Erika Olson Gross

Region: Midwest

This work came from a desire to synthesize my dual roles of artist and mother. I collected images and specimens, preserved memories and commemorated family through the act of making drawings. Lovingly detailed graphite renderings of events or objects from our lives share the surface of the paper with flat areas of color and patterns denoting things less concrete but highly emotive: hopes, dreams, expectations, and illusions. The drawings reflect my tender feelings toward my children and my role as their mother, but also more somber aspects of family life like loneliness and anxiety.

Drawing inspiration from both feminine folk art traditions and children’s art, my own work aspires to process and gain understanding of a complex and ever-changing existence. I aim to pay homage to the dedication and skill of handicrafts, and celebrate a child’s pure impulse to record through his art who he is and what he cares about most at any given moment in time.