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Meet Erin Kendrick

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erin Kendrick.

Erin, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’ve always been an artist in some capacity. Whether doodling as a kid, working my way through art school, nearly 8 years as an event designer and graphic designer, or becoming a full-time visual artist. After receiving an MFA in Drawing & Painting from Georgia State University. I worked for several years as a high school art teacher and studio artist in Atlanta, GA then decided to move back home to Jacksonville, FL to start an event design business in 2009. In 2015, attending a local artist talk sparked my interest in returning to art-making and I began painting again. After my first local exhibition my career took off and I began exhibiting more regularly locally and regionally. I also continued to teach art in several capacities and at various levels. I had my first solo exhibition, “her own things” at the Yellow House gallery (Jacksonville, FL) in 2018 and gained more critical success. I was awarded Best Artist, Best Art Exhibition, and Best Art Educator in our Folio Weekly’s 2018 Best of Jax poll.

Currently, I have work exhibited at the Ritz Theater & Museum in Jacksonville, FL, the New Orleans African American Art Museum in New Orleans, LA and at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Arts Museum in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. While continuing to work as a studio artist I am also Lead Visual Art Instructor at Jacksonville Arts & Music School and a Teacher Artist for Cathedral Arts Project. I was recently named the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville’s 2019 Art Educator of the Year.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
For me, the biggest struggle has just been deciding to follow my heart as an artist vs. working a regular job to maintain a sense of financial security. I’ve always worked several jobs at all at once which has worn me down both physically and mentally over the years. Deciding to finally pursue art full time has simplified my life in ways that have given me more focus, time, clarity, and money.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
My business name is Erin is Creative, LLC. Under the business’s umbrella is my visual art, my work as a teaching artist, and “Artist Types” a service that helps practicing artists with professional career advancement necessities. As a visual artist, I create color-rich, acrylic ink-stained portraits and transformative installation environments that seek to inspire a dialogue about the power of language and its influence on the relationship between the spectator and the spectacle. In particular, I explore how language, historically, has shaped perceptions of black women and how we can rectify and re-align our identity in more authentic ways. The most notable thing in the portraits is the eyes. The figures in the portraits stare directly back at the viewer engaging with them in a moment of reconciliation that challenges their position as the spectator vs. the spectacle. The installation environments activate the physical space that the viewer occupies and presents experiences that are both palpable and visceral.

As a teaching artist, I strive not only to teach my students how to make art but also, how to be an artist. I model art studio practice in the classroom. They learn the business of art, creative placemaking, and how to clarify their voices as artists.

“Artist Types” a service that helps practicing artists with professional career advancement by providing workshops, mini-courses, and templates for CV writing, artist statements, proposals, and more.

What were you like growing up?
I was a creative child. I spent a lot of time drawing and constructing things. I would also sit for long periods tearing up paper into small pieces then making something out of it. My creativity was nurtured by my Mom, who was a single parent. I was an introvert but I had (still have) an extremely close-knit family and grew up in a neighborhood surrounded by my cousins. Ten of the homes adjacent to my own were owned by family members so that’s where I spent most of my time. I started taking art more seriously in high school although I spent most of my time as an active school leader and athlete. I attended Florida State University for undergrad but I didn’t make up my mind to get an art degree until my junior year.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
(black & white) Photo by Cheryl McCain of Obscura Lux
(gallery) Photo by laird/blac palm, inc.

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