What’s New: Introducing Our Artist in Residence Emily Williams-Wheeler

If you’ve been wondering what’s happening inside the old New York & Company space, we’re about to spill the secrets. We are so excited to announce our Artist in Residence program! Read more about what you can expect form this new creative pop-up space below…

By: Niki | February 22, 2017

If you’ve walked by the old New York & Company space lately, you’ve probably noticed some activity happening inside, and today we’re sharing the details behind one part of this new pop-upcreative space. We are so excited to announce our Artist in Residence program, featuring local artist, Emily Williams-Wheeler!

You may recognize Emily from our previous blog post about her amazing work within the mall, and we could not be happier that her pop-up studio is now open! Read more about the program and her interactive studio in our Q&A with Emily…

Q: What is an Artist in Residence?

An artist-in-residence means an opportunity has been provided for an artist to create in an environment different from where they normally work. Often this means somewhere in the mountains or out on the prairie in some secluded place, but this opportunity provided something even more unique and exciting . The residencies also often allow for reflection and self-growth while the artist produces a new body of art. There are more than 500 artist communities and more than 10,000 artists participate in residencies in the US each year. Some residencies provide housing, but many do not.

Q: What can we expect to see during your time at West Acres?

My residency at West Acres is truly unique in that it will allow me space to grow and produce–something that I have been lacking in my current studio at home. I will also be able to share my processes from start to finish with mall patrons. I think art is magical and therefore needs to be shared in whatever state it is in. Sometimes “aha moments” happen because of a conversation from a complete stranger. During my residency I plan to complete 2-3 new bodies of work for upcoming exhibits! Don’t be shy! Stop in. Ask questions. Be a part of the experience!

Q: Are your pieces available for purchase?

Some of my art will be available for purchase. I will also have greeting cards and can certainly take commission work to be executed in the future.

Q:  How long is your space open? Are you open all mall hours?

The hours that Studio e at West Acres will be open will vary from day to day. I continue to teach art enrichment and creative thinking classes to children and adults in my home studio. I will be splitting my time between the two locations. Please contact West Acres if you’re curious about a specific date’s hours.

Q: Why West Acres? Why take advantage of this opportunity?

I approached West Acres not long ago with a 5 page proposal regarding an artist residency. I brought forth a mission statement and made a list of what would be expected from the artist and what the artist would provide. I also cited information from other residencies, though not one is like this one. I was so impressed and delighted with their enthusiasm toward the project! The reason I thought of West Acres as a possibility was because of their regard for art. I have been extremely fortunate to have a long history of working on incredible projects at the mall and other very fine works of art can be found throughout the facility.

“You never know if you don’t ask!” – Emily

This unique space is considered a pop-up studio, which means it is a temporary and limited-time experience! Stop by Studio e to be a part of this new and exciting concept now – August.

Stay tuned for more info on the pop-up concept going in the second half of the old New York & Company space, coming soon (psst. it’s just as exciting)!


I have the privilege of being on the amazing Marketing, PR and Fashion team as the Digital Marketing Manager at West Acres. When I am not managing our social and digital platforms and brainstorming content ideas, I am the woman behind (and sometimes in front of) the camera – creating content and working with the media to create segments to introduce the latest trends! When I’m not at the mall, you can find me watching “Friends,” eating ice cream by the carton, spending time with my family and friends, feeding my Pinterest addiction or crossing off destinations on my traveling bucket list.




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