LVL3 Artist of the Week Interview

Recent interview with LVL3. LVL3 is an artist-run exhibition space and online publication based in Chicago, IL.

LVL3 is dedicated to supporting a diverse range of creative talent from around the world. LVL3 fosters creative connections and collaborative work through writing, interviews, design, music, fashion, exhibitions, events, and imagery.


Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
My name is Emily Endo, I am an artist based in Joshua Tree, CA. I make sculpture and installation integrating glass, sensory experience, natural materials, and found objects.

Water, the human body, and transformation are central themes within my practice. My recent work explores the relationship between these elements by representing the body as a translucent and permeable membrane. In this work, the fragmented body, beautification, and corporeal self-expression intersect with fantasy and idealized representations of the female body, creating references to ancient and modern ritual purification as a means to simultaneously celebrate the body and transcend its materiality. For me, the transformation into and absorption of the ephemeral speaks to the yearning to connect to the universe and escape from the trappings of a body that at times is alien to myself.

How did your interest in art begin?

I have always loved making art and working with my hands. As a kid, I would make collages and tiny sculptures out of anything I could get my hands on – newspapers, photographs, rocks, flowers, discarded objects…

What are some recent current projects you are working on?

Over the past year, I have been exploring water in its many forms – liquid, solid, scented and flavored as a means to reflect on the interconnectedness between the human body, water, the natural world, fantasy, and desire. These ideas have manifested in several different forms.

My recent exhibition Immaterial at Bullseye Projects explored the relationship between these elements by representing the body in transparent glass. This is most apparent in She-Wolf, Water Baby Fountain, Neon Venus, and Transpiration (A Sculpture that Sweats).

She-Wolf is a sculptural fountain based on the Capitoline Wolf, a Roman sculpture depicting a mother wolf nursing the mythical twin founders of Rome. As water circulates through the fountain, it drips through the breasts of the form. In this piece, the wolf becomes a stand-in for the female body and a representation of strength, fluidity, and the nurturing quality of water.

Fluidity, the symbolic female body and ephemerality are also explored in Neon Venus. Neon Venus consists of two conch shells with glass bubbles emerging from the shells’ cavities. Scented pink and blue water, referencing gender codes, bodily fluid, and cartoon imagery pumps through them using medical and aquarium tubing.

Transpiration (A Sculpture that Sweats) consists of a hollow cast glass female head with salt scented liquid that drips through holes drilled into the figure’s face, creating the appearance of sweat and referencing liquid entering and exiting the body.

Prior to the Immaterial, I created an exhibition titled Water Baby that explored water and feminine symbology through the language of materials and cartoons. My favorite piece from this series was called Singing Shell. Singing Shell, consisted of a conch shell embedded with an Arduino, speaker, and a proximity sensor. As the viewer approached the piece, the shell would project an edited version of Angel Baby by Rosie and the Originals. Angel Baby is a song about adolescent desire – the sound distortion created in the reworking of the song as well as the natural echo effect created by shell’s cavity emphasized the sense of longing, obsession and entrapment within the song. I had the privilege of collaborating with musician Derek Monypeny on this piece. In this piece the shell becomes a stand-in for a telephone or radio. This use of natural objects as a surrogate for modern technology is a hallmark of cartoons.

I am currently continuing to develop these ideas through new sculptural pieces. Additionally, I am working on two projects that delve deeper into sensory experience – a fragrance line called Out of Range and a shaved ice pop-up called Sun Song. Both projects are scheduled to launch spring 2020.

Cast glass seems to be a repetitive medium in your work, can you tell us more about your art-making process?

I am interested in the cultural connotations of materials. Glass is associated with mysticism, science, preservation and fragility. Through transforming and replicating objects into glass, my sculptures are able to tap into these associations.

I like to combine glass with other materials and objects. Before beginning a new piece I spend a lot of time grouping materials together – chunks of glass, acrylic hair, rocks, jewelry etc. Through this process of spending time with the raw materials – material, color, and textural relationships start to emerge. From here, I begin sculpting the glass components – once the glass pieces have been cast and cleaned up then I begin adding and collaging in the other materials that I selected during the original grouping process – embedding different types of hair into the forms, piercing the glass with jewelry studs, etc.

Your work has evolved from glass busts to working fountains, what led you to this alteration?

The idea for the busts and the fountain pieces emerged around the same time. I was researching bathing rituals and beautification processes in ancient Egypt, Rome, Greece, and Japan. This research got me thinking about the porosity of the body and sculptural representations of the female body throughout history.

What are some determining factors when selecting a scent for your fountain pieces?
Scent is an invisible and uncanny medium. I am interested in creating scents for my sculptures that are both familiar and strange, that fulfill or flip expectations, that indulge or question fantasy. Most of the scents in my work are a combination of natural and synthetically derived scent molecules. Neon Venus is a good example of this. The pink water in the piece was scented to smell of electrical smoke. The electrical smoke scent was created by combining synthetic scent molecules as well as a natural rose extraction that in the right dosage smells very metallic. The blue water was scented with a combination of extractions from natural white roses as well as a combination of synthetic scent molecules designed to replicate the scent of a white rose. Many of these synthetic rose ingredients are used frequently in cosmetics, scented kids toys, and in generic rose fragrances. The resulting fragrance is something that smells natural and artificial, familiar and also unplaceable. When the viewer stands in between the two shell fountains the combination of the electrical and rose fragrances create a new scent designed to smell like a neon rose.

As a person who loves materials and the cultural connotations of materials, I am also interested in the poetic power of the material list. I consider the fragrances added to a sculpture as a sort of alchemical poetry. I am interested in the real and perceived rarity of an ingredient, and the associations they evoke.

There are some reoccurring themes within your work. What is the importance of some of these major themes such as crystals, hair, and hands?

The elements and materials within my work function as a language of recurring symbols. Crystals represent natural transformation and mysticism. Piercing studs represent corporeal self-expression referencing both the inevitable change of the self through time and the yearning for metamorphosis.

Hair, hands, and shells are stand-ins for the human body. Hair has been used throughout human history as a socio-cultural signifier of gender, race, class, and culture. The hair extensions and wigs I use in my work are a reference to the long, shiny, straight hair I wanted as a child, which at the time, I associated with the pinnacle of feminine beauty.

Shells are a stand-in for water as well as the fragmented female body. My use of shells is a nod to representations of the biological female in art history and mythology. The Birth of Venus by 15th-century painter Sandro Botticelli is an example of this. In this painting the goddess Venus emerges from the sea standing on a giant scallop shell.

If you had to explain your work to a stranger, what would you say?

I make multi-media sculptures that explores transformation, nature, sensory experience, the human body and water.

What are some influences on your cast glass busts?

The main influences on my glass busts have been classical and ancient sculpture – particularly sculptures that reference mythological depictions of the female body as well as the cartoons and toys marketed to girls in the 1990’s.

How has living and working in Joshua Tree impacted your work?

Moving to Joshua Tree has had a significant impact on my work. One of the major shifts I have experienced has been my heightened awareness of water. Living in the desert, water becomes a central part of life and a precious commodity. I spend a lot of time monitoring, recycling and collecting water.

Simultaneously, living closer to my hometown of San Diego, has prompted me to reflect on my childhood fantasies surrounding water – things like pool parties, mermaids, beach culture, etc. My recent work has explored these different and yet interconnected concepts – contained water systems, the luxury oasis, and fantasies surrounding water.

This increased interest in water has also made me consider water from an internal and external point of view – the human body and its relationship to water (bodily fluids, extracellular fluid, intracellular fluid) and the global importance of water. Water, more than any other element connects us as human beings. Not only are our bodies made predominately of water, but the state of our oceans and access to clean water is critical to our species’ survival.

What was the last exhibition you saw that stuck out to you?

Hmm it’s hard to choose. I would have to say the 2017 Marisa Merz retrospective at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, CA. This exhibition, titled The Sky Is a Great Space, brought together five-decades of Merz’s work. Marisa Merz (born Turin, Italy, 1926) was an Italian painter, sculptor and installation artist. Her use of materials and form has stayed with me – her approach was rigorous, delicate, brutal and playful all at once. This simultaneous attention to detail and irreverence has impacted how I approach my own work.

What do you do when you’re not working on your art?

Collaborative curation and teaching are also components of my practice.

My partner, Michael Endo and I run a collaborative curatorial project called Dust to Dust. Dust to Dust mounts art exhibitions and experiences that take a non-hierarchical approach to material and method, promoting playful and critical dialogue. Recent exhibitions have explored aliens, global warming, flowers and ice cream through a range of media including painting, sculpture, sound, scent, bongs, ceramics, food and flower arranging. Dust to Dust began in 2018 as a gallery inside of an independent record label and vintage clothing store in Portland, OR and is now based in Yucca Valley, CA.

I also regularly teach workshops on glass, textiles and fragrance at my home studio the High Desert Observatory, the Yucca Valley Material Lab, and at different venues across the country. The High Desert Observatory is a studio and education center that Michael and I are building at our home. We offer workshops focused on sustainable craft and desert ecology. The Yucca Valley Material Lab is a non-profit glass studio and artist residency founded by Heidi Schwegler. I teach glass classes there and serve on the Advisory Council – assisting with program development and the studio.

Outside of those projects – I have been spending a lot of time learning about the ecology of the Mojave and Sonoran deserts as well as collecting and growing native desert plants for scent distillation, incense-making and textile dyeing. I also drink a lot of coffee, hang out with my dog and volunteer in my local art community.

What are some of the best or worst reactions you have gotten as a result of your work?

I want my work to resonate with people and be a bit uncanny. The best reactions for me are when an artwork resonates with someone. When something about hits a person in just the right way and they have a natural intuitive response to it – sometimes the response is positive and sometimes negative and that’s ok with me. The worst reactions are when a viewer shuts down – when they don’t want to spend time with a piece, when they label it as something and walk away.

What are you most excited for right now?
Water, scent and snow cones.

Read full interview here:

Chlorine Tidal Wave, Online Exhibition, Field Projects, August 2019

Field Projects is pleased to present Chlorine Tidal Wave curated by Tess Sol Schwab, Rachel Frank, Kristen Racaniello, Jacob Rhodes, and Muriel Urquhart, featuring works by: Paul Anagnostopoulos, Destiny Belgrave, Julia Blume, Emily Endo, Lannie Hart, Diane Hoffman, Genesis Jerez, Lola Katan, Steph Kunze, Marlon Lainez, Marc Librizzi, Farrell Mason- Brown, Sara Meghdari, Ilya Popenko, Kristina Schmidt, Eunjung Suh, Jonathan Torres, Tsailing Tseng

Chlorine Tidal Wave takes summer entertainment news as its starting point- the endless coverage of “Chance the Snapper” (the alligator found in a Chicago park), shark attacks, and deadly flesh-eating bacteria in our beaches. These sensationalized stories aim to both delight and terrify.  Using the same language as scary movies, the headlines ask, “Is it safe to go in the water?” and frame the deadly beast as an enemy to be vanquished. We cheer when the gator is removed from the pool and pat ourselves on the back that it is rehomed in an animal sanctuary.  With the segment over we can move on to other pressing issues- like who is the next contestant voted off Love Island.  Yet, the real looming presence of environmental destruction remains.

Field Projects is an artist-run project space and online venue dedicated to emerging and mid-career artists. Centered on long-term curatorial projects, Field Projects presents monthly exhibitions at their Chelsea location in addition to participating in pop-up exhibitions in and around New York as well art fairs around the world. '

Joshua Tree National Park Council For the Arts: Guest Artist, November 3, 2019

Please join us Sunday, November 3rd for a conversation in the park with artist Emily Endo.

The Joshua Tree National Park Council For the Arts Artists’ Tea series connects Joshua Tree National Park with surrounding communities to create culturally relevant, immersive experiences in the park. Each week the art council invites a different guest artist to guide conversations and activities based on their work. These experiences are designed to invoke thoughtful consideration of topics related to Joshua Tree National Park. Event is free and open to the public. Tea provided. *Bring your own mug!

Date + Time: Sunday, November 3, 9:00am - 11:00am

Location: Cap Rock Nature Trail Picnic Area, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277 (inside Joshua Tree National Park)

The Oregonian: 8 spring art exhibits in Portland that deserve a spot on your calendar

8 spring art exhibits in Portland that deserve a spot on your calendar

By Briana Miller | For The Oregonian/OregonLive 

“Craft and deep attention to material are part of this region's artistic DNA. The Pacific Northwest is known for its art glass making and manufacturing, and several shows this spring touch on that heritage. Followers of Portland's vibrant ceramic community will find offerings that incite the imagination and push the possibilities of the medium. And new voices abound in film, photography and mixed-media.   

Emily Endo’s solo show is the slicker continuation of her January exhibition at the Southeast Portland gallery Dust to Dust. Splashing water, scents, shells, freshwater pearls, blown glass and acrylic and horse hair, among other materials, combine in this blithe series of cast glass heads and hands, which is a commentary on adornment, purification and the idealized representation of the female body…”

Read the full article here:

60inch Center Interview

Immaterial: An interview with Emily Endo

Interview by Lindsay Costello

Emily Endo, a multimedia artist based in Portland and Joshua Tree, has returned to the city of Portland for the opening of her solo show Immaterial at Bullseye Projects. Endo’s most recent works explore the materiality, purification and beautification of the body with cast glass and natural materials. 60 Inch Center contributor Lindsay Costello interviewed the artist to learn more about her influences, modes of material research, and themes of transcendence in the exhibition.

LC: Although your pieces are grounded by their engagement of multiple senses, they also
possess an otherworldly quality. Your show title, Immaterial, seems to address this duality.
Can you describe the reasoning behind the title of your show?

EE: The show title speaks to the idea of transcending the body, and how beautification and purification processes, for instance scenting and bathing, are efforts to exalt the body while also transcending it. I’m interested in that duality, and the idea of “washing away” the materiality of the body. I’m also considering skin as a permeable membrane, so in several pieces I investigate how bodily fluids can seep through the skin, thus traversing a barrier. For instance, in Transpiration, a cast glass head is drilled with holes emulating facial pores. The liquid seeping through the pores is scented to smell like salt. The word transpiration relates to perspiration; it’s also a botanical term describing the process of water evaporation from plant leaves.

LC: Your work is permeated with aquatic symbols like seashells, juices, aquarium pumps, and scented water. Several pieces are rendered in cool tones, and the viewer hears dripping and pumping sounds while moving through the gallery. Why do you utilize this combination of watery imagery and sensory experience in your work?

EE: Throughout the show’s development I’ve been researching mythological references,
specifically Roman and Ancient Greek representations of the female body. I looked at images of Aphrodite, Venus, and other figures representing an idealized body. Simultaneously, I considered the fragmented body and the body as a symbol. These considerations led me to seashells as a stand-in for female genitalia, depictions of Venus on the half shell, and other representations of goddesses on shells.

My move to Joshua Tree has deeply impacted my attitude toward water. Living in the desert, water becomes precious. I spend a lot of time monitoring water; in my studio I maintain a catch-water system for my garden. I grew up in San Diego, so being closer to my hometown, I also think more about my childhood in a beach city and its connection to the fantasy of water. Most of my childhood fantasies revolved around water — mermaids, pool parties, fountains, abundance. So, I’ve been playing with the back-and-forth of contained water systems and the luxury and fantasy of water.

Finally, I’ve been thinking about bodily fluids in relation to the interior and exterior body. Fluids can be detoxifying and purifying, but we also have the urge to wash them away. Scenting the water relates to bathing. I looked to historical and modern bathing traditions from all over the world as references.

LC: The scents detectable in your work are subtle from afar, and almost cartoonishly
exaggerated up close. You use both natural and synthetic scents in several pieces. How did you come to incorporate scent into your practice? Where do you see this medium taking you next?

EE: I first became interested in scent when researching bathing and purification processes in the ancient world; I looked at the uses of perfume and incense in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome.

In almost all of my work, I pull in a combination of natural and synthetic materials. Part of that choice is driven by the world we live in, which constantly integrates these materials, but I’m also interested in cartoonish, childlike symbols of smell. Humans are quite perceptive of synthetic smells. It’s more difficult for us to process natural smells, because we don’t encounter them as frequently. In Immaterial I used synthetic scents so viewers could identify them, as well as natural scents, which increased the depth of the smells. I like that the viewer is invited to get closer to a piece in order to smell it. Like a scented body, it’s intriguing. There’s a moment of intimacy there.

As my next step I’m starting a fragrance company, launching in late summer or early fall, called Out of Range. I’m excited to make scents, and then make sculptures that respond to them.

LC: In She-Wolf, your cast glass sculpture of a wolf covered in quartz, you continue to
reference mythology. There are also several pieces with the word “lunar” in the title. Can you expand on your interest in mythology and the natural world?

EE: She-Wolf is the central piece in the show. It references the Capitoline Wolf, a Roman sculpture depicting a mother wolf nursing Romulus and Remus, the mythical twin founders of Rome. It’s a representation of a mythological female body. The lunar titles are more playful —the idea of a moon goddess is drawn from myths and folktales from many cultures. The reference is also related to outer space, as the female body is often considered “other” or “alien.”

Recently, I’ve been thinking about my own body as somewhat alien. Living in a body is an isolating experience, since we don’t always know what’s happening inside our bodies. A few years ago, I was inspired by a traveling exhibition curated by Astria Suparak and Ceci Moss called Alien She, which was displayed at the Museum of Contemporary Craft. The exhibition’s title is a reference to a Bikini Kill song of the same name. The song challenges normalized gender roles and explores the journey toward a collective feminist consciousness.

LC: In several sculptures, female busts are adorned with piercings and flowing wigs, calling to mind your earlier works of cast glass horse heads with acrylic hair. These decisions again emphasize your consideration of transformation. Can you elaborate on your interest in metamorphosis and transcendence as it relates to the body? What sparks your interest in feminine adornment and body modification?

EE: I’m interested in the desire to change the body; to become immaterial by addressing the materiality of the body. I look at piercings and corporeal self-expression as examples of this, so I incorporated piercings into my Lunar Child cast glass heads, which have metal studs in their faces. Visions of what it means to have an adult body are strong during adolescence. The wigs and hair extensions I use in these works are also a nod to adolescent self-expression, but more so to female beauty in general. Hair has always been a signifier of identity, gender, class, race —it’s a very political medium and a symbol of femininity. Hair is so often used to express persona. In these pieces, I utilized the hair I wanted as a child. It’s doll-like and cartoonish.

All of my work contains metamorphosis. For the last decade, I’ve been investigating the ways in which change is translated into stories. In She-Wolf, the quartz crystals embedded in the wolf figure are reminiscent of how sculptures can change over time. Archaeologists have found ancient bronze sculptures on sea floors covered in barnacles.

LC: At Dust to Dust, you recently presented a solo show of your work featuring a piece that
isn’t included in this exhibition. Singing Shell, a conch shell embedded with an Arduino speaker and a proximity sensor, projected an edited version of “Angel Baby” by Rosie and the Originals. The piece evoked the spirit of young love and adolescent hope. What was the process behind the creation of this piece? How did you select the source music?

EE: I love “Angel Baby”, which was written by Rosie Hamlin, a Chicana singer, when she was just fourteen. She was born in Oregon and later moved to San Diego to record music. Adolescent longing and desire is illustrated in the song, and there’s something sort of trapped about it; being projected from a conch shell, it has an echoing sound. I worked with Derek Monypeny to distort the song, because I wanted it to sound like a mermaid was singing it. Again, referencing cartoons and bubbly ultra-femininity, the idea that you could call someone on a “shell-phone” was appealing. I love the childhood fantasy contained there, and the materiality found in the space between real and fantasy. I loved collaging as a child.

LC: You recently moved to Joshua Tree. What is your new project, the High Desert Observatory, all about? How has the move impacted your work and sources of inspiration? Does site factor into your material decisions?

EE: The High Desert Observatory is a studio and classroom that my partner Michael Endo and I are building at our home. It’s in the beginning stages now, but we have a gutted house that we are rebuilding along with other studio buildings on the property. We plan to start workshops in the fall on subjects like textiles and aromatics. Our neighbors, Heidi Schwegler and Derek Monypeny, are developing a space a mile from the Observatory called the Yucca Valley Material Lab, which will become a glass studio and artist residency. We’ve teamed up with them to share resources. Michael and I relocated Dust to Dust, our curatorial project, from Portland to Joshua Tree. We’re hoping to rebuild it in a shipping container on our property, but in the meantime we’re doing some pop-ups around town.

Moving to Joshua Tree has influenced my work more than I expected. I live in a rural area that is very quiet. I’ve become more attuned to sound, smell, and light. I’ve started bringing some desert references to my artwork; She-Wolf is actually based on a coyote. I’ve been making rattlesnake pieces as well, which I didn’t expect to blend with my ethereal, pastel aesthetic, but it does! I’m simply inserting new symbols. So much of Immaterial is about bodily fluids, so I began thinking about snake venom and snake goddesses as well.

I’ve always loved rocks and minerals, which I now have all over my property in Joshua Tree. Beginning to incorporate these into my work has opened up some freedom to collage material elements. A lot of the rocks in this show I pulled directly from my yard. Being in a more rural environment has also made me consider community further. In Joshua Tree, you think differently about friends and neighbors. You become even closer, and share resources more.

LC: This location of Bullseye Projects is closing in June, with plans to relocate to southeast Portland, closer to Bullseye’s research and education department. What has your experience with a gallery in transition been like? What’s next for you?

EE: Working with Bullseye has always been phenomenal. They’re so supportive of artists, and since this location is closing, there’s been a sense of freedom to experiment. The staff are warm, helpful and excited about continuing to support artists. In conversations with gallery staff here, they’ve seemed almost reinvigorated about their work.

I’m developing the fragrance company I mentioned earlier, and I also want to start a new series of work about scent production, with sculptural distillers that explore the ways to capture scent. I’m interested in enfleurage, a process using fat to trap and extract scent from delicate flowers. I distill plants back in Joshua Tree, and will be teaching about that process this summer at Pilchuck Glass School. Again, the idea of metamorphosis arises — a raw material becomes a new extraction.

Finally, I want to start a snow cone company! It will be informed by my research on water and scent. I’m planning a snow cone pop-up at High Desert Test Sites in Joshua Tree. In continuation of my research into the alien body, I’m also curating a show with Dust to Dust about aliens. So right now, I’m interested in the conceptual possibilities of scent. And aliens. And snow cones.

Immaterial is on view through June 1, 2019 at Bullseye Projects.

Read full interview online here:

I Went To The Desert, Outpost Projects, Joshua Tree, CA, April 2019

I Went to the Desert

Opening Reception: Saturday April 13, 3-7pm
Exhibition Dates: April 13 - July 1, 2019

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." –Henry David Thoreau

Outpost Projects is pleased to present works by Claire Colette, Emily Endo, Michael Endo, Matt Roberts and Heidi Schwegler. Each of these artists have chosen the desert - rather than the woods - to be their permanent residence or a place to frequent. Whether for the solitude, the beauty of its flora and fauna, its creative community or as a place suited to live life on one's own terms, each have recently committed to make work in this powerfully magical and alien landscape. In partnership with the Joshua Treenial. Outpost Projects is an artist-run exhibition space and live in gallery located in the high desert of California, near the village and National Park of Joshua Tree. The site includes a renovated jackrabbit homestead cabin on five acres of pristine desert filled with Joshua trees and dramatic skies.

Outpost Projects
Keeler Avenue
Flamingo Heights, California 92284

Immaterial: Artist Lecture + Workshop March 23, 2019

In conjunction with her solo exhibition Immaterial, Emily Endo will present an artist lecture discussing her recent sculptural and aromatic work on March 23rd. 

The lecture will be followed by a corresponding workshop investigating the use and production of scent in the ancient world. Each workshop participant will make their own perfume. 

Lecture 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Workshop 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Both events are free and open to the public; workshop space is limited, RSVP required

Exhibition and event funded in part by the Regional Arts and Culture Council.

RSVP by  email  

Bullseye Projects
300 NW 13th Avenue
Portland, Oregon, 97209

Immaterial, Bullseye Projects, Portland, OR, March 16 - June 1, 2019

Bullseye Projects presents a solo exhibition by Emily Endo, exploring the body, fluidity, purification, and beauty. Immaterial will be on view March 16 - June 1, 2019. Join the artist for the opening reception, Saturday, March 16, 1:30 - 3:30 p.m

Immaterial, Emily Endo's second solo exhibition at Bullseye Projects, continues the artist's interest in the intersection between science and mysticism. This intersection manifests in the myriad myths and stories that have historically been used to explain natural phenomena. In her previous work, Endo turned her attention to outward change, the transformation of the environment in particular. For Immaterial, Endo looks inward, incorporating the female form and elements of body modification, referencing both the inevitable change of the self through time and yearning for metamorphosis and transcendence.

Water Baby (Fountain) (2018), consists of a hollow, transparent cast-glass female bust. Vibrant blue liquid dribbles out of the mouth of the figure, pooling in the base from which the form emerges. The colored, lightly scented, liquid transmits an ethereal glow through the glass and onto the shining platinum blond hair that frames the face and cascades down the back of the pedestal. "In my recent work," says Endo, "the fragmented body, beautification, and corporeal self-expression intersect with fantasy and idealized representations of the female body, creating references to ancient and modern rituals of purification as a means to simultaneously celebrate the body and transcend its materiality."

Immaterial is an extension of Endo's recent exhibition Water Baby; both exhibitions were funded in part by the Regional Arts and Culture Council.

Bullseye Projects
300 NW 13th Avenue
Portland, Oregon, 97209


Upcoming Workshop: Pilchuck Glass School June 2019

This summer I will be teaching a week-long workshop at Pilchuck Glass School in Standwood, Washington.

Applications for scholarship, priority placement, and are due February 1, 2019. Student applications accepted until course is filled. Learn more about applying here.

Immaterial: Scent and Hollow Cast Forms

“Perfume straddles the line between the tangible and intangible, the earthly and the ethereal, the real and the magical.” – Mandy Aftel 

Fusing glass casting with history and sensory exploration, this course will examine the ethereal, fluid, and transparent qualities of glass and perfume; two properties that have been intertwined since their inception in ancient Mesopotamia. Students will be introduced to hollow-core casting and will use plant extractions and distillation to create their own individual scent. Each student will leave with a one-of-a-kind cast-glass vessel and a corresponding perfume.

Class is open to all skill levels.
Instructors: Emily Endo and Michael Endo
Summer Session 1: Medium Matters
Dates: June 7 - 14, 2019
Techniques: Glass Casting, Hollow-Core Casting, Lost-Wax Casting, Distillation, Natural Perfumery

Pilchuck Glass School
1201-316th St NW
Stanwood, WA 98292

Water Baby, Dust to Dust, Portland, OR, January 13, 2019

Sunday, January 13, 6:00 - 9:00 pm

Dust to Dust presents Water Baby, a solo exhibition from Emily Endo. Inspired by watery dreamscapes, classical sculpture, and cartoon color palettes, Emily Endo’s newest body of work combines seashells, wax, water fountains, sound, and glass to create sensory experiences that invoke fantasy and beauty as pathways to bodily transformation. Water Baby is funded in part by the Regional Arts and Culture Council

Building on her past works that explored the relationship between myth-making and natural transformation and her most recent collaborative exhibition, Liquid Nails, which used female self-care as a focal point to emphasize the tension between beauty and toxicity, Water Baby investigates the transformation of the body viewed through the fluidity of water and the fantastic lens of female adolescence.

Bathers (2018) consists of layered digital prints on fabric depicting abstracted bathers as if spied on through a waterfall. Drawn from the “Pastoral Symphony” portion of Disney’s Fantasia (1940), Bathers, in addition to the eponymous Silly Symphonies cartoon, combines Endo’s interest in nature, myth, and cartoon depictions of self-care.

These interests are also brought together in Singing Shell (2018), a conch shell that when listened to projects “Angel Baby” by Rosie and the Originals rather than the whooshing sound that is sometimes thought of as the ocean. This use of natural objects as a surrogate for modern technology is a hallmark of cartoons.

Dust to Dust
3636 N Mississippi Ave.
Portland, Oregon, 97227


Take 5: Open Studios at Helms Bakery, Los Angeles, CA, November 8, 2018

Take 5 is a public event series bringing together creative innovators in their field, building a community across disciplines. Take 5: Open Studios brings together creative practitioners across the 5 senses: sight, sound, taste, smell and touch.

Thursday, November 8, 2018
7:00pm – 9:45pm

Helms Bakery
8745 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232

Event is free and open to the public.
Register online at:

Bellevue Arts Museum Glass Biennial, November 9 - April 14, 2018

In 2010, Bellevue Arts Museum launched the BAM Biennial, a juried exhibition which focuses on the work of established and emerging Northwest artists, craftspeople, and designers, with an emphasis on new work. Every two years, Bellevue Arts Museum has designated a new focus of exploration. The fifth edition in the series, BAM Biennial 2018: BAM! Glasstastic, will be focused on glass.

With Seattle being the undisputed center for the development of glass as an art form in North America, it was natural that this medium should have been selected to culminate the Museum's series of purely media-based biennials. In the future, BAM Biennials will be opened to more general themes or techniques in the fields of art, craft, and design.

The simplicity of its composition, the complexity of its production, the many forms it can take—blown, cast, frit, stained—as well as its many uses, from the stained-glass of a medieval cathedral to the modernist skyscraper, from the Venetian goblet to the IKEA tealight, attest to the fact that glass is a paradoxical material, that has inspired the artists of the Northwest for generations.

The Museum called upon Northwest artists, craftsmen, designers, and makers of all kinds working in the medium of glass to join us for a celebration around this most essential of media. 49 artists were selected to participate.

Participating Artists
Fumi Amano, Jimmy Anderegg, Karen Buhler, David Chatt, Bri Chesler, Benjamin Cobb, Julie Conway, Emily Counts, Erin Dengerink, Mark Ditzier, Emily Endo, Gabe Feenan, David Francis, Dan Friday, Terri Grant, KT Hancock, Keiko Hara, Carolyn Hopkins, David Huchthausen, Etsuko Ishikawa, Carrie Iverson, John Kiley, Steve Klein, Morgan Madison, Amanda Manitach, Dante Marioni, Katie Miller, Carol Milne, Janis Miltenberger, Melissa Misoda, Anna Mlasowsky, Shelley Muzylowski-Allen, Karsten Oaks, Jenny Pohlman & Sabrina Knowles, Kait Rhoads, Joseph Rossano & Martin Blank, Nathan Sandberg, Heidi Schwegler, Ethan Stern, April Surrend, Lino Tagliapietra, Kathryn Thibault, Happy Thompson, Michael Tyra, Dick Weiss, Erich Toll, Mark Zirpel

Tina Aufiero, Artistic Director, Pilchuck Glass School, WA / Lucile Chich, Assistant Curator, Bellevue Arts Museum, WA / Benedict Heywood, Chief Curator, Bellevue Arts Museum, WA / Andrew Page, Chief Editor, Glass Quarterly, NY / Susan Warner, Executive Director, Vashon Center for the Arts, WA

BAM Biennial 2018: BAM! Glasstastic is organized by Bellevue Arts Museum and curated by Lucile Chich and Benedict Heywood. The exhibition is made possible with support from Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass and 4Culture.

Exhibition Dates:
November 9 - April 14, 2018

Museum Hours:
Monday & Tuesday: Closed 
Wednesday – Sunday: 11am – 5pm
Free First Friday: 11am – 8pm

Bellevue Arts Museum
510 Bellevue Way NE
Bellevue, WA 98004

I Say: "RADICAL!" You Say: "FEMINIST!", Archer Gallery, Vancouver, Washington, September 25, 2018

A celebration of diverse expressions of gender, identity, and the human body.

September 25, 2018 - November 10, 2018

Closing reception Tuesday, November 6th, 2pm - 4pm

The exhibition “I say: “RADICAL! You say: “FEMINIST!” is a celebration of diverse expressions of gender, identity, and the human body. The title suggests the call and response of a protest chant, referencing  activism and the urgency of these times. At a moment of political upheaval and renewed culture wars, the show will investigate themes of inclusion and pride, as well as persecution and the ever-present threats to non-dominant identities. Ultimately, the show aims to honor individual expression, freedom, and the universal human rights for respect, dignity, and well-being.

Artists: Roz Crews, Kelly Bjork, Wynde Dyer, Emily Endo, Alexa Feeney, Klara Glosova, Junko Iijima, Tyler Mackie, Victor Maldonado, Patricia Melton, Matthew Offenbacher, Alyson Provax, Kelly Rauer, Maggie Sasso, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Ann Leda Shapiro, Naomi Shersty, Alisa Sikelianos, Anthony Sonnenberg, Alexander Wurts

Archer Gallery, Clark College
1933 Fort Vancouver Way
Vancouver, WA 98663

Frontrunner Magazine Interview

I was recently interviewed by Loren Nosan at Frontrunner Magazine

"Emily Nachison’s works in cast glass and mixed media do not shy away from the seductive power of beauty. Inspired by the natural world, material processes, and a fairy-dusting of mysticism, the ethereal objects she creates seem to hover between our world and some fantastical realm just beyond it. Part of their lustrous glow comes from the use of cast glass, a material with a milky luminescence that heightens the magical associations that her favored imagery evokes. More recent works hint at an edgier side through the inclusion of brass piercing studs and leather, but in Nachison’s hands, these materials contribute a sense of pathos and yearning rather than darkness."

Read full interview here:

2018 RACC Grant Recipient

I am honored to be included in this year's list of Regional Arts & Culture Council grant recipients.

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) provides grants for artists, arts organizations, and artistic projects in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties; manages an internationally acclaimed public art program; raises money and awareness for the arts through Work for Art; convenes forums, networking events and other community gatherings; provides workshops and other forms of technical assistance for artists; and oversees a program to integrate arts and culture into the standard curriculum in public schools through The Right Brain Initiative. RACC values a diversity of artistic and cultural experiences and is working to build a community in which everyone can participate in culture, creativity, and the arts. For more information visit

Liquid Nails, Elephant Art Space, Los Angeles, CA, July 13, 2018

Liquid Nails
July 13 - July 29, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, July 13, 2018 6pm -9pm

Elephant is pleased to present Liquid Nails, a collaborative exhibition by Martha Mysko and Emily Endo. Liquid Nails will be on view from July 13 through July 29, with an opening reception July 13, 6-9 PM. Gallery hours Saturdays and Sundays 12-4 PM, and by appointment.

Seashells, candles, hair gel, oversized perfume bottles, custom-printed beach towels, fountains, and teenage paraphernalia are collaged together to create a liminal environment inspired by dreamscapes, cheap beauty products, cartoon color palettes, google image searches, and low-budget film sets. The resulting work creates both tension and fluidity between tactility, desire, toxicity, beauty, illusion, mystery, revulsion, and disappointment.

With a heart-shaped tub at its center, the exhibition gives form to an ongoing exchange of dialogue and imagery between the two artists, melding their seemingly divergent processes and practices into a cohesive exhibition and critical investigation into consumption and reverie.

Martha Mysko builds fractured narratives using both abstract and representational languages. Creating temporary, color-saturated installations, she works fluidly between the physical and the digital. She finds potential in second-hand items and in kitsch--avoiding nostalgia and questioning conceptions of taste and value. Cultural and personal associations tied to objects and materials are disrupted through formal play, and her explorations of painterly space. Martha lives and works in Pontiac, MI in Metro Detroit.

Emily Endo creates mixed-media sculpture that pulls from the disparate, yet conjoined, histories of science and mysticism. Predominantly comprised of cast glass and natural materials such as leather and hair, the sculptures and installations reference the practice of mythologization as a means of explaining natural phenomena and wish-fulfillment. Recent work uses this as a starting point to explore adolescent fantasy and false promises. Emily lives and works in Joshua Tree, California and Portland, Oregon.

Elephant Art Space
3325 Division Street
Los Angeles, California 90065
Open Saturdays and Sundays 12-4pm and by appointment