Erin McGee Ferrell recently captivated audiences at the Your Art Gallery booth at Art Expo in NYC on Sunday, April 22, 2018, with her passion, innovation, and creativity. It seemed fitting that we conduct an interview to find out more about her beginnings as an artist and the exciting plans she has on the horizon.
Your portfolio on Your Art Gallery features your work as an oil painter. Can you tell us a bit about how you got started as a painter?
I have always been an artist. There are photos from an early age with my bottle propped on my sesame street easel. In elementary school, my family relocated from Kentucky to Seattle. I was an only child and didn’t know anyone. My refuge was in creating an entire paper doll world. In high school I had an art teacher tell me that I was a natural colorist and everything took off from there.
Your painting seems to draw from scenes of daily life? When did you realize this subject matter was a significant source of inspiration?
I have always loved architecture and for college was accepted into the University of Kentucky School of Architecture which was very selective. My choice ended up being a Liberal Arts Degree at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. I have always been a city girl and feel most home in Urban places. Living in Maine the past six years has been a struggle for me. My favorite city in America is Philadelphia. When I lived there I just painted as much as I could in the most tourist-rich places I could find. I wore ballgowns and had a fabulous time!!!
Your interests extend in many directions. You’ve described yourself as a “social entrepreneur”, “citizen scientist”, and “changemaker”. Please tell us about some of this work?
Your Art Gallery currently showcases most of my Urban Architectural Oils from Philadelphia. As a mother of three I have always painted my family as they have grown but often do not showcase those paintings. My professional Artist Career has spanned 31 years. My education is as a classically trained oil painter, yet I also have explored sculpture, printmaking, mixed media, and currently interactive Art merging sensors and technology. Since living in Maine my body of landscapes and science-Bio Art has taken precedence. An artist reflects what surrounds them. My traditional oils on canvas are created in my studio. My interactive Biology Art is created in a Maker Space with team collaboration.
Recently you participated in a panel discussion at Art Expo titled, Active Versus Passive Art: Collaborative and Interactive Art in Healthcare. Can you share some of the highlights of the discussion or any exciting things happening at the intersection of art and healthcare?
Yes. This past year I received grant funding from Maine Arts Commission and authored a project with New England Cancer Specialists: Artist in Chemotherapy Room Project. For the past three years, I have been creating a mixed media series called Petri Dish. These large touchable paintings are inspired by looking at biology through a microscope. Like architecture, biology has always had a deep interest for me. Currently, I am working with a collaborative team integrating sound and light into the work. Ideally, these pieces will be installed in Research Facilities and Science Academia including Medical Universities and High Schools.
What are some of your future plans? Do you have any interesting projects or collaborations in the pipeline?
Of Course!!! This summer my family is following our college daughter to a five-week Public Health College Internship in the Amazon. We will be living in a small community and I will be creating art. For the past semester, I’ve been taking a college class to brush up on my Spanish and am entering the adventure with flexibility and spontaneity. In my research I am looking forward to meeting local artists and seeing what projects we can co-create! Stay tuned!