Erica N. Hall - Artist
Raised in the Tampa Bay Area, I lived an idyllic childhood. Every day was spent outdoors using imagination for each game played with my childhood friends. As I grew, I held on to that way of seeing – the ability to see the magic in each gesture or moment or movement. My work now often echoes the beauty and undercurrents of simple moments in time that might often be overlooked or quickly passed by.
At the University of South Florida, I learned to develop my eye through many forms of art – from photography to sculpture to classes in movement. I also studied American Sign Language where I further began to understand the importance of each tiny gesture or facial expression. During college, I received several awards for my art at juried shows at the Centre Gallery. I also was asked to guest-teach several classes at local colleges. After receiving my bachelor’s degree in Fine Art with a minor in ASL, I went on to other things but always continued drawing, painting, and learning.
As a youth, I struggled with portraits, never seeming to quite grasp the ability to portray people as I saw them. Through the years, I have focused on developing the ability to paint and draw people, to capture that which is so quickly lost. Memory has never been enough for me; I have always needed tangibles to remember what was felt in a single moment.
My art today is inspired by just those moments. The mediums used serve to add a feeling of reverie to the people portrayed. I choose to work on wood because it creates a sense of nostalgia. I like to use watercolors to give the portraits a feeling of softness… memories past. The charcoal helps to define the moments depicted in a nostalgic way; not bright and bold as things just experienced, but shadowed and faded as memories often are.
I won the Emerging Artist award at my first show in 2011, the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts. Since then, I’ve won many other awards and have been in many juried shows. Today I focus on art and often do mural work for local non-profit organizations and businesses.