We had the good fortune of connecting with Emily Fens and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Emily, why did you pursue an artistic career?

I’m fascinated by the mind and I’ve been an artist my whole life. I merge the two to create an open-ended space to explore concepts and ideas related to the mind. Letting my artistic practice lead the way, I am interested in collaborating with like-minded thinkers, creatives, and communities to push this exploration.

Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?

I create fantastical portraits of the brain using vibrant color and intricate patterns. I have a BS in Neuroscience from UCLA and my studies of the brain, biology, and cognition inform the imagery and concepts within my work. In 2019, I worked with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston to create an interactive art environment entitled Brainbloom as a part of their Music on the Plaza series. Looking ahead, I am excited to continue to create like spaces—be they intellectual, digital, or physical—for the public to explore and contemplate the mind.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?

Houston has so many amazing places to choose from—where to begin?! I’d certainly have to mention Lawndale Art & Performance Center, where I’ve worked since 2016. Located in the Houston Museum District on the edge of Midtown, Lawndale is a multidisciplinary arts center supporting local and regional contemporary artists in a myriad of ways, including its exhibitions, public programs, and Artist Studio Program. 

Just a ten minute walk south of Lawndale is the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s (MFAH) Nancy and Rich Kinder Building, which opened in fall 2020. It has the most amazing architecture and exhibitions within—a must for the itinerary, along with the rest of the Museum’s campus. 

Nearby at Rice University is the James Turrell Twilight Epiphany Skyspace (go during sunrise or sunset!) and the Moody Center for the Arts, both built within the past ten years and would be perfect to take a friend to!

While in the Rice area, I’d also recommend dropping by Brazos Bookstore in Rice Village. They have the most friendly staff, and I always happen upon the best books and gifts there, too.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?

Houston has such a vibrant arts and culture scene—I’d have to give my shoutout to it. I grew up here, was trained as an artist at MFAH’s Glassell School of Art, have worked in its cultural institutions for a decade, and have met the most amazing people through its community. This place is certainly special to me!

Website: emilyfens.com
Instagram: @emilyfens
Other: Email: emilycfens@gmail.com

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