Brainard Gallery features Chicago Artist


Justin Brown

Artist Erin Washington duscusses her artwork with associate director and curator of exhibit, Michael Schuetz and a group of Eastern students. Schuetz is resposible for bringing the exhibit to Tarble Arts Center. The art the group is discussing is ‘Ruin and Cosmic dust (2015. A chalk and acrylic gouache on panel.

Angelica Cataldo, Entertainment Reporter


From a small, Chicago-based studio in Avondale to the Tarble Arts Center at Eastern, Erin Washington will have her artwork displayed in the exhibit “Ephemeros.”

“Ephemeros,” is Greek for “temporary” or “lasting a short time,” which Washington said was the main theme of her work for this exhibit. The pieces displayed consist of slate burnished blackboards drawn and sketched on with white chalk.

Michael Schuetz, assistant director and curator of the exhibit, had found and brought Washington’s work to the Tarble Arts Center.

Washington graduated in 2005 from University of Colorado Boulder and continued her education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2011, she graduated with a master’s degree in Fine Arts in painting and drawing.

Washington now works at the Art Institute of Chicago Museum as a lecturer in their painting and drawing department where she gets a lot of the inspiration for her pieces. Her piece, “Ruin and Cosmic Dust,” is a bust portrait of the “Head of Aphrodite,” and is displayed in the Art Institute of Chicago’s exhibit “Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections.”

“I have a daily interaction with these art pieces,” Washington said. “They’re like pieces of furniture to me. They are my every-day. Even though they’re pieces of art history. I encourage others to use something from their everyday life.”

Much of her art consists of acrylic and chalk on a wooden panel. Her subjects range anywhere from hand portraits, chalk interpretations of other art pieces that she sees everyday at her job and video-recorded artistic performances.

Spectators looking closely at her pieces can see residue of erased lines, paint and words she intentionally left on her work for the viewer.

Washington said she left those kinds of markings in her work to show her thought process and leave traces of different emotions.

“One day I came home from a day of work and I just wrote things down (on the board), like ‘F*ck you,’ and then I erased it,” said Washington. “ I had gotten that out so it doesn’t consume me. It’s a nice way to cope.”

Washington described her art as meditative and calm, hoping that others feel the same way about it.

“A lot of emotions are in (my work), and I just want people to have that same squishy feeling that I felt,” Washington said.

“Ephemeros” will be displayed in the Brainard Gallery in the Tarble Arts Center until Oct. 30.


Angelica Cataldo can be reached at 581-2812 [email protected]