Emily Ensminger, born in Durham, NC, is a conceptual artist and advocate for independent multi-use live/work organizations. Through programming, textiles and functional systems, Emily’s work addresses necessity as a creative practice operating at the intersection of admin, art, and daily life. Curatorial, project coordination and presentation focus is on experimental production and organizations outside art centers.

Projects include the development of the House(pitality) Department at Elsewhere, which uses art to guide participants through collective living, co-production, and community collaboration. Recontextualizing home and workspaces as sites for learning, residents and broader audiences connect through public care of Elsewhere. House produced programs around homesteading, domestic work and life skills as well as curated meals exploring concepts of symphonic foods, object ontologies, and accessibility. Additional projects include an online map detailing the living systems of 20+ non-commercial spaces, addressing the unseen creativity and labor of Hospitality workers. As well as an urban farm operated out of a 100-year-old florist shop with artifacts from the site depicted in an online museum telling the (extra)ordinary history of its tenants and drawing parallels between agriculture’s past and future. Recent work includes simple decorative textiles, made from detritus found during exploratory walks, that reflect on a lost relationship with environmental literacy and solitary, studio-based handwork.

Emily received a BA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has presented at the Queens Museum and Open Engagement conference, shown work at the Flux Factory Residency, participated in Andrea Zittel’s AZ West and the Wassaic Project’s Camp for Rural Organizers. She has received fellowships from Common Field, Cross Currents and The Center for Creative Leadership.