Through an interdisciplinary approach using drawing, sculpture and installation, Emily Belknap examines boundaries in landscape. Her current body of work, Backyard Dilemmas, explores the paradoxical nature of landscapes in transition where beauty is conflated with health and maintenance with care. Her miniature constructions of suburban trees question the appearance of growth in these landscapes. A young tree in the median of a parking lot, for instance, suggests health and hope in new growth. However, growth is restricted at the roots and the landscape requires constant maintenance in its deprived state. Her drawings of lawns, backyards, and fences explore the relationships among neighbors. She sees the impulse to build fences along property lines as a localized version of the broader socio-political impulse that erects barriers between countries.
Belknap began teaching fine arts and foundations courses at MIAD in 2013 after completing her MFA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She’s also MIAD alum, having received her BFA in 2007. Belknap has received public art commissions for Milwaukee’s Washington Park, as well as collaborative work for Milwaukee River Walk and Hank Aaron State Trail. In addition to many group shows, Belknap has had solo exhibitions at the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison (2013), the Sharon Lynn Wilson Center in Brookfield (2010) and the Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend (2009).
Learn more about Emily’s work at emilysbelknap.com