I grew up in a family of creative thinkers, and firmly believe that artist is better defined as a way of being in the world, rather than a crafter of any specific type of product. I have practiced art at institutions including Parsons and Rhode Island School of Design. I even spent a brief time considering the art scene of New York City, before moving on to the more lucrative field of education (which is essentially a series of installation art pieces).
My curiosities involve exploring interdisciplinary relationships between the fields of arts, science, and the human mind. My work considers human concepts of perseverance, relationships, time and impact. Through encounters in the natural world, relative understandings of these ideas are revealed. I seek to process -- perhaps eliminate -- the dichotomy between man and nature.
Part of this exploration involves merging craft and art: making functional pieces to sell at local markets and pop-ups. Translating my work into accessible and functional wares has given me the opportunity to engage with and understand my community in ways that traditional fine art would not.
In parallel to traditional studio practice, I have spent over a decade leveraging visual and poetic languages as modes of expression, understanding, and advocacy within the realm of education. This has meant supporting children and adults to utilize artistic media, designing physical learning spaces to provoke discovery, and creating publications and exhibits of work to highlight the power of childhood.
I am inspired by the strong Maker culture of the Bay Area, the gorgeous landscapes I hike, and the beautiful imaginations of the children I encounter every day.
Emily Funkhouser lives in San Jose, California where she is a Curriculum Specialist at the Google Children’s Centers. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology & Fine Art from the Gallatin School of New York University, and a Ed.M. in Arts in Education from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.