Emily Filler (BFA '05)

Photo of Emily Filler.

I can still remember touring Ontario Hall during my summer interview with the faculty and seeing a student painting depicting road pylons on a deserted street at night. It sounds crazy but it was one of the most beautiful paintings I had ever seen and knew at that moment that I wanted to be a part of what went on in the building. I think that one of the best things about the program was being in Ontario Hall – it felt like a real studio, not an institution. It had a beautiful exterior, and a raw, pared down interior, perfect for experimenting- it allowed students the freedom to try new things, make a huge mess, and collaborate. You could come and go as you pleased and being able to access the building after mandatory studio hours felt like a great privilege. Spending long hours in the studio at Ontario Hall gave me some insight as to what life might be like as an artist outside of Queen’s and that in itself was very valuable to me. The professors were so passionate about creating art and it was infectious. I never felt like I was being molded to produce a certain type of work, only encouraged to be myself. There were a great variety of professors, each with a different point of view, which allowed students to work with someone who shared their aesthetic, but also to hear the opinion of someone who may push them in a different direction. It was a great balance. We were also encouraged to explore and experience art and life outside campus. Class trips organized to New York and Toronto had a huge impact on my work. My fellow students also taught me so much. We were a very close knit group, and benefited greatly from our small class size. After four years we felt like a family and that was invaluable at a large school like Queen’s. The BFA program also gave me the opportunity to have an exhibition at Union Gallery and to show my work at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, which helped to build my CV and give me some experience exhibiting work before graduation.

I have been a full-time artist for the past 7 years. I have participated in shows across Canada and the US and am currently represented by galleries in Toronto, Ottawa, Canmore AB, Baie-St Paul QC, Kelowna BC and Charleston SC. I have also had the privilege of showing my work at the Toronto International Art Fair and Art Expo New York.


Artwork: 'Felicity'
Felicity, 30 x 60 (Oil on Canvas) 2013
Artwork: 'Delight'
Delight, 18 x 18 (Oil on Canvas) 2011