How do you go straight ahead on a narrow mountain path that has 93 curves?
The answer, according to Erin Loree who has ruminated over the question during the course of her artistic residency at NSCAD University, is to go one step at a time.
That’s what her artistic residency at NSCAD has given her: the chance to go slow, consider each next move and progress forward one step at a time. Established for emerging or mid-career painters, the William and Isabel Pope Artist’s Residency in Painting at NSCAD includes a $8,000 stipend, light-filled studio space and a solo exhibition at the Anna Leonowens Gallery.
“My goal (with this residency) was to try something totally different,” says Erin, who did her BFA at OCAD University, graduating in 2012. “Usually I work through ideas during the process of painting. Here, I’ve built up layers slowly, then took them away … I wanted to create works where you could move beyond the surface, like looking through a window.”
Her studio on the fourth floor of the Fountain Campus is a testament to artistic ferment. Paintings in various stages of completion line the walls. Discarded gloves and rags litter the floor. And glorious light streams in from tall, arched windows. She moves a painting into a sunbeam, dons gloves, and immediately picks up a brush and begins to paint.
“For me, this space is perfect,” says Erin. Attired entirely in black, her jeans are striped with paint from wiping off fingers and her boots are stippled with drips and smudges. “I’d spend every waking minute here if I could. I can close the door and isolate myself or open the door and interact with students. And that’s important; it’s been so great to exchange ideas and develop a support network.”
Besides moving her painting in a new direction, she’s also taken an advantage of an opportunity to learn about lithography and has been working with technician Jill Graham on two prints. “I just wanted to challenge myself to work with a new process.”
She’s impressed with NSCAD, adding that she appreciates the tight-knit community here, the student-faculty relationships, the studio spaces students have in which to work, and their self-motivation and hard-working ethic.
“I felt welcome from day one,” says Erin, from Gananoque, ON. “I felt like I came home and I had never been here before.”
Erin Loree Speaks about How the Pope Residency Helped Her Art:
“The Bill and Isabel Pope Artist’s Residency in Painting has been one of the most exciting experiences that I’ve had as a painter. Not only was I given a gorgeous and spacious studio to work in for two months, but the Pope Foundation offers an incredible $8,000 honorarium in addition to covering most travel expenses. For the duration of the residency I was surrounded by incredibly creative students and faculty members, with whom I quickly developed close friendships. I participated in discussions as a guest critic, had the opportunity to speak about my own practice on a number of occasions and quickly became a part of the community at the University. I felt completely at home there. I am eternally grateful for the generosity of the Pope Foundation and the faculty members for giving painters like me this opportunity that we wouldn’t otherwise have. The chance to enter into such a prominent and unique arts community is invaluable and truly does expand one’s practice. I would recommend this experience to any painter who desires a chunk of time in the studio as well as the intellectual stimulation, support and feedback from the University’s professors – a group of exceptionally talented artists.”