An award-winning painter, writer, and teacher, Erin is a quintessential Big Sur artist with deep roots in the local community.
In 1998, Erin and her husband photographer Tom Birmingham co-founded the non-profit Big Sur Arts Initiative to create enrichment programs in the arts for children and families living in remote areas of Monterey County. In 2001, Erin swas invited to Japan to teach creativity workshops, the first American artist-in-residence of the Hamada International Children’s Art Museum, Hamada, Japan. Works from this trip were displayed at the museum and at the Monterey Museum of Art.
In 2009 The Arts Council for Monterey County and the United State Congress honored Erin and Tom Birmingham for their arts advocacy naming them “Champions of the Arts.”
In 2010 Erin and Tom created the “Championing The Arts Tour” on the road, visiting 17 cities over 9 weeks. With sponsorship from the Arts Council for Monterey County and the Carol Channing Arts Foundation, they staged shows, art salons, interviewed arts professionals, held workshops, and taught free art programs to children and their families.
Erin credits her deep familial roots in the arts for her on-going work today. Her maternal grandparents Lolly and Bill Fassett built Nepenthe Restaurant in Big Sur, a mecca for artist, poets, writers, and bohemians since it opened in 1949. Lolly’s maternal grandmother was Jane Gallatin Powers, a Modernist painter who had the first artist’s studio in Carmel and traveled to Paris in the 1920′s to study with Andre L’hote, a student of Cezanne’s.
Erin is on the creative arts faculty for both Esalen Institute, Big Sur, California (www.esalen.org) and Rancho La Puerta, Tecate, Mexico, (www.rancholapuerta.com) as well as Studio One – Big Sur (www.bigsurarts.com)
The Gallery at Ventana in Big Sur, the Carmel Bay Company in Carmel, Lyonshead Gallery in Carmel Valley, Local Color in Big Sur and in Carmel, Left Coast Galleries in Studio City, CA., and For Love of Home, Los Angeles, CA., the River Gallery in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Welcome Home and Garden in Covington, Louisiana, and Appartique, New Orleans, Louisiana.