You Can't Make This Stuff Up
You Can't Make This Stuff Up is an exhibition of select collage work by artist Erika Stearly.
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.
Erika Stearly is a painter and a lifelong resident of Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of Kutztown University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and has exhibited her work in galleries in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Washington, D. C. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards for her work, including for her work with “Take a Painting”, a community driven, interactive painting installation. She served as the Emerging Artist in Residence at Penn State Altoona in 2015, where she taught painting.