Meet Emily Andress

with Awaken Gallery

Emily Andress has been an artist for 45 years. Throughout her career, the focus of her work has been the culmination of lifelong studies of symbols, iconography, and storytelling combined with studies in philosophy, ancient and current world cultures, and syncretism. The main character provides the context of the story being told while the characters surrounding provide the body. The swirling quality of the characters provides the viewer with the knowledge that we have continually told the same stories throughout history. They circle around us and will continue to do so until we learn from our history and move forward in a better way. Herproject is concentrating on the theory that we, as a country, go through four 21 year seasons cyclically over and over as sited in the book by William Strauss and Neil Howe. Four very large pieces surrounding this premise will be unveiled at Awaken Gallery's 6th Anniversay opening on March 22, 2024. The purpose of the work is to show that vicious circle we have been caught in for 100s of years and begin a dialogue about how to open our eyes to our individual and collective potential to break the chains that have been put on us without us even realizing they are there. Andress works in a variety of styles in order to drive home the meaning behind the piece. While this may be an unpopular thing to do, it is very important to the artist to remain true to the feelings and spirit of the piece. After graduating with a BFA from William Woods University, with concentrations in printmaking, painting, and sculpture, Emily took the path of the studio artist and began building her portfolio which has garnered shows across the United States, England, Ireland, Germany, France, and Italy. Her work is in private and corporate collections both here in the US and abroad. Most notable corporate are BMG music, London, Walt Disney World Corporation, Florida, Ernst and Young, NC, Corel Corporation Canada, etc Andress has enjoyed artist residencies in Listowel, Ireland, Paris, France, and San Giovanni d' Asso, Italy. Spending time in these locales has also furthered her studies in world history and art history which has inspired her work immeasureably. Andress has many public art pieces on her resume including pieces for Clarient Corporation, Amerisource Bergen, 7 Charlotte Mecklenburg Libraries, and a large sculptural piece in Tuckaseege Park, Mount Holly. She is currently working on a public art commission involving bas relief sculptures for various buildings throughout Mount Holly. In 2016, Andress purchased a two story historic building in Mount Holly, NC. The first floor houses Awaken Gallery and her studio at the back. On the 2nd floor, Andress rents afforable studio space to artists with a goal to help them build their practice through workshops held at the gallery and opportunities that she shares. March 22 will mark the 6th anniversary since the opening. In order to make people aware of Mount Holly which is less than 20 minutes from uptown Charlotte, she began the annual Mount Holly Lantern Parade. It began in 2018 with 85 handmade lanterns by artists, community members, and school children. This year saw over 800 lanterns marching down the streets of historic downtown Mount Holly with a record breaking crowd in the thousands. Awaken Gallery shows work by established and emerging artists whose work share a message of how we can better ouselves and those around us.