Senior Thesis Spotlight | Emily Stamey

   Bustling around North Carolina all of her life, Emily Stamey is a senior thesis painting student who has been exploring with various forms of painting, whether it be digital or oils, for quite some time now. Once Emily switched from painting on photoshop to painting with oils, her advancement and love grew for the medium.
Cut Off, 2012
Cut Off, 2012
    Viewing Emily’s paintings, with their deep hues and thick texture, the viewer can sense the theme of identity and how her work is centered around a process of a unique blend of individuals. In the paintings, a story is being told to the viewer, which is usually staged beforehand by Emily. For her thesis work, Emily is focusing on “identities typically not portrayed in portraiture. For example, people with illnesses, people who are LGBTQ, people of other genders, people who live ‘alternative or non-mainstream lifestyles, etc”. When viewing the paintings, the audience may not immediately notice the obvious character or identity of the subject, however, Emily includes indications in each piece that can be linked to the overall theme.
    “I have many influences” Emily Stamey states, “Every week I seem to discover a new painter/artist to fall in love with”. Rembrandt, Jenny Saville, Lucian Freud, Steven Assael, Cindy Sherman and Lee Price are all important artists that have stimulated Emily’s personal art work. She is heavily influenced by political and social matters as well. Her theme being those who are not normally depicted in portraiture connects to her enthusiasm and support for equality.  By focusing on these individuals, Emily has been influenced to “create a body of work that reflects different people not usually portrayed on canvas in the media” and has done so successfully.
    Emily says that her freshmen year was when she decided to apply for the thesis program and concluded that it would be the best step for her artwork and future as a painter. She also states that there have been some difficult aspects to the entirety of the program; initial ideas and composition is a common challenge for her and the overall interaction with her subjects can also be an obstacle.
    Once she is graduated, Emily is staying in Greensboro for the summer. Plans for New York were a possibility but for now, she is leaving things in the air. She hopes to engage with her paintings without the pressures of academia; this could possibly include an internship. Wherever Emily finds herself, we wish her luck and express our excitement for her paintings in the senior thesis show.
You can email Emily Stamey at for more information or general interests. 

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