Emma Varano’s upcoming exhibition with the Artspace Gallery is a showcase of their portfolio from their inaugural year at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. . Throughout their past two semesters, Varano became infatuated with the semantics of reflection and identity. Aptly titled Freshman Year, this exhibition shows all of the 2D work and some 3D that they created, from pieces more focused on technical skill to pieces that are more experimentation- and concept-oriented.

Emma Varano is a 19 year old queer visual artist pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois. Varano has been a resident of Danville, Pennsylvania since their childhood and attended Danville Area High School where they were an active member in their classes and clubs, taking an interest in the arts from an early age. Currently, they are a part-time resident at the Art Grind Gallery in Danville and will return to SAIC in the fall to continue expanding their artistic practice while being a Resident Advisor (RA) during the academic year.

Emma Varano’s primary practice departs from the tradition of oil painting and 2D media. Having a strong background in technical skill, Varano now is using their work as an investigation of identity formation, reflection, and self-expression. Going forward, they look to continue to imbue painting with sculpture and the fiber arts while wielding their experiences as a queer person growing up in Pennsylvania, their ever-evolving expression of gender and sexuality, and an ongoing exploration of what it means to be seen and perceived.