Emily Thompson was raised in the Northeast Kingdom, Vermont, a place of uncompromising beauty. She brought her sense of this place, its ruins and its wilds, to her work as an artist, even as she traveled to the Pennsylvania Academy for the Arts, the University of Pennsylvania, and UCLA, where she earned her MFA in sculpture.
Emily is fascinated with the decorative arts and their history while she continues to collaborate with the rough hand of nature. Emily’s flowers and banquet decor balance the uncultivated organic world with the delicacy of classical ornamental design. They burst with unconventional materials like wild smilax, peaches, and real butterflies, and always maintain sculptural grace. And, most importantly, they are built in harmony with the space where they are displayed as if they grew there.
Emily likes to cite William Gilpin, 18th century theorist of the picturesque, who directed builders of follies and artificial ruins to do so as if these ruins were not designed but naturally chosen. What’s more, writes Gilpin, they must be in magnificent style.Emily’s work, like her ideal faux ruin, evokes nature in magnificent style.