In 2015, Erika Stearly began exploring collage as a way to emphasize spontaneity within her personal studio practice, and began posting daily images on the internet. Since then, work from this series has been exhibited in numerous venues, including the New Arts Program in Kutztown, PA, and Private Projects in Tasmania, Australia, in can be found in private collections across the globe.
Ms. Stearly is the recipient of several artist grants, most recently through the Puffin Foundation for her work as the Creator and Director of an interactive painting installation called Take a Painting. She has participated in Artist Residencies at Wilson College and Penn State University, where she taught painting. Ms. Stearly is an adjunct instructor and leads classes at various community art centers across Southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
A lifelong resident of Pennsylvania, Erika Stearly completed her MFA at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and is represented by Stellers Gallery at Ponte Vedra in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.
I began working on these collages without any idea where they might lead, impulsively cutting and tearing until the question of how to assemble these pieces presented itself. While it may only take a moment to affix these pieces, searching for them and placing them in a composition takes quite a bit of time.
These collages were found through the process of making; I never could have imagined them before they were started. The infinite possibility to be found within these materials, chosen because they are inexpensive and readily available to me, lends itself to my habit of making many very quickly, allowing for a dialog with chance. “[Working this way] there is room for error, and this so often leads to unexpected, but frequently beautiful mistakes,” writes Anthony Zinonos in the forward to Collage. “These mistakes can and should be embraced, because they often give rise to new ideas, and therefore encourage progression in the work.”
Zinonos, Anthony. Forward. Collage: Contemporary Artists Hunt and Gather, Cut and Paste, Mash Up and Transform. Danielle Krysa. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, LLC, 2014. 7-9. Print.