"Synergy: An Interplay of Females and Flora"

Paintings by Emily Gilbertson LC '04
Center for Faith and Life
August 31 - October 16, 2011

There will be an Alumni Gallery Reception Saturday, October 16, 2011 following the Homecoming football game, around 3:30 p.m. in the Center for the Arts. All are welcome.

Emily Gilbertson

Emily Gilbertson is a 2004 graduate of Luther College and holds an MFA in painting from Kendall College of Art and Design, Grand Rapids, Michigan. While there, she served as a graduate assistant to the gallery director and also the continuing studies director. From 2008-11 she taught art at Milton High School, Milton, Wisconsin. She has numerous exhibits to her credit, including solo shows at the Dean Clinic and the Portage Center for the Arts, both in Portage, Wisconsin.  Juried shows include the Arts in Harmony ’07 in Elk River, Minnesota, and the Holland Friends of Art Exhibition in Holland, Michigan. She has twice served as a visiting artist and guest lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Baraboo.

Emily is not the only member of her family to attend Luther College. Others include David Gregory (dad), Elizabeth Gregory (mom), Elise Gregory (sister), Jim Gilbertson (husband), Steve Schmidt (uncle), Lin Schmidt (aunt), Stephanie Schmidt (cousin), Liza Hicken (cousin), Missy Olson (aunt), Dan Olson (uncle), David Olson (cousin), Ann Gregory-Bjorklund (aunt), Bob Gregory-Bjorklund (uncle) and Charlie Thurston (great uncle).

Other alumni artists exhibiting at this time include Randy Carlson (’76); Luther alumni who also studied with Marguerite Wildenhain at her Pond Farm Studio; and Professor Emeritus Doug Eckheart, all in Preus Library.  There is also a group exhibit of alumni artists on display in the Kristin Wigley-Fleming Fine Arts Gallery in the Center for the Arts. There will be a group reception for all exhibiting artists following the Homecoming football game Saturday, Oct. 16, starting at or about 3:30 p.m. in the Center for the Arts.

Artist's Statement

"In the three bodies of work presented, there is an invisible thread tying them together. While the portrait paintings depict women whom I respect, the still-life compositions echo those sensual curves of a female figure. The linoleum block prints define my love for the outdoors and represent familiar scenes discovered in the past. These pieces unfold stories and speak to one another when displayed in a common space. 

Throughout my years, I have often desired finding old household objects and discovering new ways of using them. It is refreshing to happen upon a naturally aged item and bring it back to life by recycling it, which enhances its overall form and character. Specifically, the wooden ironing board serves as a domestic object sheltering the human form.

In my portrait work, I suggest a new style of domesticity by displaying female figures reflecting the past. I would like to be mindful of the nature of the home and all its senses by attaching narrative elements and heirlooms from my history expressing appreciation for what used to be. 

Portrait painting is only one of my many interests in creative expression. I greatly enjoy the methods of printmaking and painting still-life scenes filled with rich, inviting colors. Since nature is a part of who I am and something I must encounter on a daily basis, my prints consist of outdoor portrayals. The organic line repeats with ease and spontaneity. This same line type is also seen in the portrait work. On the other hand, my canvas paintings suggest thoughts about food and garden abundance. Even though there are various qualities carried out amongst these three subjects, they are all interconnected in some way that makes sense to the viewer."

-Emily Gilbertson