I am currently teaching art classes at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, SD. I received my MFA, emphasis Sculpture, from the University of South Dakota in 2010. I received my Bachelors of Arts in Anthropology and Humanities/Fine Arts from the University of Wyoming in 2003. 

I have led a variety of workshops and seminars offered at local art centers in the Black Hills and on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the Badlands. Anything from rammed earth building techniques to kiln construction to making clays from local soils and  alternative firing processes and have been covered. Currently I spend days of my week working with the Sturgis Area After School Program in Sturgis, SD doing a variety of sculpture, ceramic and stop motion filming projects with ‘at risk’ middle school students.

My current body of sculptural work is a series of mixed media wall pieces. I am also in production of another stop motion film and am looking forward to the editing process. Most of my work exposes concepts of geologic time and the fossilized moments that are discarded or overlooked. Layers of information are hidden and exposed through accidental or unintentional means and its my job to bring these moments of disregarded intimacy back to a viewing public.

Erica Merchant