WORDS / KODY FORD
For Emily Galusha, art is in the blood. Growing up in Little Rock, her mother, an art teacher, often had her children participate in art days at home. She also attended classes at the Arkansas Art Center and studied ballet, jazz and tap-dancing, which she says still influences her art today. But above all, she had the support of her family.
“My father is imaginative and supportive and my two brothers are very active in both art and film,” Emily says. “Ours was a bustling and happy household that I’m thankful for. My family is close and we often collaborate on creative projects.”
Emily’s newest work collection Relic features themes and imagery from her hometown and her current place of residence, Austin, TX. From washboards to homemade clothing to old firearms, the work evokes rootsy, Southern themes. Regarding firearms, Emily isn’t trying to make a political statement but rather enjoys the antiquity and complexity of the mechanics of guns and finds the ways that light plays upon the curves and angles intriguing.
“[The guns] are all old and full of narrative,” she says. “I started out illustrating studies and sketches and then painting them in exaggerated form. They became like a nude for me. They are synonymous with a romanticized western, the desert, a cowboy’s sidekick. I enjoy partnering the mechanical pistol with an organic element, which tends to speak volumes to some.”
Relics premiered at M2 Gallery in Little Rock on May 17. Emily has done design work for M2 and donated art to their Easter Seals fundraiser, Art & Soul, throughout the past decade.
Given her Arkansas roots, she has deep ties to the state’s art scene. After acquiring her BFA from the University of Arkansas—Fayetteville, she spent eight years in local ad agency and design firm environments strengthening her design roles as an Art Director and Graphic Designer. After she built a steady client base, she decided to become a full-time freelance artist and designer. For almost five years, she has worked independently creating custom design projects for clients as well as making/selling artwork across the United States.
Some major highlight of her career includes winning Artist of the Year by the Arkansas Times. She enjoys collaborating with her brothers on projects, traveling to collect visuals for her artwork and “feeling supported and loved by people who love what I create.”
Emily says she is constantly pushing herself to evolve as an artist. She’s also grateful for the opportunities she’s been given.
She says, “We spend so much of our lives working to provide for ourselves and our families. We should try our hardest to enjoy that time. I feel very fortunate to be able to support myself with my God-given gifts.”
Click on a photo to launch the gallery.