Erin Elman

Erin Elman

    Studio & Gallery

    Philadelphia, PA

    Please contact artist for purchases, commissions, etc.

    Paintings

    Artist's Biography

    Erin Elman was born in Brooklyn, NY. She was raised by two remarkable New York City public school teachers who though not artists, were committed to exposing their daughters to all of the great art and culture of New York City. Elman spent her Saturdays during high school attending all the art schools in New York City, and spent the summer of her junior year at RISD's pre-college program where she decided to dedicate herself to a life in the arts and in higher education.

    She studied painting and printmaking (mostly intaglio) with a concentration in Art History at Carnegie Mellon University, where she received a BFA in Art. Elman also spent a semester abroad at Temple University in Rome where she fell in love with Etruscans, ruins, and all things Italian.She later went on to receive an MA in Art Education and an MFA in Book Arts/Printmaking, both from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

    Erin Elman is the dean of Graduate & Professional Studies, and the interim dean of the School of Art at the University of the Arts.Previously, she served as the founding dean for the School of Critical & Professional Studies from 2018 to 2020, and was the founding dean of the Division of Continuing Studies at the University of the Arts from 2008 to 2018. Elman has taught studio art courses and seminars to various populations.

    She has artwork in numerous public and private collections, including the Tate London. Elman lives in a stone cottage in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia with her husband Steph who is an architect and their son Izzy who is a musician and a writer who attends Bennington College.

    Artist's Statement

    I consider myself a lyrical abstractionist, incorporating spontaneous expression and illusionary space coupled with occasional imagery. Since studying under Sam Gilliam in the 1980s, my work honors a long lineage of attention to color and process. My palette is influenced by a pantheon of artists that inform my practice as I continually seek the moment in my paintings.

    For me, the act of painting takes on a balance of contradictions: intentionality vs. spontaneity; gesture vs. control; conscious vs. subconscious; materiality vs. the ethereal; representation vs. the evocative; contrived vs. authentic. The works themselves are negotiations between expanding and contracting notions of what painting is and can be. They are conversations with myself -using language composed of mark, gesture, and color.

    The work is rooted in history, memory, place and time. The marks become a bibliography of forms, a glossary of reference points, which include vessels, natural forms, and calligraphy, among others.

    Over the past decades my work has cycled between research, study, practice, obstruction, impulse/instinct, and back again. Recently, my process feels freer, and I have let go of external perceptions of completion, hence the use of the word study in the titles of work completed in 2020. Calling the pieces “Studies” has been an incredibly freeing act -although I consider them complete and finished paintings.

    Selected Exhibitions

    Solo
    1992
    Erin Elman: Receiving Libation, Solo Exhibition Protean Gallery,Philadelphia, PA

    Group
    2015
    Art Unleashed, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

    2013
    Art Unleashed, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

    2011
    Art Unleashed, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

    Bookartbookshop, Exhibition of artist books and sales, London, England

    2010
    Artists’ Delegation, (CAP) Community Arts Program, Cape Town, South Africa

    2008
    1st Biennial Footprint International, Center for Contemporary Printmaking, Norwalk, CT

    Juried Exhibition, Abington Art Center, Jenkintown, PA

    Offering, MFA Thesis Exhibition, The University of the Arts, Rosenwald Wolf Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

    2007
    Wish You Were Here 6, A.I.R. Gallery, New York, NY

    Love Notes, A.I.R. Gallery, New York, NY

    Book in Hand, Arts + Literature Laboratory (ALL) Gallery, New Haven, CT

    The City of Philadelphia Lightner Challenge, Addition to the City’s Permanent Collection, Philadelphia, PA

    Miss Viguer’s Home for Wayward Youth, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

    Jump Start: Launching an Artists’ Book Collection, Free Library of Philadelphia Main Branch, Philadelphia, PA

    East/Midwest, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

    East/Midwest, Columbia College, Chicago, IL

    2006
    Jump Start: Launching an Artists’ Book Collection, Free Library of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

    Book Arts, Penn State Abington Campus, Abington, PA

    Arte Pagina, Kelly Writers’ House, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
    Curators: Teresa Jaynes, Peter Schwartz

    2 x 2: An Exhibition of Small Books, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

    Turning Pages II, Whittier College, Whittier, CA

    100% Centennial, Miller Gallery, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

    2005
    Artists’ Books from Philadelphia and Timisoara, Library Humanities Joc Secund, Romania

    Artists’ Books from Philadelphia and Timisoara, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

    Excerpt, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

    Eat Paper, Drink Ink: The Sensuality of Books, Voices & Visions Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

    2004
    Turning Pages II, Whittier College, Whittier, CA

    Love Notes, A.I.R. Gallery, New York, NY

    2000
    Stills: A Group Exhibition of Photography, La Colombe, Philadelphia, PA

    1999
    Invited Artists Exhibition, Highwire Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

    1998
    Scavi, Window on Broad Street, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

    1997
    Graduate Student Juried Exhibition, Arronson Gallery, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

    1996
    Paper Prayers, Nexus Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

    Vessels and Other Things Etruscan, Gallery 310, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

    1995
    Graduate Student Juried Show, Arronson Gallery, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

    MA Student Exhibition, Gallery 310, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

    1992
    5 Plus 5, Protean Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

    1991
    CHOICE, A.I.R. Gallery, New York, NY

    A Show of Hands Goldey-Paley Gallery, Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, PA

    Gems, Protean Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

    Group Show, Protean Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

    Group Show, Spring Garden Studios Open House, Philadelphia, PA

    Artists’ Journals, Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

    1990
    Spring Garden Studios Open House, Philadelphia, PA

    Voice of the Artist: Artists Cultural Exchange, Joy Berman Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

    1989
    Vessels, Forbes Gallery, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

    Vessels and Amphorae: A Senior Thesis Exhibition, Forbes Gallery, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

    Juried Exhibition, Curator Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA
    Curator: Annagreth Nill

    Art for the Homeless, Juried Exhibition, Dunkin & Porter House, Pittsburgh, PA

    Artist's Bibliography

    1997
    A Stitch in the Canon: The Feminist Art Movement of the 1970’s Influence on Contemporary Art

    Awards & Honors

    2015
    Community Arts in Education Leadership Institute(CAELI) Fellowship

    2010
    Art Education Ambassador, Delegation to South Africa, People to People International

    National Arts Strategies Fellowship

    Strategies, Executive Education with Harvard University Business School

    Faculty, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago

    1997
    Sylvia Wexler Memorial Award for Academic Research in Art Education

    Collections

    The Tate Gallery, London, England
    Free Library of Philadelphia: Fine & Rare Book Collection, Philadelphia, PA
    University of the Arts: Fine & Rare Book Collection, Philadelphia, PA
    Library Humanities Joc Secund Artist Books, Romania
    Numerous private collections

    Academic Leadership Positions

    The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
    2020 - Present
    Dean, Graduate & Professional Studies,
    Interim Dean, School of Art
    2019 - 2020
    Dean, School of Critical & Professional Studies & Center for Engagement
    2018 - 2019
    Founding Dean, College of Critical & Professional Studies and the Center for Engagement
    2008 - 2018
    Founding Dean, Division of Continuing Studies
    1990 - 2008
    Director, Pre-College Programs and Outreach

    Lectures, Presentations, Collaborations, Fellowships

    2019
    Consultant, Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD), Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Consultant for External Review on Adult & Youth Outreach Programs

    2018
    Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design (AICAD), Annual Conference, SAIC, Chicago
    Presenter: Cultivating Citizen-Artists,

    2016
    Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design (AICAD), Annual Conference, College of Art, Ringling, Sarasota, FL
    Presenter: Continuing Studies Intersects & Interacts

    2015
    National Arts Education Association, Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA
    Presenter: Identity through Photography, Teaching with Primary Sources through the Arts

    2014
    College Art Association, Annual Conference, Chicago, IL
    Presenter: The Impact of Out of School Arts Experience on High School Students

    Spotlight on Arts Education: Equity-Access-Empowerment co-sponsored by Washington, D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the Library of Congress

    2012
    National Arts Education Association, Annual Conference, New York, NY
    Presenter: Examining Murals as Socio-political Mechanism and Aesthetic Movement Across Two Cultures: South Africa and Philadelphia

    2011
    National Arts Education Association, Annual Conference, Chicago, IL
    Presenter: Teaching the Arts with Primary Resources

    2007, 2008
    University of the Arts in London, London, England
    Consultant on building sustainable outreach programs

    1998
    National Art Education Association Conference, New York, NY
    Presenter: Feminism and Contemporary Art

    1996
    Pennsylvania Art Education Association Annual Conference, Harrisburg, PA
    Presenter: A Stitch in the Canon: Feminism in Contemporary Art

    1994
    Pennsylvania Art Education Association Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA
    Presenter: Womanhouse and the Dinner Party: Judy Chicago’s Influence on the Feminist Art of the 1970s

    Education

    2008
    The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
    Master of Fine Arts, Book Arts/Printmaking

    1997
    The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
    Master of Fine Arts, Art Education

    1989
    Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
    Bachelor of Fine Arts, Studio Art

    1988
    Temple University, Rome, Italy
    Study Abroad