Erika Lawlor Schmidt

Born in Lake Forest, Illinois, Erika Lawlor Schmidt has shaped a career as a visual and performing artist whose work is deeply shaped by investigations into Eastern philosophy and Indian mysticism. Schmidt received her B.F.A. from the University of South Florida in Tampa and did post-baccalaureate studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She later earned an M.F.A. from the University of South Florida, where she founded the Vital Spark Performance Group, a collaborative interdisciplinary ensemble that has traveled to major U.S. cities and throughout Europe.

Schmidt has been a guest artist at the Honghua School in Guangham, China , Anderson House: Harvard Club in Wash. D.C., San Francisco Conservatory of Music, University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, Elon University, Elon, N.C. and a commissioned artist for the Southern Graphics Council Conference, GraphicStudio, at University of South Florida,  Tampa, FL.

Erika’s prints and collages have been widely exhibited at different venues, including the Drawing Center and the Lincoln Center Gallery in New York; the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, Florida; the Contemporary Art Museum in Tampa: and the Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art in Sarasota, Florida. Among the numerous awards she has received acknowledging her unique approach to art and multi-media theater are accolades at international dance festivals in Prague, Czech Republic (1999); Cercena, Italy (2001); and Barcelona, Spain (2006).

Erika’s work is in numerous private and public collections and has been widely shown in national juried and invitational exhibitions (from the artist's website,

My work is shaped by the recognition and inquiry to cyclical tendencies, including the contemplation of life cycles: birth, death and rebirth or the possibility for reincarnation. I have been interested in this all my life.

My surroundings reveal all that exists in a constant state of flux and that the physical world including the body, all material things, trends, fashions, technologies, reputations, families and fortunes eventually change, die and fade away. While I recognize the reality of impermanence, I also sense the presence of a connective yet unseeable life force that moves, shapes and holds us together and that is revealed in elegant but mystifying ways through the physical world. I am interested in the expression of that idea.

I am interested in locating the imprint of time and place in the body and psyche where personal and shared experience coincide. Merged are symbolic elements that signify collective experience with parts that reflect the intimate and personal. This integration parts has the capacity to express simultaneously a number of meanings.

The work speaks to how form emerges from emptiness where things having weight contend with weightless things. The work speaks to the understanding of the interrelatedness of all things. (from the artist's website,

M.F.A. - Printmaking and Performance, University of South FLorida, Tampa, FL.
Post Baccalaureate - Painting and Sculpture, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Ill.
B.F.A. - Ceramic Sculpture, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL.

2012: "Rock, Paper, Scissors" Feick Arts Center Gallery, Green Mountain College, Poultney, Vt.
2011: Southern Vermont Arts Center, Manchester, Vt.
2010: "Trip the light fantastic" EO Art Lab, Chester, Conn.
2010: Christine Price Gallery, Castleton College, Castleton, Vt.
2008: Southern Vermont Arts Center, Manchester, Vt.
2005: Melvin Gallery, Florida Southern College, Lakeland, FL.
2003: Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art, Sarasota, FL.
2000: Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art, Sarasota, FL.
1997: "Fragile Connections" Center Gallery, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL.

2014: Sculpture exhibit at National Life Center, Montepelier, Vt.
2013: "Juice Bar" Big Town Gallery, Rochester, Vt.
2013: Collage Exhibit, Burlington City Arts, Maltex Building, Burlington, Vt.
2013: S.E.A.B.A South Burlington Arts and Business Association, Innovation Center, Burlington, Vt.
2012: "The Allure of Collage" Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art, Sarasota, FL.
2012: North Bennington Art Park Sculpture Show, North Bennington, Vt.
2011: Featured artist, Edgewater Gallery, Middelbury, Vt.
2010: ART CHICAGO, Chicago, Ill. represented by EO Art Lab
2010: ART HAMPTONS, Bridgehampton, NY represented by EO Art Lab
2009: Baymaro Studio, Crystal Munson, Art Consultant, Duxbury, Mass.
2004: "14 business days" Polk State College Gallery, Winter Haven, FL.
2002: 3 person Show, Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art, Sarasota, FL.
2001: International Invitational, Brad Cooper Gallery, Ybor City, FL.
2000: Florida Artists Invitational, Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, FL.
1998: Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, Invited Emerging artist, Tampa, FL.

2012: "Strange Glue" Thompson Gallery at the Cambridge School, (Juror, Todd Bartel, Gallery Director, Thompson Gallery)
2012: Connecticut Women Artists, Slater Memorial Museum, Norwich, Conn. (Award, Juror, Cathy Malloy, CEO, Greater Hartford Arts Council )
2009: National Juried Exhibit, Southern Vermont Art Center, (Award, Juror Gerald Auten, Director Studio Art Exhibitions at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire)
2004: "Wish you were here" National Collage Society, Cork Gallery at Lincoln Center, N.Y.,N.Y. (award)
1999: Contemporary Prints" Sarasota Center for the Arts, Sarasota, FL. (Award Juror, Leslie Lerner Professor of Art, Ringling School of the Visual Arts)
1998: Florida Printmakers, Lee County Alliance for the Arts, Fort Myers, FL. (Award, Mernet Larsen, Juror)
1998: "Works on Paper: group show: University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL. (Award, Juror, Margaret Miller, Director, Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, FL.)
1997: Printmakers' National Show, University of Tampa, Tampa, FL. (Award, Juror, Theo Wujik)

2013: Forthcoming: book cover for Julie Cameron Gray's "Tangle", published by Tightrope Books, Toronto, Canada
2012: "Strange Glue" author Todd Bartel, Director, Thompson Gallery, Lincoln, Mass.
2011: Art Hound, on-line Brooklyn based web log
2011: The Jealous Curator, on-line web log
2010: NEW AMERICAN PAINTINGS, North East #86, Juror, Monica Ramirez-Montagut, Curator, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Conn.
2005: "Collage Journeys" author, Jane Davies published by Watson - Guptill, N.Y.
2004: "Playpen" a project of the Drawing Center, N.Y., N.Y. and publication of the New York Public Archives

2014: forthcoming : "Gloria" premier at the Harvard Club, Wash. D.C. Nov. 29
2014: forth coming : DanceFest Vermont! at Barre Opera House, Barre, Vt. Sept. 5 and Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center, Stowe, Vt. Sept. 6 2014
2013: Funktionlust including "Elegy", "Turn to the Sun" at Dorset Playhouse, Dorset, Vt. and Hubbard Hall, Cambridge, N.Y
2012: "Skin", "Wavelength 2 " Ackley Theater, Green Mountain College, Poultney, Vt.
2011: "States of Being" at Bennington College, Bennington ,Vt.
2011: "Qu'ils manget de la brioche" Southern Vermont Art Center, Manchester, Vt.
2010: "A Clever Crow will paint its feather black" Castleton College, Castleton, Vt.
2009: "Rays Converging" SolarFest, Tinmouth , Vt.
2008: "Valentine out of season" at the Polk Museum of Art, Lakeland , FL.
2007: "The Mandarin Project" SculptFest Carving Center & Sculpture Studio, W. Rutland, Vt.
2006: "Engram" International Festival of Dance, Barcelona, Spain (AWARD)
2005: "The Painted Bird" Lake Mirror Center for the Arts, Lakeland, FL.
2004: "Wireless Caller" Polk Museum of Art, Lakeland, FL.
2003: "One of these Days", Merle Reskin Theater, Chicago, Ill.
2002: "The Message" Elon University, Elon, NC
2002: "Wavelength" San Francisco Conservatory of Music, San Francisco , CA.
2001: "Random Acts of Dance" Concorso di Danza Internazionale, Cesena, Italy (AWARD)
2000: "Igitur" University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL.
2000: "Obsession" a workshop performance with Rachel Rosenthal, Omega Institute, NY
1999: "The Message" Prague Festival of Dance, Prague, Czech Republic (AWARD)
1999: "Circus" with Pat Olesko at the Ringling School of Art and Design, Sarasota, FL.
1998: "Trance Gong" Florida Dance Festival, Tampa, FL.
1997: "Compound Eye" Theater 1, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL.
1996: "How in Salt's Desert is it possible to bloom?" Theater 2 ,University of South Florida, Tampa, FL.

2012: Artist in Residence: Honghua Foreign Language School, Guangham, China
2012: Artist in Residence, Green Mountain College, Poultney, Vt.
2007: Vermont Studio Center (scholarship) Johnson, Vt.
2001: Guest Artist, integrated time based media project San Francisco Conservatory of Music, San Francisco, CA
2000: Presenter: Project: "Round, go round" Southern Graphics Council Conference, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL.
1997: Commission: For integrated time based media performance project: " Compound Eye" for the Southern Graphic Council Conference. Awarded by Hank Hine, Executive Director for GraphicStudio,Tampa, FL.