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.

Elman 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 since the start of 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