Erika Gehringer is a working artist living in Cherry Hill, NJ. She is also an art educator at Haddonfield Middle School in Haddonfield, NJ. She studied painting and drawing at Ramapo College and graduated from the University of the Arts with a Masters in Teaching Visual Arts (MAT) in 2005. She has been an active member of Muse Gallery in Philadelphia since 2017 where she has exhibited several times.
Erika grew up in Mexico City, a city rich in color, culture and art. Since she was young, she has always loved to travel. Her colorful abstract paintings reflect this background, rooted in a strong desire to understand the past. Erika is drawn to splotches, notches, blobs, crevasses, cracks, and stains that blanket the streets. They make her stop and take a second look. Their random design and their haphazard spread fascinate her. They speak to her. They are begging to tell a story.
There is a certain sadness inherent in the designs that Erika sees left abandoned on sidewalks and walls. She does not notice every stain on the ground, but the ones she does notice are usually in places that have significance in her life. The subject matter varies from the sentimental to the quotidian. One of her paintings was inspired by the textures she photographed on the side of the church where her grandmother got married in Mexico City. Another one was created from the stains on the sidewalk outside of the place where she gets her coffee every day. Erika's work is rooted in these designs and inspirations. She photographs the designs and uses them as the foundation for her work. As soon as they are projected onto a canvas and given color, these remnants have the chance to become new again; to be seen and heard. They tell the story of how they came to be; they bear witness to events that had been relegated to the past. A moment in someone’s story, which was once forgotten, and often overlooked, has the opportunity to be again.