Erica Stankwytch Bailey, a Fayetteville jeweler and metalsmith, is heading to the Grand Canyon to be the artist-in-residence for February.
“So much of my work is about the small within the large — the cell within the larger organism, a shell in an enormous sea — and now I will represent the miniscule being within the vastness of the Grand Canyon.”
She was selected through a competitive application process by the Grand Canyon National Park Artist-In-Residence Program. The National Parks have always welcomed artistic interpretations of the beauty of the land ever since Thomas Moran’s paintings of Yellowstone directly infl uenced the establishment of Yellowstone as our nation’s fi rst National Park. They continue to support the artistic process with more than 40 Artist-in-Residence Programs throughout the National Park Service system. The program at the Grand Canyon seeks artists who are engaged in work that is relevant to the park interpretive themes and who communicate complex issues through their medium. Bailey has been selected for the program on the South Rim and will be given the opportunity to spend three weeks in housing provided by the National Park Service.
“This whole opportunity still seems so surreal to me — I can’t believe it is happening and yet I am so excited. As an artist I am sure that the experience will have a profound effect on my work and my ways of seeing,” said Bailey.
Bailey’s application proposal focused on her plans to hike the Grand Canyon to study the basic forms in nature. “My work has always been inspired by the textures of the earth,” she noted.
She was intrigued by the idea of studying the dynamic habitats within the vastness of the Grand Canyon. An additional component of her proposal was that she would have to simplify her work process to what she could produce from the tools she can take on a plane as she travels to the Canyon. She will be required to produce a piece for the Grand Canyon National Park which will remain with the Park Service on display.
While at the Grand Canyon, Erica will serve as a guest juror for the Seventh Annual Student Art Exhibit at Kolb Studio on the South Rim. She will also present an Evening Program about her work and metalsmithing methods. Upon her return she will be required to make a presentation to the Fayetteville community detailing her experience.
Bailey grew up in Fayetteville and received her high school diploma in the Applied Arts from the North Carolina School of the Arts. She holds a BA in Women’s Studies and a BFA in Metal Design from East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C. She is currently teaching jewelry fabrication courses at Fayetteville Technical Community College and works full-time as a metalsmith. She also offers workshops through Cape Fear Studios where she is an exhibiting member. Bailey is the First Vice President of Cape Fear Studios, which is a member organization of the Visual Arts Alliance. She has shows and sells her work nationally at festivals, art centers, galleries and museums and is the winner of several exhibit and artistic merit awards. Additionally she has received several regional artist grants from the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County which have allowed her to continue the pursuit of her art.
Bailey’s work involves a variety of technical applications that allow her to create conceptual and aesthetic work. She collects items from nature including shells, seed pods and stones and fi lls her sketchbook with drawings of organic/natural elements which she translates into metal objects. Using techniques such as lamination, chasing, metal weaving, fabrication, enameling, forging and forming she is able to create pieces that are tactile and invoke the senses. If you would like to see examples of her work you may visit her Web site www. ericastankwytchbailey.com or see her work on display at Cape Fear Studios, 148-1 Maxwell St. in Fayetteville.
As a part of her residency, Bailey plans to blog as a means of documenting her experience. Her blog may be accessed at http://www.ericastankwytchbailey. blogspot..com/.