Erin Elder is an artist, writer, and curator guided by interests in land use, experimental collaboration, and non-traditional modes of expression. Her research-driven projects take highly participatory forms, working with a broad definition of art to bring audiences into a direct experience of particular places.
Underscoring Erin's work is a commitment to the creative process and direct support for artists. From 2009 - 2013, she cooperatively founded and directed PLAND, an off-the-grid residency program near Tres Piedras, NM. From 2012 - 2015, she was the Visual Arts Director at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe, where she curated 50+ exhibitions and many public programs. Under her direction, the program worked directly with artists on exhibitions of new work, designed specifically for the unique gallery spaces at CCA.
She has also produced curatorial projects with a variety of institutions including the Museum of Capitalism, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Württembergischer Kunstverein, Creative Time, the Center for Land Use Interpretation, International Symposium on Electronic Arts and the City of Albuquerque. Her writing has been published by University of Minnesota Press, University of Houston Press, and various regional magazines, including a self-published blog and two self-published books.
Erin's drawings have been exhibited throughout the Rocky Mountain West and in Canada. Her creative work has been supported various residencies and awards. She was a 2017-2019 research fellow with the Center for Art + Environment at Nevada Museum of Art and from 2021-2023, she was in residence with the Department of Creative + Innovation at Colorado College. Her artworks and community-informed creative research were recently on view at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (2023).
Erin is contributing faculty at a number of universities and colleges and serves on several arts boards in Albuquerque. With an MA in Curatorial Practice from California College of the Arts and 20 years of experience in the art world, Erin operates Gibbous, a consulting service that supports committed artists at pivotal moments in their careers.
Erin lives on ancestral Tiwa lands in central New Mexico. Her home, just outside the city of Albuquerque and on the banks of the Rio Grande, is also a community-nurtured farm, a habitat for bees, and a refuge for traveling artists.