Biography & Curriculum Vitae

Raised in Colorado in a family of geologists and artists, Emily Silver received an MFA from San Francisco Art Institute in 2007 and a BA from Stanford University in 1973. For two years of her life she lived in Africa: Ethiopia and Kenya.


She’s exhibited her work in numerous  solo shows, for example, in Mojave National Preserve (2019), Piante Gallery (Eureka, CA, 2015); McKinley Arts & Culture Center (Reno, NV, 2014); The Springs Preserve (Las Vegas, 2010); The Painting Center (New York, NY, 2002); Morris Graves Museum of Art (Eureka, CA, 2002); and Nevada State Library and Archives (2002).


Artist residencies have provided time to work surrounded in the landscape she loves: Mojave National Preserve (2019), Joshua Tree National Park (2018), Playa Summer Lake, (OR), (2014–2017), and Virginia City, NV (Capitol City Arts Initiative, 2015), for which she is very grateful.


Her awards include Best of Show at Morris Graves Museum of Art (2009); a Cadogan Fellowship (San Francisco Foundation, 2006); a Kosciuszko Foundation Scholarship (2005); an Artists Grant from Sierra Arts Foundation (Reno, NV, 1995); and a Wolf Kahn fellowship to Vermont Studio Center (2003). Her work has been featured in Washington magazine (1987) and Catamaran (2013), among others. A monograph was written about her work by Shaun Griffin, poet laureate of Nevada (2015).


Walking in powerful places informs Silver’s art practice. Having completed the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage across Spain, she continues to learn through her feet near her studio in Ferndale, California, and, as much as possible, in the Great American deserts of Cal­­­­ifornia, Nevada, and Utah.


H o n o r s  &  A w a r d s 

2019                Artist Residency, Mojave National Preserve, CA

2018                Artist residency, Joshua Tree National Park, CA

2014,15, 17     PLAYA fellowship, artist residencies / Summer Lake, OR

2015                Artist residency, Capital City Arts Initiative, Virginia City, NV

2009                Best of Show, “A Celebration of the Arts” / Morris Graves Museum, Eureka, CA

2006                Cadogan Fellowship / San Francisco Foundation, San Francisco, CA

2005                Kosciuszko Foundation Scholarship / New York, NY

2003                Vermont Studio Center Fellowship / Wolf Kahn, sponsor

2001                Project Grant / McLean Foundation, Fortuna, CA

2000, 03          Project Grants / North Coast Cultural Trust, Eureka, CA

1995                Artists Grant / Sierra Arts Foundation, Reno, NV

                        Governor’s Purchase (eight paintings),  Carson City, NV

1993                Volunteer of the Year / Pioneer Human Services / Sedro Woolley, WA

1985                Winner / Artists’ Competition for the Palouse Peace Prize Commission, Pullman, WA



S e l e c t e d  S o l o  E x h i b i t i o n s

2019                “On the Mojave Road,” / Kelso Depot at Mojave National Preserve, CA

2017                “Stomping Grounds” / ReCreative Denver Gallery, Denver, CO

2016                “Counterpane,” / Museum of Northeastern Nevada, Elko, NV

2015                “Counterpane,” / Piante Gallery, Eureka CA

.                       “Counterpane,” / Saint Mary’s Art Center, Virginia City, NV

2014                McKinley Arts and Culture Center / Reno, NV

2013                Paintings / BRIC Building Capital City Arts Initiative, Carson City, NV

.                        Paintings / Robert Goodman Wines, Arcata, NV

2010                “Periphery: Ten Walks at the Edge of Las Vegas” / Springs Preserve, Las Vegas

2009                “Coyote Heights” / Piante / Eureka, CA

2007                “Ranging” / OXS Gallery / Nevada Arts Council, Carson City, NV

2005                “Water/Desert/Spirit” / Oats Park Art Center, Fallon, NV

2004                "Desert Etudes" / Metro Gallery, Reno, NV

2003                "Desert Etudes" / Piante Gallery, Eureka, CA

2002                "Windows" / Nevada State Library & Archives, Carson City, NV

2002                "Nevada Traces" / The Painting Center, New York, NY                       

2000                "Neva" / Sierra Arts Foundation, Reno, NV

                        "Transition"/ Morris Graves Museum of Art, Eureka, CA

1999                “New Watercolor Explorations” / Sun Mountain Gallery, Virginia City, NV

1997                Recent Paintings / LXS Gallery / Nevada State Legislature, Carson City, NV

                        Recent Paintings & Drawings / Valhalla, South Lake Tahoe, CA

1995,97           Paintings, Drawings / Western Nevada Community College Gallery, Carson City, NV

1994                Recent Rosary Paintings / C.I.T.Y. 2000 Gallery, Reno, NV

1992                “Rosary” / Paper Stones Gallery, Anacortes, WA

1992                “Wall of Regrets” Washington Department of Corrections, Olympia, WA

1986                Skiathos Drawings / Spokane City Hall Gallery, Spokane, WA

1984                Oil Paintings / Gallery II, Washington State University, Pullman, WA

1981,84           Watercolors / NICA Gallery, Pullman, WA

1978                Hyde Street Pier Drawings / Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA



S e l e c t e d  G r o u p  E x h i b i t i o n s

2022                “Emptiness,” Exhibizone online exhibition

            “Which Way the Wind,” / Synapsis & RAA Galleries / Eureka, CA

2020                “Seven Artists, Seven Paths” / Morris Graves Museum of Art , Eureka, CA

2018                Watercolor USA, Springfield Museum of Art, Springfield, MO (juried)

2016                “Sediments, Sequences, Solitude,” Umpqua Valley Arts Association, Roseburg, OR

2015,2016       “Here and There: Topographical Conversations with Morris Graves,” Eureka, CA & LaConner, WA

2014                “The Horse” / Piante Gallery, Eureka, CA

2013                “Northwest Passages” / Quercus Gallery, Oakland, CA

                        “Sum of the Parts,” / College of the Redwoods Gallery, Eureka, CA

2011                AquaMiami, with Conrad Wilde Gallery / Miami, FL

     “Mapable” / SpaceCamp Microgallery, Indianapolis, IN

     “Abstractions 2011” / Piante Gallery, Eureka, CA

2010                “Geological Time” / Conrad Wilde Gallery, Tucson, AZ

2008-2011       Faculty Exhibitions / College of the Redwoods, Eureka, CA

2009                “A Celebration of the Arts”  / Humboldt Arts Council, Eureka, CA

2007                Master of Fine Arts Exhibition / San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA

2007                “The Sky Is the Limit”, Courthouse Gallery, Yerington, NV

2006                Junque Art & Member Exhibitions / Morris Graves Museum of Art, Eureka, CA

           “Untitled,” Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA

2005                “Dirt, Dust, Danger,” Diego Rivera Gallery, SFAI, San Francisco, CA

2004,2005       North Coast Open Studios / Humboldt County, CA

2002                "Intimate Passages" / Ink People Gallery, Eureka, CA

                        Arizona Aqueous / Tubac Center for the Arts, Tubac, AZ

2001, 2006      Humboldt Arts Council Juried Member Exhibitions / Morris Graves Museum of Art,

1999                “The Notion of Motion” / Laguna Art Museum R & S Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA

                        “Cairns, Quilts, Contact"/ Ink People Gallery, Eureka, CA (Emily Silver, curator)

1997                Women on Women on the Comstock”/ Sun Mountain Artworks, Virginia City,NV

1993                Northwest Women / Skagit Valley College, Mount Vernon, WA

1989                “Women in Washington: First 100 Years” / Pacific Lutheran Univ., Tacoma, WA

1984-88           Fine Arts Faculty Exhibitions / WSU Museum of Fine Arts, WSU, Pullman, WA

1987                Washington-Oregon All Media Exhibition / Maryhill Museum, Goldendale, WA

1984                Silver & Holland Recent Watercolors / Lucy Gallery, Spokane, WA

                        Paper in Particular / Columbia College, Columbia, MO

1983                Drawings & Watercolors / Foster-White Gallery, Seattle, WA

                        “The Artists of Mt. St. Helens” / WSU Museum of Fine Arts, WSU, Pullman, WA

1982                Group Show / Rubicon Gallery, Los Altos, CA



S e l e c t e d  C o l l e c t i o n s

Chris and Karen Hansen, Fallon, NV

Joshua Tree National Park, Joshua Tree, CA

Dr. Andrew Korson, Denver, CO

Tom Theisen, architect, Skagit valley, WA

California Assemblywoman Sally Tanner (ret)

Del Norte County Department of Social Services, Crescent City, CA

Washington State University Museum of Art, Pullman, WA

Western Nevada Community College, Carson City, NV

Spokane School District #81, Spokane, WA

Washington State Senator Pat & Maxine Patterson

State of Nevada (Governor Bob & Sandy Miller purchase)



S e l e c t e d  B i b l i o g r a p h y

Shawn Griffin              monograph: “Cartographer of Stone, Silence, and Dust: Emily Silver” 2015

Jean-Marie Simpson  Emily Silver Interview,, November 2008

Staff writer                  Eureka Times-Standard, "Transition: A Sense of Place," August 4, 2000

Staff writer                  Encore, “. . .A Fine Painter Shows At City Hall,” Summer 1994

Wulff, Jane Elder        Washington magazine, “Palettes of the Palouse,” July/August 1987

Reynolds, Dawn         Lewiston Morning Tribune, “Self-Portraits,” January 1987               

Staff writer                  Pullman Herald, “Peace Prize Raises Voices Against War,” March 1986

Watkinson, Patricia     Art Journal, “Mount St. Helens: An Artistic Aftermath,” Fall 1984



P u b l i c a t i o n s

Featured Artist Catamaran litererary & arts journal, Volume I #4, 2013

Arts Editor & theatre reviews, Ferndale Enterprise, Ferndale, CA

“Art Auctions: To Donate or Not to Donate,” Eureka Times Standard, May 27, 2006

“Arts Everyday”, monthly column & theatre reviews, The Ferndale Enterprise, 2003-present



A r t   R e l a t e d   E m p l o y m e n t


2007-present  Associate Faculty in Drawing & Painting / College of the Redwoods, Eureka, CA

2009, 2010      Lecturer in Drawing / Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA

2008, 2001      Instructor / Watercolor Workshops / Sierra Nevada College, NV

2005-2007      Contract Art Instructor / Ferndale Elementary School, Ferndale, CA

1998-2003      Contract Artist / Pelican Bay State Prison, Crescent City, CA

1994-98           Instructor / Drawing, Watercolor, & Painting / Western Nevada CC Prison Program / Carson City, NV

1995                Nevada Arts in Education In-Service Co-Leader / Nevada Arts Council, Elko, NV

1994-95           Art Instructor / Kingsbury Middle School, Zephyr Cove, NV             

1993                Instructor / Watercolor & Design / Skagit Valley College, Mount Vernon, WA

1981-88           Coordinator & Instructor for Program in Graphic Design & Illustration / Department of Fine Arts, WSU, Pullman, WA

1982                Instructor of Watercolor / Pullman Parks & Recreation, Pullman, WA

                        Instructor of Drawing in Nature / Elderhostel, WSU, Pullman, WA

1979                Instructor of Scientific Illustration / UC Extension, San Francisco


Teaching Residencies

1994–2009      Artist-in-Residence / Roster Artist for Nevada Arts Council A-I-R Program

2003                Artist-in-Residence / Arts Everyday at Ferndale Elementary, Ferndale, CA

1998–99          Artist-in-Residence / Rio Dell Elementary, Art Line, HSU,  Arcata, CA

1990–92          Artist-in-Residence / Washington State Arts Commission A-I-R Program


Volunteer & Community Work

2020                “Studio Visit” / SFAI Alumni Association (2020

)2000–2004     Art and the Twelve Steps Group Leader / 4 treatment centers, Eureka, CA

2000-2004       Arts Everyday / founder & president / youth arts programming, Ferndale, CA

2001                Consultant / landscape design / Wells Family Resource Center, Wells, NV

1994                Art Instructor & Mentor / Scarselli Elementary School,Gardnerville, NV

1992-93           Art Facilitator / Pioneer Center North / addiction treatment center, WA


Design Experience

1975-94           Principal / Emily Silver Illustration & Design and Silver Fine Book Design

1979-80           Senior Graphic Designer of Publications / Apple Computer, Cupertino, CA

1973-75           Graphic Designer / William O’Brien, Roy Ritola, Inc., San Francsico, CA

1973                Art Director / Moorhead Marketing, Palo Alto, CA

                        Intern / Ira Stone Advertising, Palo Alto, CA



P r o f e s s i o n a l   A c t i v i t i e s

Curatorial:                 “Sum of the Parts” / College of the Redwoods Gallery, Eureka, CA (2013)

                                  “Nine Square Grid” / Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute,

    San Francisco, CA (2005)

        "Art and Recovery" / Ink People, Eureka, CA (2002)

                                 “Cairns, Quilts, Contact” / Ink People, Eureka, CA (1999)

                                  Inmate Art Exhibitions:

                                         Inside Out / WNCC / (1997) Carson City, NV

                                         Razor Wire / Sun Mountain Gallery, Virginia City, NV  (1995)


Workshop leader:     Continuing Watercolor / Silver Studio, Ferndale, California (2011-12)

         Arts All Ways Conferences / Nevada Arts Council, NV (1997, 1998)                       

         China Springs Youth Camp summer camp / Zephyr Cove, NV (1995)

                                  Sierra Arts Foundation / Reno, NV (1995)

                                  Very Special Arts Nevada / Reno, NV (1994)


Lectures:                 “Artist’s Showcase” / OLLI, Humboldt State University (2016)                     

                                “Plein Aire Painting” / Multi-generational Council, Fortuna, CA (2011)

       "Art for Peace”  / Sane Peace Forum, Pullman, WA (1988)


Memberships:           Rostered Artist / Nevada Arts Council, Arts in Education

         College Art Association

         Humboldt Arts Council, Eureka, CA

                                  Sierra Arts Foundation, Reno, NV

                                  Ink People Center for the Arts, Eureka, CA

                                  Desert Survivors


Leadership:      Secretary, Board of Directors, Humboldt Arts Council (2012-2015)

                         Member, Russ Park Committee  / Ferndale City Council

President, Arts Everyday, Ferndale, CA

Scotia Band Board of Directors (2006-2008)

Secretary, Pullman Main Street Design Team, Pullman, WA (1986-1988) 

E d u c a t i o n

2007                Master of Fine Arts, Painting / San Francisco Art Institute

1973                Bachelor of Arts, With Distinction, in Art / Visual Design / Stanford University


. . . there can be no better guide to a place than the weight of its air, the behavior of its light, the shape of its water, . . .and the ways that humans bless, mark, or obliterate them.— Ellen Meloy