Meet the Artist : Emily Joy Ashman


November 30, 2015

Contact: Tamar Russell Brown, Gallery Sitka — 978.425.6290

Exhibition Explores Work Combining Photography and Illustration at The Bull Run in Shirley Dec. 9th

Emily Joy Ashman
Art by Emily Joy Ashman


SHIRLEY, Mass. — Emily Joy Ashman creates remarkable artwork that combines diverse artistic disciplines. Her company, The Illustrated Room, works expressively in photography, illustration, murals, graphic design and videography. She also organizes art parties for clients eager to bring many people together in a festive atmosphere to create art of all kinds.

Ms. Ashman will exhibit a collection of her works that displays her tremendous versatility and that of the lively circle of artists with whom she collaborates. The collection celebrates the art of visual storytelling and the interface between music and the visual arts.

Her process began with photographing the artists in her group, seeking ideas for the illustrations that are superimposed on the photos. Each photograph is both a sensitive portrait of the subject and an inventive picture added to it. The illustration could perhaps stand on its own, without the accompanying photo, but what is doubly fascinating in these portraits is the way that the photographed portion and the drawn portion interact.

“Homesteading” originated in the artist’s feelings for her favorite poem by her friend Benjamin Davis. This picture sings of what Ms. Ashman calls “the contentment of a weathered and loyal love.” Her self-portrait, “Eastern Westerner,” combines images from two strikingly different landscapes — one out west in sun-drenched Nevada, the other in more subdued and subtly beautiful New England. The artist’s husband, Mike Kelly, wrote a song that inspired her photograph, “After the Rain.”

With these photos, the artist intends to create a collection defined by, and dedicated to, this intimate circle of friends and fellow artists. The pieces work together as an ensemble, as the friends are bound together by their affection for each other and their devotion to their art.

Ms. Ashman recently created the cover art for songwriter Krista Baroni’s second album, “The Alabaster Girl.” The work is based on what Ms. Ashman calls “visual extractions” of the lyrics of the songs heard on the album.

The artist will exhibit these new works at The Bull Run, 215 Great Road, Shirley, Mass., on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 5 – 7 p.m. Visit and to learn more about Emily Ashman and this upcoming exhibition.


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