Biography of our Founder:
Emily A. Branch resides in Berks County, PA. She received her B.F.A. from Kutztown University, (PA) and M.F.A. from Visual Studies Workshop, (NY). During her career, she has traveled internationally and worked for non-profit art spaces and universities in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Virginia, and New York.
Ms. Branch began curating solo and group shows while working as Gallery Director at the Outsider Folk Art Gallery, Reading, PA in 2011. Along with multiple exhibits at the gallery and the adjoining Goggleworks Center for the Arts, Emily curated exhibitions for the gallery at SOFAExpo Air Fair, Chicago and the Outsider Art Fair, NYC. She published a featured article in Antiques & Fine Art Magazine in 2011 about the importance of the late African-American Folk Artist Purvis Young. The Outsider Folk Art Gallery later was honored by the Smithsonian American Art Museum as it received the key image from this article into its permanent collection.
She was selected to curate a four person exhibition “Intertwined” at Albright College’s Freedman Gallery, Reading, PA in 2012. The exhibition was noted as one of the “Top 10 Visual Art Events in Reading, PA for 2012” by Ron Schira, art critic for the Reading Eagle.
Ms. Branch continued to work with artists and collaborated with Chutima “Nok” Kerdpitak, a rising London curator, to bring Circus Terminal Worldwide, a traveling exhibition of works of 76 artists from 18 countries, both “outsiders and insiders” to Studio B, Boyertown, PA in February 2013, with two weeks of accompanying workshops and presentations by participating artists. Two UK artists were awarded a two-week residency at Clay on Main, Oley, PA as a part of the programming in addition to housing provided by the mayor of Boyertown for Ms. Kerdpitak. Local organizations, Reading Theater Project and Berks Bards contributed events during the exhibition. She traveled to Amsterdam in Fall of 2013 and New Zealand in Spring of 2014 as a guest curator for the exhibition.
In mid 2013, she led the acquisition and cataloguing of 1000+ works by the Philadelphia artist Jim Bloom as part of her duties at Material Culture, Philadelphia, PA. She concluded her role curating an exhibition by Jim Bloom, Serbian artist Vladan Gradistanac, Philadelphia artist Maryann Matlock Hinkle (1941-2008), African Artist Prince Twins Seven Seven (1944-2011) and Gregory Warmack “Mr. Imagination” (1948-2012) whose works grace The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC, The American Visionary Museum in Baltimore, MD, the Museum of American Folk Art, New York, NY, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA, and other institutions.
In the Spring of 2014, Emily was selected to represent local artists in the Fall of 2014 as a part of the Reading/Reutlingen Exchange for 17 days in Germany and Switzerland.
Ms. Branch currently works with artists, for-profit and not-for profit organizations consulting on Marketing, Social Media and Public Relations with her company Cage Free Design, established in 2004. She is the Marketing Chair, Board of Directors for Berks Opera Company, Barto, PA and serves as a Board Member for New Arts Program, Kutztown, PA.