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Erica Derum Lohan has been drawing leaves since she was a child and it is no wonder that one of her first memories is of the smell of wet dirt. As a kid in New York City she pressed leaves in a book, trying to decipher the intricate nature of veining, the subtle faded colors, recognizing the fragility of the natural world.

It was during her years as a young artist in 70s that she solidified her formal training in fine arts with a BFA from Cooper Union School of Art and Architecture in Manhattan. While Lohan embraced art, it was the art world of the era that felt alien to her.

So she veered off to study botanical illustration, immersing herself in gardens and drawing, painting and digging. She then studied botanical illustration at Planting Fields Arboretum before receiving a certificate degree from New York Botanical Gardens. During those years she continued to show her work at numerous galleries in New York.

Then in 2000, Lohan took off to explore the country and spent nine months traveling in an RV before resettling in foothills of Taos. It was there that her painting and the plant world coalesced into a commitment to record the natural world and its delicate beauty in an effort to awaken the viewer to the planet’s need for protection.

In a desert landscape of extremes, Lohan has found the middle ground between earth and art in her work. Her latest series of paintings use acrylic and graphite on prepared panel and explore her passion for pattern and texture that first sparked her attention when she was young. “Taking my cue from nature, I render the natural world through a contemporary lens,” she said.

That lens also provides a close-up of the subtlest details of life, the intricacy and beauty that we miss as we pass quickly through the world around us. Lohan’s paintings give viewers a reason to pause.

In the summer of 2009 Lohan moved to the lush green hills of the Piedmont Valley in central Virginia. Now the backdrop of those evolving leaf renderings are the misty views of the Blue Ridge Mountains that ring the fields and beckon the eye upward.

EDUCATION

  • Cooper Union School of Art and Architecture, New York, NY: BFA in drawing and painting, 1969-1972.
  • New York Botanical Gardens, Bronx, NY: landscape design and botany, certificate degree in horticultural therapy, 1999-2000.
  • New York University at Farmingdale, Farmingdale, NY: landscape design and ornamental horticulture, 1998-1999.
  • Planting Fields Arboretum, Oyster Bay, NY: botanical illustration, 1997.
  • Long Island Art League, Huntington, NY: life drawing and watercolor painting, 1975-1985.

EXHIBITIONS

  • Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, Richmond, VA 2017
  • McGuffey Art Center, Charlottesville, VA 2017
  • Riverviews Art Center Juried Exhibition, Lynchburg, VA 2016
  • McGuffey Art Center, Charlottesville, VA 2016
  • Montpelier South Atlantic Juried Show, Montpelier, VA 2016
  • Barn Swallow Gallery, Charlottesville, VA 2016
  • McGuffey Art Center Members Show, Charlottesville, VA 2016
  • Group Show Page Bond Gallery, Richmond, VA 2015
  • Juried Show, Nelson Gallery, Lexington, VA 2015
  • Group Show Warm Springs Gallery, Charlottesville, VA 2015
  • Group Show Page Bond Gallery, Richmond, VA 2014
  • Barn Swallow Gallery, Charlottesville, VA 2014
  • Warm Springs Gallery, Warm Springs, VA 2013
  • Spring Group Show, Rift Gallery Contemporary Art, Rinconada, NM 2010.
  • Fall Group Show, A Muse Gallery-Ohio, Columbus, OH 2009.
  • Dixon Studio Tour, Rift Gallery Contemporary Art, Rinconada, NM 2009.
  • Spring Group Show, A Muse Gallery-Taos, Taos, NM 2009.
  • Fall Arts Invitational, Taos, NM 2008.
  • Coleman Gallery Contemporary Art, Albuquerque, NM 2008.
  • One-Woman Show, Trading Post Cafe and Gallery, Ranchos de Taos, NM 2008.
  • Fall Arts Invitational, Taos, NM 2007.
  • Artists Group Show Rift Gallery Contemporary Art, Rinconada, NM 2007.
  • Summer Perennials Show, Garden & Soul, Taos, NM 2007.
  • Broken and Repaired: A Juried Show at Rift Gallery Contemporary Art, Rinconada, NM 2007.
  • Millicent Rogers Museum Juried Miniatures Show, Taos, NM 2006.
  • Fall Arts Invitational, Taos, NM 2006: Finalist, Best in Show Representational.
  • Coleman Gallery Contemporary Art, Albuquerque, NM 2006.
  • Garden and Soul, Taos, NM 2005-2007.
  • Spring Arts Celebration, Visitor’s Center, Taos, NM 2005.
  • Primavera Show, Stables Art Gallery, Taos, NM 2003.
  • Solar Art Show, New Grounds Gallery, Taos, NM 2003.
  • Painting Ledoux Street, Taos NM 2001: Awarded Best Mixed Media from the Harwood Museum.
  • Planting Fields Arboretum, Oyster Bay, NY 1997.
  • HTAL Village Green Fine Art Show, Huntington, NY 1991.
  • Gallery North Outdoor Show, Setauket, NY 1990: Awarded Second Prize Watercolor
  • Mill House Members Show, Smithtown, NY 1987.
  • John Christopher Gallery, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 1986.