Emily Caldwell, Naturally

Emily Caldwell is a pillar of the arts community in Monroe, Louisiana. Her service to Monroe’s Downtown Arts Alliance has contributed to providing area artists with a launching pad for careers in the arts. Caldwell’s artistic practice is as exemplary as her service to the Monroe arts community. She is a skilled draftswoman and a patient assembler of collages. Positing humans as unseen observers and stewards, her drawings and collages speak to the interconnectedness of various species and the roles they play in the delicate balancing act required to have a healthy ecosystem. Taking this into account, Caldwell focuses on the habitats within Northeast Louisiana, using them as specific examples to discuss broader conservation issues throughout the world. Caldwell’s finished works of art vacillate between stripped down drawings that feel slightly somber and scientific to lyrical pattern-driven collages full of contrasting, sometimes otherworldly colors. All told, her work is like the artist herself: an improbable mixture of joie de vivre and seriousness that coalesces into beautiful, thought provoking activism.