We had the good fortune of connecting with Cathy Ehrler and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cathy, what do you want people to remember about you?
I want people to look at the world in a different way, to see beauty and creations in ordinary things and to imagine our world to be always better. I want to be remembered for my art and the process of its creation.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As an environmental artist I look for resources to create works that express my feelings about the world and our place in it. I use recycled materials, trash from the street and, during the pandemic, material from my recycle bin. My goal is to take the trash and turn it into something of beauty, making the best of a bad situation. I began my journey with my “Environmental Reverberations” series, transparent watercolor works that illustrated the similarities of trash with nature. I’ve always thought that trash would eventually become the subject. As I would venture out to paint en pleinaire I would see trash in the fields and on the roads, and I had to omit it from my work. Soon I realized I needed to make it the subject. I began picking up the trash on the street outside of my studio and I created an entire year of “Trashy Art” on Means Street, a series of photographs of the assemblages I created with the trash each week. My current project “Trash Formations” is series of permanent works made entirely from the trash. I am turning trash into works to treasure. These are intricate mosaics made into representational classic bouquets, flowers and landscapes. The large pieces have thousands of trash tiles. During this time of isolation and inwardness, I needed something tedious and difficult to escape the reality and uncertainty of the outside world. And I wanted it to be pretty. I hope some day I will be able to exhibit it!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend came to town to visit during the pandemic, I would have them isolate in my home and studio for 2 weeks. I would cook most delicious food for them, go for long walks outdoors without any other social contact, play Scrabble and watch foreign movies.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
A shoutout to my husband, Don Thurman for his support and encouragement and to my artist friends, Kathy Rennell Forbes and Pat Fiorello whose work I admire and who provide inspiration.
Facebook: Cathy Ehrler Artist