TEXAN BIOLOGIST ERIN CURRY IS FEATURED ARTIST FOR FALL COTTONWOOD ART FESTIVAL
Hispanic culture and Japanese mythology inspire illustrations by self-taught artist Erin Curry when drawing mixed media designs.
Texan biologist and illustrator Erin Curry has been selected as the featured artist for the Fall Cottonwood Art Festival in Richardson on Oct. 7-8. Curry graduated with a B.S. in Biology and was working at the Dallas Zoo when she began drawing at the age of 26.
“People always asked me to draw their dog or cat and I really liked animals so I started putting them in my own style,” she said. “I figured out pretty quickly that this is what I was supposed to be doing because it became easy for me to want to push myself and think how to make it better and become better as an artist.”
The self-taught artist started off with black and white ink drawings and then introduced color.
“I learned through trial and error that you can blend colored pencils like paint and how to blend and shade,” Curry said.
The initial use of single flat paper evolved into intricate layers of mixed media that transformed a subject into a story. Curry relies heavily on mythology, Hispanic culture, Japanese gods, children’s tales and taxidermy. The artwork depicts meticulously drawn skeletons, winged creatures, organs, masks and flowers that are often crafted within vintage frames and custom shadow boxes.
“Cottonwood Art Festival is local and right here in my backyard,” Curry said. “I applied for the first time about nine years ago and got in. It was the also the first time I saw big crowds, and patrons bought my biggest original piece that weekend. Being selected as the featured artist is nice validation for my work, but I’m also appreciative of the show that accepted me when I first started. This is a well-run show that always gets great out-of-state artists to participate. I feel really humbled by the patrons because they come every year spring and fall to collect. There’s nothing like having the home show ask you to be the featured artist.”
The Dia De Los Muertos series celebrates All Souls’ Day to remember and honor family. “Marisol was one of my biggest pieces I ever did because illustration is time consuming and it’s hard to make them bigger,” Curry said. “This piece represented the culture of my new family since marrying my husband who is from Mexico. Getting to know him and his family, I fell in love with Hispanic origins, traditions, and the spirit of Mexican culture.”
“My new vulture piece that I just finished is 30 something pieces of paper,” she said. “She’s a griffin vulture and I always thought they were very beautiful. I collect skulls and taxidermy and weird stuff. Some bird species that have been known to collect things from their prey and place bones around their nests.”
The griffin piece is titled, “The Collector,” and will be on display in Curry’s booth. Collectors will also find Japanese birds, foxes and winged cat pieces inspired by her own feline pet named Squitty.
Cottonwood Art Festival is Oct. 7-8, 2023 at Cottonwood Park, located at 1321 W. Belt Line Road in Richardson, Texas. Admission is free and the festival is open Saturday, Oct. 7 from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 8, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The Festival additionally includes live entertainment on the Courtyard and Acoustic Stage, a craft beer garden, food trucks, ArtStop stations with activities for kids of all ages and more than 200 artist booths with artwork from around the world. Official merchandise featuring the artwork by Erin Curry is available to purchase at the Festival or online and includes a variety of t-shirts, tank tops, posters, and souvenir items.
Cottonwood Art Festival accepts applications for the Spring and Fall opens and closes twice a year. Local bands are invited to submit an Electronic Press Kit (EPK) for consideration to play at the festival by contacting email@example.com.