Emily Bodnar was born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, but has spent most of her life in northern Alabama. The lush southern forests and streams near her childhood home in Huntsville, Alabama were not only a wonderful source of inspiration, but also a place of solace. Emily graduated from the University of North Alabama in Florence with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting and a minor in biology in 2001. After moving back to Huntsville, she was able to procure studio space in Flying Monkey Arts Center, located in Lowe Mill. Having a space within this vibrant creative community for more than a decade has allowed Emily many opportunities to broaden her artistic scope. Not only has her experimentation been with new techniques in painting, but also in electronics, interactive art, music, and instrument building. Not surprisingly, her appreciation for science and the natural world surface again, and again in her work. Most recently, she is working as an apprentice, learning how to tattoo. Emily currently resides in Huntsville, Alabama with her husband and two children.
My current work is an exploration of the natural world, often smaller organisms, and especially those native to the southeastern United States, where I live. I want to bring attention to my region’s rich biodiversity and fascinatingly complex ecology. Drawing and painting abstracted forms of local flora, fauna, and their surrounding landscapes, is a method I use to study and appreciate the habits and movements of these organisms, and to look more deeply into their worlds. I use bold color, intricate pattern and symmetry to visually elevate creatures that may often be unseen or overlooked. I hope to evoke in the viewer the vivid sense of wonder I feel when I experience these plants and animals in their habitats. And, as I create work centering around these organisms, I am compelled to do more detailed research concerning their lives and ecological importance. I hope the viewer is inspired to do so, also.