Emily C-D

Artist Statement

I am painter and planter, sculptor and seed saver. The studio is my temporary temple, but the green, growing world out my window always beckons me back outside. I want to be in both places at once, so I try to merge my art practice with the natural world I so love. My first murals went up on walls next to gardens I helped cultivate on vacant urban lots. Now I create spaces to contain seeds in the service of their sovereignty. My art ranges from small watercolors to massive mixed media installations, the materials and process of a particular work informed by people and place, situation and site. Nature has certainly taught me that nothing grows in a vacuum, and I understand my art to be the result of collaboration within a complex web of relationships.

I create to communicate, to celebrate, to play with color, rhythm and form. Like the experienced guerrilla gardener that I am, I get my hands dirty in artmaking in order to challenge with beauty the cultural norm. My goal is to create work that inspires those who experience it to reconnect with the cycles that sustain us—art to empower people, protect plants and restore dignity to our shared communities.


Emily C-D is a transdisciplinary artist originally from Maryland but with her roots in Mexico for the past decade and working on both sides of the border. Her work explores and challenges our human interaction with nature, using various materials and processes to investigate the tension between social and environmental issues. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art (2005) and was a two-time recipient of the Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Grant, in the categories of sculpture (2014) and works on paper (2010). In Mexico, Emily has been an artist in residence at El Centro de Arte y Ecología Guapamacátaro in Michoacán (2012), Galería Gubidxa in Oaxaca (2011) and FARO (Fábrica de Artes y Oficios) de Oriente in Iztapalapa, Mexico City (2010). Over a 20-year career, Emily has has partnered with diverse peoples in Mexico and the US to transform public spaces with murals, installations and gardens. As the visual voice of the SOMOS SEMILLA Seed Library in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, Emily’s work promoting seed saving through art has been integral to amplifying the free seed movement in Mexico and beyond.