Elizabeth Emery earned an MFA from Alfred University and a BA in Art History and Italian Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is included in public collections including The Cleveland Clinic, Progressive Insurance, Columbus Metropolitan Library, American Greetings, Rockefeller Collection (Dresden, Germany), Metro Health, Westin Hotel Cleveland, Cleveland Artists Association, Schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art.

In 2018 Emery was selected as one of 18 local, national, and international Artists-in-Residence for FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art. In 2017 & 2015 Emery received an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, and a Dave Bown Award of Excellence in 2015.

Her work is informed by physical movement, gravity, plus daily sightings of color, pattern, and unexpected combinations. 

My sculptures are anthropomorphic and highly contradictory in form and intent. They are both sensual and deformed – effects created by blending opposing elements of construction with yielding fabrics. They read as crumbled, fleshy, and soft, but are, in fact, very solid. My aim is not deception, but rather a twisting of preconceptions.

Casting plaster, concrete, or clay into soft fabric forms lacking structure contradicts the effects of weight, pressure, and gravity on shifting shapes. That thin line where one surface, texture, or color meets another is where tension emerges. Colors intertwine, patterns overlap, and the bulbous forms envelop foreign objects, such a gold-leafed pair of young girl’s boots, or random tiny fiber remnants of the process. I am intrigued by the convergence of separate parts where the pairing oscillates between delightful and aggressive.

The explorations of form, texture, and decoration build from my past work as a textile designer for the New York fashion industry. I became especially interested in the way fabric contains space and merged this with the very tactile medium of clay during my MFA studies. In Cleveland, I’m surrounded and inspired by visually entwined, very pronounced contrasts in architecture (steel mills beside elaborate, wooden, two-family houses), culture (historically Polish neighborhoods jostling with new immigrants), environment (ocean-sized lake, farmlands, vibrant downtown within cycling distance), and climate (summer-big-blue-puffy-cloud skies followed by winter-low-grey-stillness).

This artist was awarded the Ohio Arts Council's Individual Excellence Award for 2015 & 2017