Elizabeth Emery is a multidisciplinary artist working in various mediums and across genres. Her sculptures and paintings reference movement, gravity, and the experience of the body in chaotic surroundings. Her work has been exhibited at museums and galleries across the United States including Museum of Modern Art Cleveland, Hammond Harkins Gallery, and Bunnell Arts Gallery in Alaska. She has also developed several series of silkscreen monoprint collage drawings for public commissions in hospitals and a library. Her work has been supported by the Ohio Arts Council, Rasmuson Foundation, and New York Foundation for the Arts, among others. Emery has been awarded residencies at Haystack, Jentel Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation, and FRONT International. Her work is in collections including at The Cleveland Clinic, Progressive Insurance, American Greetings, Rockefeller Collection, Westin Hotel Cleveland, and Schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art.

As an extension of her creative work and a former professional athlete, Emery operates the podcast, Hear Her Sports, which invites conversation around women’s sports. Through interviews, advocacy, and writing she celebrates individual female athletes who represent a range of backgrounds, perspectives and issues. A special edition of Hear Her Sports was recently commissioned as part of FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art. This collection of audio stories was originally presented by the Cleveland YWCA and is now housed in the Sports Research Center at Cleveland Public Library. Emery holds an MFA in ceramic sculpture from Alfred University. She now lives in Cleveland where her studio is inside a foreclosed house. Whatever her medium -- sound, ceramic, or collage -- Elizabeth Emery responds to the world with creativity, passion, and a desire to connect and make things better.

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