“We have been fortunate over the years to showcase the work of our many talented District 3 artists,” says Commission Chair Maggie Hart Stebbins. “I’m particularly excited to display the prints of one of our community’s bright young stars – Emilie Sommers – together with Michal’s amazing work.”
This show is the 25th in a series of exhibits showcasing the talent and creativity of District 3 artists and is unique because Emilie and Michal are mother and daughter as well as teacher and student.
Emilie Sommers, a life-long resident of Albuquerque, is a 2013 graduate of Albuquerque Academy. She first picked up a camera at age 11 and has continued to explore photography ever since. Emilie has received numerous honors and awards for her art; including the O’Connor award for art from Albuquerque Academy; merit and place awards from Focus on Youth, the annual APS Photograph exhibit at the Albuquerque Museum; an internship at Tamarind Institute; and recognition from the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers at both the regional and national level.
Most recently, Emilie earned a Gold Medal for her Art Portfolio from Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, one of eight students in the nation to earn this prize. The Award includes a ceremony at Carnegie Hall and a gallery talk at Pratt Institute of Design, where the gold medalists’ work is on display before it goes on tour around the country. This fall Emilie will be in the Honors Program at the University of Iowa where she plans on studying studio arts and art history.
The Bernalillo County Public Arts Board purchased one of Emilie’s photographs, Old Albuquerque High, for permanent display at the Juvenile Justice Center.
“Emilie is an amazing kid and most of the exhibit will showcase her work,” says Sommers, referring to her daughter. “We are very excited to be doing this show and this is such a great opportunity for her as she prepares to go out into the world.”
Michal Sommers, a.k.a ‘mom’ to Emilie and Lila, is originally from central New York, and came to New Mexico via Boston in 1990 to attend graduate school at the University of New Mexico. Michal’s work, which often depicts images of the domestic and urban landscape,includes photography, book art and printmaking and been displayed and collected nationally. She also includes computer graphics and design in her portfolio.
Luckily, she is able to bring all these interests to her students at Academy, where she has taught since 2001. When preparing for this show, she asked Emilie to choose some of her photographs that have been inspirational. Michal’s husband, Joe, is also from a family of artists and has been source of support and inspiration to Michal. When not busy teaching or photographing, Michal can be found at a pool or playing with her dogs, Callie and Phineas.