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Artist Celebrates Female Empowerment

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Photo credit: Provided by Emily Powell

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Written by: Mikaela ConleyApril 05, 2017

Emily Powell’s parents gave her an oil paint set for Christmas when she was 9 years old, and she has loved art ever since.

“I am just a creative person and I need that outlet,” Powell said. “I can do other things, but I just don’t feel as complete unless I’m being creative.”

She said she remembers painting horses when she was young and taking art classes in high school.

“It has just always been my thing,” she said. “And it’s definitely my outlet for stress.”

Powell’s first official show will be at The Gallery at PranaYoga, 1301 Lafayette St. starting April 29 with an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m.

The show is called “The Female Figure: An Exploration of the Female Form and Empowerment.” It will feature 20-25 pieces for sale.

Each painting features a different nude female figure. Powell uses bright colors to express personality in each figure, she said.

Powell, who has a master’s degree in psychology, didn’t go to school specifically for art, but she said she tries to incorporate her schooling and past job experiences into her paintings.

After graduating from college, Powell moved to Florida to do behavioral research with sharks and fish.

“I would go to the beach after working,” she said. “So a lot of color choices are from that time. … I like to use blue in almost every one of my paintings, it almost doesn’t feel complete without a form of blue.”

Powell later moved back to Fort Wayne and got a job at the Allen County office of Indiana Department of Child Services.

Working at CPS, she saw different people’s personalities and struggles that people go through and she said she tries to incorporate those experiences into her paintings as well.

Powell said some of the poses in her paintings are similar, but the colors and strokes are different based on how she expresses the personality.

Powell has made a business out of selling her work online. Because of this, she is now able to stay home with her 2-and-a-half-year-old son and work at the same time, and she is excited for what will come next.

“I just want to keep growing it and doing more shows,” Powell said. “But I’m probably done with the female figure for a bit. I will probably do more abstract or animal figures just to change it up.”

She said it was time for her to collaborate and showcase her work locally, and PranaYoga is the first place she looked at.

“Their space is awesome, it kind of flows with my subject matter seeing as it’s mostly figures and they’re a yoga studio,” she said.

The gallery will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. every Friday until May 15.