A collection of 13 oil paintings that capture the beauty of the landscape and the local architecture

“As a classically trained oil painter, I decided to incorporate some of the waste into my work by painting on scraps of plywood and cardboard. I also used cardboard as picture frames and used plastic bottle caps to hang paintings in the Denali Schmidt Art Gallery at Sagarmatha Next. This focus on sustainability will continue to influence my work as I reconsider new ways to incorporate upcycling in future paintings.”.
Emma Fern Curtis

First artist in residence

Emma Fern Curtis is the first artist in residence of Sagarmatha Next, sponsored by the Denali Foundation. In spring 2022, Emma stayed with us to explore her oil panting skills, try new materials, and interact with local communities.

During her six weeks residency, she developed a unique collection of paintings that resemble the beautiful mountain landscape and the local architecture.

On sunny days, she could hike around to explore the incredible mountain landscapes and observe the local customs, to bring these observations back into the studio.

With the focus of Sagarmatha Next on sustainable ways of managing the waste in the region, Emma could explore new materials, and use scraps of plywood and cardboard to do her paintings, cardboard as picture frames, and plastic bottle caps to hang paintings in the Denali Schmidt Art Gallery. She aims to continue to develop her work as she reconsiders new ways to incorporate upcycling in future paintings.

Emma also had the opportunity to teach classes and provide art supplies to the local schools. At the workshops, she shared her knowledge by teaching basic color theory and drawing techniques, and the children were receptive, enthusiastic, and eager to learn more.

The workshops were a beautiful opportunity to engage with the local communities on a deeper level and offer skills and knowledge that are less of a priority within the schools yet which bring such joy to the students.

About the artist

Emma Fern Curtis

Emma Fern Curtis (b. 1991) was born and raised in Washington state, USA. She received her BA in Fine Arts, with a concentration in oil painting, from Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, MI. After graduating in 2012 she began the three-year intensive program at Georgetown Atelier, studying classical drawing and oil painting with the renowned educator and painter, Tenaya Sims. After completing the program she worked at Georgetown Atelier for two years as the Administrator/Development Director.

Since then she has spent much of her time living and traveling abroad, drawing inspiration from the varied cultures and landscapes she has had the opportunity to experience.

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