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Rising Stars: Meet Emily Alber of Grosse Pointe Farms

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emily Alber. 

Hi Emily, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My story starts with adoption. I was put up for adoption in 1983 after being ironically born on Gross Point Road in Skokie, Illinois (I was raised in Grosse Pointe, Michigan). My biological mother carried me in Chicago after being lured by a baby broker in the 80s from an advertisement she saw in Bismarck, North Dakota. She was not treated very well or compensated properly for my birth (breach of contract happened for many mothers that were influenced by this particular broker) and a group of our adoptions led to the Federal Anti-Fraudulent Act of 1984. She was very young and my adoptive parents were not aware of what was happening. I recently found out my birthdate was changed and since then, I have gone on a very deep trauma healing journey that has escalated my art practice and creative recovery. 

I began exploring art after being put on probation for a DUI in 2017. I didn’t have alcohol to cope any longer with a number of feelings I was experiencing and I wanted to explore that. I started writing music when I was very young, but the family I was placed with wasn’t creative, so I didn’t receive much support. At this time, I wanted to choose myself, my mental health, and my well-being. 

After eliminating binge drinking, toxic connections, and other problematic patterns from my life over the past five years, I learned a lot. I also learned that I had also been toxic and that need to change too. I think when you realize you are responsible for your own pain, you really have hit it big. Growth is painful. I’m still very much going through it. 

After having a hysterectomy and oophorectomy at the beginning of the pandemic to eliminate symptoms of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, I learned that I am level one Autistic and ADHD with other neurodiversities. I now understand that I am different not because I am adopted, but because I have a different brain type and that’s okay. That was honestly a trauma in itself that I am still recovering from… thank God I have art. 

I will be working soon with the brilliant Detroit film director Zach Hagy of Eightfold Collective on the upcoming launch of my YouTube channel discussing all of this plus living as an artist with multiple neurodiversities and adoption trauma. The hope is to screen this at my next show that will be on June 21st at Saffron De Twah, Detroit’s only Morrocan restaurant. 

When you are given language to put with your experiences, your emotional intelligence grows and healing begins. I want to help share the langue I have with others and not just in one way. 

I am also working on writing a book about my lived experience as a neurodivergent adoptee. I do not know when I expect to finish that project. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a mixed media artist, musician, and writer. I am known for my unique texture and ability to capture emotion. My personal story and ability to connect that with my growth as an artist in my personal network is what sets me apart from others. I am most proud of my journey toward living my life as my most true authentic self. I don’t even know what that looks like yet. I just need to get over the humiliation trauma I have and the fear of being ridiculed by my family and people from my past. 

I had a Ruth Bader Ginsburg print blow up after the original painting was gifted to the College of Education at American University in Washington DC by one of the original creators of the television program Reading Rainbow. Lynne Ganek is a wonderful woman and has given me a lot of confidence. That meant a lot to me (I included a photo of me and Lynne in the uploads). 

What sort of changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
I see digital art with motion and music in the near future for myself and the industry. I am currently designing shoe and clothing concepts that are very gritty. I think we are in a mental health crisis and people may not want to talk about it so they might be more comfortable wearing what resonates with their feelings and experiences. 

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Image Credits

Emily Alber

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