Erika Lawlor Schmidt
Erika Lawlor Schmidt
My work is shaped by the recognition and inquiry to cyclical tendencies, including the contemplation of life cycles: birth, death and rebirth or the possibility for reincarnation. I have been interested in this all my life.
My surroundings reveal all that exists in a constant state of flux and that the physical world including the body, all material things, trends, fashions, technologies, reputations, families and fortunes eventually change, die and fade away. While I recognize the reality of impermanence, I also sense the presence of a connective yet unseeable life force that moves, shapes and holds us together and that is revealed in elegant but mystifying ways through the physical world. I am interested in the expression of that idea.
I am interested in locating the imprint of time and place in the body and psyche where personal and shared experience coincide. Merged are symbolic elements that signify collective experience with parts that reflect the intimate and personal. This integration parts has the capacity to express simultaneously a number of meanings.
The work speaks to how form emerges from emptiness where things having weight contend with weightless things. The work speaks to the understanding of the interrelatedness of all things.
Erika Lawlor Schmidt works in printmaking, collage and performance. Her work is shaped by investigations into shared theories of Eastern philosophies and contemporary physics. Schmidt received her BFA from the University of South Florida in Tampa and further post-baccalaureate studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She later earned an MFA from the University of South Florida, where she founded the Vital Spark performance art group, a collaborative ensemble that has traveled to major US cities and throughout Europe.
Schmidt has been guest artist at the Honghua School in Guangham, China; The Anderson House: Harvard Club in Washington, DC; San Francisco Conservatory of Music; University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida; and Elon University, Elon, North Carolina. She has been a commissioned artist for the Southern Graphics Council Conference, GraphicStudio, at the University of South Florida, Tampa and has been awarded grants from Working Artist Grant, Tacoma, Washington and the Vermont Community Foundation.
Erika’s prints and collages have been widely exhibited and collected including the Drawing Center in New York City; Cork Gallery at Lincoln Center in New York City; Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, Florida; Contemporary Art Museum in Tampa, Florida; BigTown Gallery, Rochester, Vermont; Metro Gallery at Burlington City Arts; Saco Museum, Maine; Thomson Gallery in Lincoln, Massachusetts; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia; Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art in Sarasota, Florida; and the Vermont Studio Center, Johnson. Among the numerous awards she has received acknowledging her unique approach to art and performance are accolades at international festivals in Prague, Czechia; Cecena, Italy; Barcelona, Spain; and Chicago, Illinois.