Briefly describe the work you do.
My work explores the dynamic environment we inhabit and, often overlook, by examining the inherent details of common occurrences. Concepts surrounding views of space, architecture, environment, the individual and social perceptions within our present society are my primary influences. I have discovered that my work is becoming more and more about giving the viewer an experience where he/she is able to forget about the world that is around them on a daily basis and shift their focus into a space where a new reality is before them to simply enjoy.
Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.
I was lucky enough to grow up with parents that worked with their hands and valued the ability to be able to make things on their own. My parents wouldn’t classify themselves as “Artists,” by any means; but they always use their imagination, they dream big, they are unique with lots of character and heart, and are open to possibilities. For me, their support and example has always been a significant influence.
The concept of the “artist studio” has a broad range of meanings, especially in contemporary practice. The idea of the artist toiling away alone in a room may not necessarily reflect what many artists do from day to day anymore. Describe your studio practice and how it differs from (or is the same as) traditional notions of “being in the studio.”
I believe that talent only takes you so far. And that hard work is what it takes to get your work out there. So, YES, you should be working in the studio. However, that said, one would be wise to know that his/her studio is everywhere and in everything. Inspiration can be found at anytime – you just have to be open to it…and then put in some working hours in the studio. (And then put in some more hours.)
What unique roles do you see yourself as the artist playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?
Hmm, that’s an interesting question! I would say the role as ‘Mediator’ at times – because artists have honed the ability to see things from multiple perspectives during their lives. As a “Healer,” since you want to create and/or remedy situations into something beautiful or cathartic.
When do you find is the best time of day to make art? Do you have time set aside every day, every week or do you just work whenever you can?
Usually, I try to work whenever I have time. Either mornings or evenings are the times I enjoy working in the studio. Mornings are quiet and your mind is fresh. Your morning cup of tea always tastes better when paired with a side of art – even though it never gets finished because your hands are busy elsewhere. Evenings seem to have a romantic quality about them while you’re working. Nighttime dates with the art studio are great!
How has your work changed in the last five years? How is it the same?
My work has remained the same over the past few years in respect to the fact that it still references environments, nature and how we as humans alter those spaces. My work has changed in terms of attempting to layer subtler, yet complicated concepts within it. I enjoy works that aren’t too in your face about what is happening – I like it when the idea/s of a piece of art are softly echoed like poetry.
Are there people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers or even pop icons that have had an impact on the work you do?
As I said before, my parents have had a huge impact on my work. My husband because of his constant love of art – he’s always keeping the process positive. My dear cat, Lucy, because she reminds me to have fun and not to take things too seriously. Movies, music, and poetry – those will forever keep informing my work – such fabulous resources. And the young artists out there consistently impact my work. Children have strong, bright, and unending imaginations that are ready for anything. They will forever be the bravest artists out there.
If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why?
Yoga teacher and the host of a travel/food show. I’m currently in the process of getting my certification to teach adult yoga, so the ball is rolling on that. I just love yoga! It keeps you honest and present, open and able to work through anything that’s going on in your life with a positive attitude. I’m really looking forward to teaching yoga in the near future! As far as being the host of a travel/food show – I simply love to travel, to see new places and faces, and experience new tastes and smells. Your body gathers up so many memories from travel – it really does change you from the inside out.
Emily Bowser has previously traveled throughout the country to make new work at venues such as Ox- Bow (Saugatuck, MI), Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts (Nebraska City), Byrdcliffe Artists Guild (Woodstock, NY), Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT), The Pajama Factory (Williamsport, PA) and The Fabric Workshop and Museum (Philadelphia, PA) and Taliesin Artist in Residence Program (TARP) through the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture (Spring Green, WI).
She has exhibited her work at The Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts (Wilmington, DE), Moore College of Art and Design (Philadelphia, PA),Nahcotta Gallery (Portsmouth, NH), Vox Populi (Philadelphia, PA), Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art (Loretto, PA), Space 1026 (Philadelphia, PA) ArtSpace Gallery (Richmond, VA), Sixth Street Gallery (Vancouver, WA), Heuser Art Center Gallery at Bradley University (Peoria, IL) James Oliver Gallery (Philadelphia, PA) and Crane Arts (Philadelphia, PA). In conjunction with her studio practice she enjoys teaching art to the younger artists of the future. Bowser has received her MFA with Honors in 2009 from the University of Iowa.
Emily currently resides in Pennsylvania where she creates her work and teaches Art and Yoga to kids.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.