News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Artist is ‘Targeting Hope’ with piece

Erika Eckert and her family lived part-time in Sisters prior to relocating from Seattle full-time two years ago. An Oregon native, Erika resided in Seattle for 25 years raising a family and creating art.

Eckert is one of 76 artists donating a piece of art for the My Own Two Hands (MOTH) community arts fundraiser put on by the Sisters Folk Festival. The virtual auction event is currently underway, running through May 15.

Eckert donated a hand-painted velvet-canvas piece titled “Targeting Hope.” Eckert uses velvet fabric as her canvas, hand painting them using dyes, and different consistencies of paints including acrylic style and watercolor to create different textures and color patterns. Eckert fuses her knowledge of painting, fabric, and silk screening to expertly create wall hangings and paintings.

Eckert also creates scarves and pillows, as well as wall-hanging pieces from the painted velvet fabric. For the hanging pieces, she stretches the velvet over a canvas. The theme for this year’s My Own Two Hands auction is “Holding Hope.”

Her piece, she says, symbolizes “circles of colors coming together again. It looks like a target of color and so I called it Targeting Hope. After what we were all going through with the pandemic, I began painting it when things were opening up a bit more and the circles represent coming back together again,” she said.

In Eckert’s 25 years of practicing art, she was featured and sold in over a dozen shows and has been exhibited throughout Seattle and the Puget Sound. Her ability to capture nature, emotions, and imagination has been well received for being accessible, fun, and enlightening.

Eckert completed her degree from Pacific Lutheran University while attending Lorenzo di Medici in Florence, Italy, and creating art over four years in Copenhagen, Denmark. She completed her studies in fiber arts at the University of Washington.

“My time in Florence was an opportunity through my college to study abroad and take all the art classes including drawing, graphic design, and my favorite was the silk screening onto fabric,” she said.

After her time in Florence, she relocated to Denmark to practice art with her partner at the time. She ended up staying for four years. During her time in Denmark, she created a studio space for herself and met fabric/textile teachers and shared space with them to practice her art.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to live there and do silk screening there,” she said.

Denmark was where she found a passion for fabric painting and silk screening using different textile fabrics, but especially velvet.

Her latest work blends her rigorous classic art training with her desire to create lightness and whimsy for those who experience them.

“I enjoy giving back to the Sisters community, everyone has been so welcoming and helpful here and it was a no brainer to contribute to My Own Two Hands,” said Eckert.

Art is Eckert’s primary career. She has an in-home studio at her home in Sisters.

“I am fortunate to have a lifestyle to be a homemaker and be able to make art,” she said.

Eckert orders her velvet fabric in bulk, usually around 300 yards of it and spreads it across a long studio table and then can paint all different parts of it across the table.

“Other things can happen when working with it; you can cut into the fabric and create a piece out of that. You can also experiment with the paint and make it more like a watercolor where the colors bleed into the fabric.”

Eckert is looking forward to getting her art into the Sisters community and feels hopeful for things opening back up and being able to get more integrated into the arts community.

“I love the Sisters Folk Festival and all that they do and wanted to contribute,” she said. “I also love the theme for this year, I feel as if it is appropriate for what we have all been going through.”

Eckert will be hosting an art show at the Cindy & Duncan Campbell Gallery at Sisters Art Works in September.

“I just look forward to creating artwork and getting it out into the world,” she said.

Eckert’s “Targeting Hope” velvet painting is part of the MOTH virtual auction event. More information on the items and on bidding can be found at : https://sistersfolkfestival.org/my-own-two-hands/.

 

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