Emma Stevenson Cowan received her BFA and MS in Art and Design Education from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, with a concentration in painting and art history. After graduation, she moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to became a full time art teacher in an alternative charter school specializing in at-risk youth. There, she also began a successful after-school art program with help from the non-profit organization Congreso. Emma has recently returned to work in her hometown of Bethesda, Maryland. She currently works at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart; an all girls Catholic, K-12 school, as a high school studio art teacher. At Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart Emma takes on many additional roles including Chair of the Visual Arts Curriculum Review Process, and the advisor to the literary magazine, and yearbook. She also volunteers at Mary House and DC Central Kitchen.
My current body of work incorporates texture and textual memories to create paintings that long for the past, and celebrate the power of memory. I use a mixture of layered color blocking and imagined fonts inspired by old signage. I paint memories. I associate colors with my recollections and use them as a foundation for the piece. Simultaneously, I will let my approbation for vintage aesthetics in advertising and graphic design guide me in recreating a memory through text. These bits of text reference a sign or a place I want to remember. The imperfection of my lines are like the memories themselves in their discoloration. In creating these works of art I have come to appreciate hand painted lettering an art form in itself, and a craft I deeply admire. Through my references to homespun signage mixed with color studies I attempt to fuse commercial and high art.