Richmond Art Center Richmond Art Center

Emily Van Engel

Artist: Emily Van Engel

Holiday Sales? YES

Work: Environmental issues have felt personal and urgent for me from the day I understood the gravity of global warming as a pre-teen. I devote my art practice to exploring climate change and other environmental issues, and I have turned some of my more positive-thinking art projects into greeting cards where folks can spread messages of hope and awareness. Browse my Etsy shop to see cards from several bodies of work, and please contact me if you would like me to make a custom card pack for you:

“Power From Within,” is a reproduction of a glass piece that suggests that our human power is stronger than the power that we can derive from the earth.

“Building for Us All” is a reproduction of bricks made out of paper-mâiché and paint. I invited viewers to use the bricks to make their own sculptures and formations; a collaboration in co-creating our build world.

“Intentions” depicts yoga and meditation in watercolor.

“Bracelets of two cultures” conveys my desire for collaboration instead of competition.

“Peace and Vogue” represents a series of oil paintings where I collaged fashion advertisements and made paintings from the collages while envisioning a future without environmental issues.

About: Emily Van Engel was born in Ridgewood, New Jersey and currently lives in Oakland, California. She received a BA in Economics from Wesleyan University, a BFA in Painting from California College of the Arts and an MFA in Pictorial Art from San José State University. She completed a glass artist residency at the Bay Area Bullseye Projects Resource Center in the summer of 2016. She has taught painting and drawing at several art institutions of the Bay Area including the Richmond Art Center. Most recently, by using air pollution to paint commonly experienced moments, she shows how many facets of our lives are intertwined with irreversible environmental destruction. Most of us either don’t see the pollution that builds in our industrialized world, or we generally try to ignore the unsustainable aspects of how we live. However, her paintings — where all of the pigment comes from air pollution sediment gathered in her neighborhood from window ledges, highway underpasses, and parking garages — ask us to do the opposite. Each piece asks: what are the hidden consequences of our industrial outputs, who suffers, what needs to change, and, she hopes, where might we look for solutions.

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Contact: Visit my artist portfolio and contact me through my website at You can also visit my shop on Redbubble to apply my art on clothing, stationery and accessories:

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Richmond Art Center
2540 Barrett Avenue
Richmond, CA 94804