Emily Van Engel is an artist working in various media on projects that explore ecological crises and our relationship to the environment. She creates paintings and works in glass that range from articulating the ways in which we are suffering with the devastating environmental consequences of modern capitalism, to exploring how we might end that suffering.
As an artist in residence at the Bay Area Bullseye Resource Center, she created glass panels that explore the cognitive dissonance she experiences from living in today’s society while coming to understand the ecological crises we face. She showed this work at Bullseye’s show “In Residence: Bay Area” and at Women Eco Artist Dialog’s (WEAD) juried show “Reclaiming Earth.” She co-curated “Patterns of Disintegration” at Works Gallery in San José, CA, which also included her paintings made with air pollution sediment.
Most recently her watercolors that reflect how she’d like to feel personally and in society were included in Richmond Art Center’s online show “This Land Is Me,” which was part of the international series “Extraction: Art at the Edge of the Abyss.” Paintings from this body of work were also in “The Power of Empathy,” an online juried show by Women Eco Artist Dialog.
Van Engel completed a BA in Economics and French Studies from Wesleyan University, a BFA in Painting and Drawing from California College of the Arts, and an MFA in Pictorial Art at San José State University. Before devoting herself to art, she spent a decade working for environmental organizations in Jackson, WY. Born in Ridgewood, NJ, she currently resides in Santa Fe, NM.
Photography by Tran Tran, San José State University, 2018