ECA Art News Briefs

Erin Curtis Creates New Public Mural on Torpedo Factory Art Center

DC-based artist Erin Curtis is in the process of beautifying the Union Street side of the Torpedo Factory Art Center with a brand new mural on the loading dock door.

Local residents will recognized Curtis’s work, as she previously designed recycling truck wraps for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities as well as embellished traffic control boxes for the Public Art Commission for the City of Alexandria. Like in her past projects, this original mural, Beaded Curtain, will transform the humble aluminum door and draw attention to the space, enlivening the neighborhood.

Beaded Curtain is a playful interpretation of a beaded curtain, a beloved, though kitschy decoration for doorways. With some irony, this design in the loading dock doorway will lighten up the door’s presence.

“My work explores the intersection of architecture and decoration,” said Curtis. “I aim to create playful pieces that engage the public and celebrate color and pattern. It was important for me to design a work for the Torpedo Factory that would be approachable and readable by most viewers, while remaining true to my practice.”

The mural is being painted with acrylic paint, repeating multiple layers of beads using stencils. The process echoes the uniform nature of beads, but ultimately looks handmade. The surface texture of the door suggests the movement and shape of hanging beads.

About the Artist:
Erin Curtis is an artist currently living and working in Washington, D.C. Her work explores abstraction, repetition and ornamentation and their historical roots in weaving, architecture, ritual and body ornamentation. She attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2010 and been awarded fully funded residencies at Anderson Ranch, 2012, and Vermont Studio Center, 2014. In 2008-2009, Curtis was a Fulbright Scholar in Jaipur, Rajasthan. In 2015, she was commissioned to create a two-story painting, by Art in Embassies for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. She has received grants from the Dallas Museum of Art, the Andy Warhol Foundation, the City of Austin and the District of Columbia. In the fall of 2015, Curtis had solo shows at Big Medium Gallery in Austin, Texas and at Flashpoint Gallery in Washington, D.C. In March of 2016 Curtis will be in residence at the Ucross Foundation in Sheridan, Wyoming. She graduated from Williams College with a bachelor’s in 1999 and received her master’s of fine arts from the University of Texas at Austin in 2007.

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(via Torpedo Factory Art Center. Photo courtesy of Torpedo Factory Art Center.)