and WSU Museum of Fine Arts (Pullman, WA, 1980s). Her curatorial experience includes “Here and There: Topographic Conversations with Morris Graves” (Museum of Northwest Art, LaConner, WA 2016); “Sum of the Parts” (College of the Redwoods, 2013); “Nine Square Grid” (San Francisco Art Institute, 2005); and “Cairns, Quilts, Contact: Women Artists of the West” (Ink People Center for the Arts, Eureka, California, 1999). She taught Drawing, Design, and Watercolor at College of the Redwoods (Eureka, CA 2007-2018) as well as at WNC in Carson City (1992-1997), in prisons in three western states, and currently divides her time between her Ferndale, California studio, and travels in the Great Basin.

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Artist Studio

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Emily Silver Studio
989 Milton Avenue, Ferndale, CA 95536

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