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Art & Life with Erica Licea-Kane

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erica Licea-Kane.

Erica, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I was raised outside of New York City by professional artist parents. So, I was surrounded by art and art materials from early on. I found myself at a young age attracted to working with clay and anything relating to textiles. I spent many hours in fabric stores with my mother as she was an avid sewer. I loved going through her button box that housed treasures from many years passed. Once a year we would go through my Grandmothers cedar chest that housed beautiful Italian bobbin lace and linen textiles. It was magical to me. I spent my teenage years creating embroidery, taking art classes and always making art in some way. Although I intended to go to college for graphic design, I changed my major after my freshman year and landed in the Fibers Program.

In this program I was given all of the foundations for using textile processes from weaving to non-woven structures and surface design. I continued these studies in Graduate School and found that I naturally gravitated towards mixing media. After graduate school I continued to make and exhibit my art for many years, always working in a mixed media genre that incorporated textiles. In 2000 I decide to move onto canvas and proceeded to slowly eliminate fabric as a material. Today my work is informed by my textile training but uses no fabric. In addition to my studio career I have been a College Instructor for over 30 years. I have taught a variety of courses that range from textile processes, drawing, design, mixed media, and experimental printmaking. At my recent job at Wheelock College in Boston, I was the Director of the Towne Art Gallery for 17 years as well as an Associate Professor.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
My works are completely rooted in my textile training. The grids, both visible and implied and the repetition within each piece comes from and are inherent to the most basic levels of textile creation. In place of textiles I create lines and texture with a pastry bag as I squeeze out pigmented medium to create surfaces that invoke fabric or enlarged weaves. I work hard at manipulating the material so that the surfaces are obscure and are often assumed to be made out of yarn. My work often prompts questions about my process, the materials and the amount of time invested.

My hope is that my work invites viewers in to explore the physicality of the surfaces, the many layers and the shaped edges. With the density of the surfaces and the irregular edges, I consider these works to be object-paintings that address all of the formal concerns attached to abstract painting. I love to hear narratives about the work from viewers that often make reference to aerial views, maps or topographical city views. A recent viewer described the work as having a life force in that the lines seemed animated and in motion. There are never enough layers.

How do you think about success, as an artist, and what do quality do you feel is most helpful?
I consider myself successful as an artist if I am true to myself in the studio and continue to create art that I am passionate about. Success is a fleeting thing. Enjoy it when it happens but know that you have to continue to work hard and be true to yourself.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I am a member of the Kingston Gallery in Boston’s South End. I am always open to participating in exhibitions, working with consultants and museum curators. My website is: www.licea-kane.com

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.licea-kane.com
  • Phone: 617-901-5948
  • Email: erica.licea.kane@verizon.net
  • Instagram: @liceakane

Image Credit:
Photographer: Stewart Clements

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