Archives for posts with tag: Emily Erb

UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE MFA STUDENT, DUSTY JAMES!!!! Out of the 12 amazing artists featured in the 2013 MFA Biennial, the DCCA is pleased to announce that Mr. James received the most number of votes by the conclusion of the exhibition on March 9, 2014.

As the winner of this People’s Choice Award, Dusty James will receive a solo exhibition at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts in 2015. Congratulations, Dusty!

Dusty James


There is the great need for social forums on the various dire situations that we face as a species on this planet and art is a medium in which to express the common concerns heard around the world.  Yet, there remains a great divide between the art community and the human community at large.  This divide is one that deserves consideration as the separation of like-minded people weakens their cause.  The ideas behind my work are deeply political, and I want as many people to understand them as possible. Therefore, I have turned to compositions that have stood the test of time to help carry my message.

My process is to collage a new image onto the original composition. The combination of these two elements, new and old, with the silk painting technique, first discovered in 2nd Century India, makes for a fusion of time and culture. East meets west as past meets present.  While some pieces are more humorous than others, they are all telling the human story.

When looking at Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly delights, I was struck by the similarities between past and present, in that there are still so many unanswered questions about how humans came to exist and where we are going.  A year later, I was working on the Guernica Revisited as a reaction to the seemingly senseless nature of war throughout time, particularly the present.  By the next year, we had entered yet another war while the infrastructure of our own nation crumbled.  At this point, it seemed time to look to a composition that is recognized by all of humanity: the composition of the world map.  This time, I wanted to convey a message of peace, a reminder that the majority of the world is merely trying to get through every day with as little conflict as possible.

As an artist, there is an underlying desire for conflict so that my work is able to grow and not become stagnant.   My life goal is to make every ten paintings better than the last ten paintings by keeping my eyes, ears, and mind open to the concerns of those around me.

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a post about the People’s Choice Award. If you’ve been watching the poll, you might have noticed we’ve had a bit of a coup. Emily Erb has taken the lead with 48.54% of the votes. Steven Riddle has dropped into second place with 22.51% of the votes. Ted Walsh has managed to stay in the top three with 16.37% of the votes.

Don’t forget to vote, if you haven’t already!

As I’m sure you are all aware, October is almost over. As tragic as this is, it means that it’s time for another First Friday Art on the Town!

This coming Friday there are several very exciting events going on at the DCCA. Boshko Boskovic’s new show Not So Distant Memory is opening at the DCCA and Boskovic will be giving a gallery talk at 6:30 p.m.

Now if that wasn’t exciting enough, three of the MFA Biennial artists will also be at the DCCA! Emily Erb, Elizabeth Hamilton, and Erica Prince will be giving a gallery talk after Boskovic. Also, a little  insiders’ information, one of the MFA artists (I won’t tell you which) will have a piece of her work available for purchase. So make sure you come down to the DCCA this Friday and check out the show!

Also, keep those votes coming! Currently, Steven Riddle is in the lead with 54% of the votes, followed by Guy Loraine with 13%! Note: the system will only let you vote once! Click here to vote!

Curious how people are responding to Masters of the Visual Universe? Check out what one viewer had to say below.

“I thought Master’s of the Visual Universe was extremely engaging both mentally and in the physical sense. Each artist’s work expressed a unique underlying message that caused me to truly think about what I was looking at. I found Emily Erb’s silk interpretation of Picasso’s original work on war and power to be both visually beautiful as well as psychologically stimulating. I think Maiza’s efforts to create a show that was engaging and interactive for the viewer were wonderfully effective.”  – Julianna Broz

Julianna Broz is an undergraduate student at the University of Delaware.

Want your thoughts about the show to be heard? Leave a comment on this post!

Emily Erb, "Symbols 3", Dye on Silk, 2010, 26" x 20"

Emily Erb, "Once Upon a Time", Dye on Silk, 2011. 53" x 174"

A photo doesn’t do justice to this piece. You must come see it in person.

I have another artist interview for you! A few weeks ago, I had a fascinating talk with Emily Erb. She had some really thought provoking things to say about the MFA. Check out an excerpt below and don’t forget to read the full interview on our Artists Talk page.

Q: Tell me a little bit out the ideas behind your work and what you hope to convey to your audience. 

EE: Well it’s on silk and generally politically driven, generally very colorful. I’m influenced by maps as well as political imagery.

Q: How has the MFA influenced your development as an artist and as a person? What have you learned? What skills have you developed?

EE: Of course, having my work seen by fresh eyes helps to influence it and steer it in directions it may not have gone.   Hopefully, it helps me make some of the connections that I need to make as an artist. I have switched up my process a bit. They wanted me to not paint on silk, so I tried painting on something else for a while and then went back to silk. I am working on new project that I am excited about.

This question of the value of the MFA has been on mind. I don’t think I would be a different person if I hadn’t gone for my MFA. Before talking to you, I was looking into what the MFA is supposed to be in society. What is it supposed to mean? It’s so unquantifiable. I was looking up articles about the MFA program as a whole, and found an article in the Huffington Post. It was focused on the MFA in creative writing, but I think creative writing and painting are comparable. The author sited few solid arguments for the MFA and against it.  He claimed that the reason we have the MFA isn’t for the benefit of each individual artist but for society to be able to maintain a standard of excellence and provide a living history of the craft, but I don’t know if it’s doing that.

Q: Why not? 

EE: Because a school is a business, because there are people who are there just to pay tuition. That doesn’t matter to the school, money and art don’t mix as nicely as we wish it would.  Maybe it would be different if the government funded MFA programs, but that would never happen. I don’t know what the solution is, but I’m going to finish my MFA degree and see what effect it has in my ability to achieve the goals I have as an artist.

 Guernica Revisited, Emily Erb, Dye on Silk, 2010