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Check out Erika Whitney’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erika Whitney.

Erika, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I grew up in East Texas and always found myself drawing or doing something creative to pass the time. After graduating high school, I knew I wanted to go to art school and I couldn’t wait to get out of the small town I grew up in. After graduation in 2009, I went to community college at Tyler Junior College in Tyler, TX where my passion for art grew while taking courses in their art program.

White at TJC I was mentored by Derrick White who I also worked under as the Art Department Student Assistant. In 2012, I transferred to UT Tyler to finish my Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art. While attending UT Tyler, I was mentored by James R. Pace who greatly influenced my decision to pursue my Master’s degree. I was accepted into University of Houston’s painting program in 2014. While in graduate school my passion for making art grew and it became clear to me that I was in the right field. Making art is something I love to do but also just have to do. After graduation in 2017, I worked as Assistant Director for Sugar Land Art Center where I developed an art program for teens and for homeschooled students. I recently accepted a position at Lone Star College and San Jacinto College where I will be teaching Art appreciation and Drawing.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I make abstract paintings and installations. I think a lot about decision making and about how there are so many different paths we can take each moment. I can easily get stuck in the what if zone and conjure up an idea of how my life would have gone or could go. Making work is a way to deal with those ideas and respond to the feelings I have about those different paths. When making a painting, I don’t have a plan but I do usually have some colors and forms in mind. I respond to that and then I trust myself to respond in the right way. When I allow myself to think less about the message or the way I am feeling and just paint and trust my instincts that’s when my work is most successful. I believe that we must be conscious of the decisions we make each day but I also believe that we can easily overthink and get in our own way.

How can artists connect with other artists?
Go to gallery openings as often as possible. It’s intimidating when you don’t know anyone but if you go enough, you’ll notice the same people. Over time you’ll build the confidence to reach out to people or they will reach out to you because they will notice that they have seen you at all of the openings. If you go to art school, stay in touch with your colleagues after you graduate. It’s not always easy because you’re all trying to figure out how to adjust but don’t assume they don’t want to hear from you or know what you’re up to. Social media is also great way to meet and interact with other local artists. Just stay active making your work, looking at work, and promoting yourself and it will happen. It takes time and it’s not easy but these things can help.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I am currently working on a show I will be having at BS Projects, 4540 W34th St. Ste. D, Houston TX. It is studio space with a small gallery at the front where I will be installing my work and will have an opening reception January 25th.

I was selected by juror Christina Rees to be apart of the 34th annual international exhibition in Tyler, TX held at the Meadows Gallery. The reception will be on January 31st.

Currently, my studio is at my home and I consistently post on Instagram. You can also view my work on my website. www.erikawharper.com

I am always happy to answer emails on dm on ig for any questions regarding my work.

Contact Info:

 

Getting in touch: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Charlyn Kinter

    February 1, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    Beautiful work. Thank you for your love and perseverance

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