Erika Strecker Sculptor / Metalsmith

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Erika Strecker

Sculptor / Metalsmith

610 West Third St.

Lexington, KY 40508

Ph. (859) 396-7118 Fax (859) 455-9934


  1. Master of Fine Arts, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

Carbondale, Illinois. Blacksmithing, Sculpture, Glass, GPA 4.0

  1. Welding Certification. Mayland Community College. Spruce Pine, North Carolina.

    1. CORE Student Program. Penland School of Arts and Crafts. Penland, North Carolina.

1990 Bachelor of Arts. Kenyon College. Gambier, Ohio. Sculpture, Painting, Printmaking.

Public Art & Corporate Art Works
2008 “Transcending” the second as yet to be titled- Two pieces of sculpture- “Transcending” 32’ x 5’ x 5’, the second (untitled) 12’ x 4’ x 4’, fabricated bronze and stone, Commissioned by Berea College- to be constructed during the Winter of 2008, John G. Fee Glade, Berea College, Berea, Kentucky.
“Aurora Ascends” Under-Construction- To be installed July 2008, stainless steel, 32’ x 14’ x 10’, Sheridan College, Sheridan Wyoming. Commissioned by Sheridan College for permanent installation on the college campus; to be unveiled at the Big West Arts Festival, August 2008.
“Taking Flight” forged and fabricated stainless steel, 20’ x 12’ x 12’, Commissioned by the Friends of McConnell Springs for permanent installation in McConnell Springs, a Lexington, Kentucky City Park, dedicated May 13, 2008.
2007 “12 Months”, enamel on steel, wood, 8” x 4’, 2007. And “Aerial Topography”, enamel on Steel, wood, 8” x 2’8”, 2006. St. Joseph Health Care- St. Joseph Hospital, Lexington, KY. Gallery Walk- Two works purchased as part of the art acquisition, for their new hospital wing.
“Tulip Poplar Bench” Public Art Work- Sculptural Bench- Fabricated Steel, 6’ x 5’ 28”, Woodland Park, Community Flower Garden, Lexington, KY, owned by the City of Lexington, KY, 2007.
“Fractured Whole x 2” - Aluminum and Limestone, (2) Two sculptures- 18” x 18” x 8’6”, 2007, Public Entrance - Ormsby III, Forrest Green Corporate Office Park, Faulkner Developers, Louisville, KY. Coordinated by Ann Drury- Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft.
“Migration” Hand-forged Steel, concrete, 35” x 35” x 9’, Sculpture Trails- Outdoor Museum & Sculpture Garden, Solsberry, Indiana.

    1. Nexus” , a 50’ tall stainless steel sculpture, Collaboration with Tony Higdon (as Higdon-Strecker Studios, Inc.), Commissioned by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Transportation Cabinet Building, Frankfort, KY. Commissioned by 3 State of Kentucky Departments; Finance Cabinet, Transportation Cabinet, & Ky. Arts Council. Artwork installed Dec, 2006.

2006 “Winter Solstice of the Ginko, Rebirth of the Sun”, Hall-way Niche Sculpture, Jewish Hospital Medical Facility- Louisville, KY. Forged bronze, forged steel, 9’ x 3’ x 3’, Coordinated by the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft. Installed March 2006.

    1. Beacon” Outdoor Public Sculpture in Townley Center- A Retail and Residential Community, Lexington, KY. Collaboration with Tony Higdon (as Higdon-Strecker Studios) 20’ tall steel, concrete and glass, Internally Illuminated at Night. Installed January 2006.

2005 Finalist- The Grate Cover-Up, Public Art Work, Lexington Arts and Cultural Council, decorative window grates, LACC Building, Mill St. Downtown Lexington, KY.

2004 “Botanical Benches” Finalist for Public Art Work- Pinellas County Arts Council,

site-Clearwater County Courthouse, Clearwater, Florida. Benches Project (as Higdon-Strecker Studios)

2003 Finalist for large-scale commissioned work- 66’ long wall,

Temple Adath Israel, 100th Anniversary Project, Lexington, KY.

1999 “A Moment in Time”, Suspended Sculpture, Lathrop High School, Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. 20’ x 60’. Designed by Zoe’ A. Strecker. Constructed and installed by Zoe’ A. Strecker and Erika Strecker. November 1999. Fairbanks, Alaska.

Teaching and Experience
2000-08 Strecker Studio (and Higdon-Strecker Studio, Inc.- with my husband Tony Higdon) -Self-employed Studio Artist- (7,000 sf facility/gallery) making both functional and sculptural works utilizing a variety of materials and techniques, in both the intimate and large scale; blacksmithing, metals-fabrication and casting, glass, stone; Works in the public and private domain.

2005 Instructor- Appalachian Center For Craft- Tennessee Technological University- Smithville, TN, Workshop “From Here to There” July 18-22, 2005- beginning blacksmithing class.

2002-03 Owner - “Truth in Materials Gallery of Fine Craft and Art”, Lexington, KY Gallery Sold October 2003.

1998- 2000 Spring semester 2000, Fall semester 1999, Spring semester 1999, Fall semester 1998. Instructor. Beginning Blacksmithing, AD 405D. Graduate teaching assistantship. Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

  1. Study Abroad in Barcelona, Spain. May-July. Built work and installed equipment in sculpture studios at La Rectoria Art Center, worked in conjunction with Spanish artists. San Pere De Villamajor, Spain.

  1. Fall semester. Instructor. Introduction to Art. AD 101. Lab section. Graduate teaching assistantship. Southern Illinois University, Carbondale..

  1. Teaching assistant for Dorothy Stiegler. Penland School of Crafts, Penland, North Carolina.

  1. Teaching assistant for Nol Putnam. Penland School of Crafts, Penland, North Carolina.

    1. Self-Employed Sculptor /Blacksmith. Harrodsburg, Kentucky.

    1. Apprentice to Bill Brown, Jr., Sculptor- Blacksmith. Linville Falls, North Carolina.

Selected Exhibitions
“Uncomon-Wealth” A traveling retrospective of past recipients of the prestigious Al Smith Fellowship, Owensboro Museum-  August 15 – October 2, 2007, Actors Theatre of Louisville, October 2007 – January 2008, Artist’s Coalition in Pikeville, February 18 – April 28, 2008, Community Arts Center in Danville ,May 1 – May 30, 2008.

“Creative Hands” 3-D Exhibition, Peninsula Gallery, Lewes, Deleware, September 2007.

“Forging Ahead: Contemporary American Blacksmiths” Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, Louisville, Ky., April 1-July 16, 2005, invitational, curiated by Brion Clinkingbeard.
“Forging Bonds: Kentucky Blacksmiths and their Mentors” Artsplace Gallery-Lexington, Ky, Invitational, Lexington Arts and Cultural Council, June 18-August 1, 2004.
“Glories in the Garden” LFUCG and University of Kentucky Arboretum, Dorotha Smith Oatts Visitor’s Center, Juried Exhibition, March2-31, 2004.
“Forging in Ancient Appalachia” Invitational at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, Ky. November 8 – January 3, 2004.
“Early Times Sampler” Works from recipients of the Early Times Scholarship Fund for Excellence in the Arts. Kentucky Museum of Art and Design, Louisville, KY. January 10-March 15, 2003.
“Two Person Show- Chris Strecker and Erika Strecker” Grand Opening- Truth in Materials Gallery of Fine Craft and Art, Lexington, KY. Sept. 20, 2002- Nov. 21, 2002.
“Garden Party” Invitational at the Kentucky Art and Craft Foundation Gallery, Louisville, KY. March 9- May 25, 2002.
“Emerging Artists’ Annual, New International Talents in Contemporary Glass” Invitational at Marta Hewett Gallery at Glassworks, Louisville, KY. March 1-April 20, 2002.
“Disintegration” MFA Thesis exhibition. University Museum, Mitchell Gallery. Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL. , June 12- July 7, 2000.
“Processes of Art: Clay, Glass, Metal.” University Museum. Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL. Invitational. Lorilee C. Huffman, Curator of Collections. May 2, 1999- March 31, 2000.
“Masters of Fine Art Preview Exhibition”. University Museum. Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL. October 22- November 17, 1999.
“Alida to Zack: 28 Years of Penland’s Core Program”. Penland Gallery, Penland, North Carolina. September 14- October 24, 1999. Featured Works from Penland School of Crafts- Barbara Archer Gallery, Atlanta, GA.
“Metals, an exhibition in conjunction with the Carbondale Metals Conference, 1999.” University Museum, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Juried by Richard Mawdsley and Rick Smith. September 9- 30, 1999.
“Playful Intent” Mae Whitaker Gallery, Craft Alliance, St. Louis, Missouri. Juried by Richard Mawdsley. April 30- May 31, 1999.
“Ceramics and Jewelry/Metals Exhibition” Invitational. Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, Missouri. February 26- March 12, 1999.
“In a Box”. Mitchell Gallery. University Museum. Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL. Juried by Dr. Robert Jensen, Lori Huffman, and Dr. Dennis Taylor. January 12- March 5, 1999.
“People’s Choice”. 6th Annual Juried Exhibition. University Museum. Southern Illinois Universtiy, Carbondale, IL. January 30- March 3, 1998.
“Show Us Yours”. Mitchell Gallery. University Museum. Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL. Juried Exhibition. January 13- March 6, 1998.
“Carbon 14”. The Glove Factory Surplus Space. Group Show. Carbondale, IL. March 2-24, 1998.
“Earth, Fire, and Water: Contemporary Forged Metal”. A 16 Person National Invitational Exhibition curated by Robert Logan, organized by Exhibits USA. Traveling November 1997- May 2001, (Perspective Gallery, Blacksburg, Virginia- Anniston Museum of Natural History, Anniston, Alabama- Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council, Texarkana, Texas- J. Wayne Stark University Center Galleries, College Station, Texas- Pensacola Museum of Art, Pensacola, Florida- Slidell Cultural Center, Slidell, Louisiana- Zanesville Art Center, Zanesville, Ohio- The Dubuque Museum of Art, Dubuque, Iowa- Oak Ridge Art Center, Oak Ridge, Tennessee- Civic Fine Arts, Sioux Falls, South Dakota- Masur Museum of Art, Munroe, Louisiana- Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village, Dover, Delaware- Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, Laurel, Mississippi)
“Women of Iron”. National Invitational Exhibition. Curated by Gwen Hefner. Traveled to Contemporary Artifacts Gallery, May 1- June 22, 1997. The Ohio Craft Museum, February 8- April 10, 1998. The Asheville Art Museum, June 16- September 5, 1998.
“Works in Metal”. A Solo Exhibition. MetroLex Gallery, National City Bank. Lexington, Kentucky. February 14- April 11, 1997.
“Kentucky Art and Craft Foundation Bourbon Ball Exhibition”. Invitational. Kentucky Art and Craft Foundation Gallery, Louisville, Kentucky. September 24- October 20, 1997.
“Spotlight 1996” American Craft Council Southeast Juried Exhibition. The Kentucky Art and Craft Foundation. Louisville, Kentucky.
“The River”. An Invitational Exhibition. Traveled to the Kentucky Art and Craft Foundation, Louisville Kentucky, Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, Owensboro, Kentucky. Capital Art Center, Bowling Green, Kentucky. August 23- 1996- May 1998.
“Graceful Entry into Springs” Lexington Herald-Leader, Cover- City/Region Section, May 14, 2008, Section B1, photos by Brad Luttrell.
Craft - American Craft Magazine, June/July Issue, 2007, “Commissions” Section, Pg. 28. Photo, Project Description.
“Viewpoints- Art Scene” The Courier-Journal, Louisville, KY., by Diane Heilenman, May 6, 2007.
“Kentucky Life” KET- Kentucky Public Television, TV segment on Erika Strecker and Tony Higdon, Sculptors- and the building of “Nexus”. Program # 1312, first aired 4/21/07.
“Commissions in Brief”, Sculpture Magazine, International Sculpture Center, April 2007, Vol. 26, No. 3. Page 26.3, Photo of “Nexus”.
“Public Art Takes Flight” Art Scene Magazine, Front-cover Image and article “Public Art Takes Off”, by Esther Marr, Winter 2007, Cover and Pages 6-7.
“Your letters about “Nexus” and Boileau Cartoon” The State Journal, Page C8, Dec. 17, 2006. Political Cartoon and Letters from the Community.
Photo of “Nexus” by Gene Burch, The State Journal, Dec. 24, 2006. Page D3.
“Local Flavor” Full-page photo of “Nexus”, Business Lexington, Dec. 15, 2006, Pg. 38.
“Frankfort Public Art Installed After 3 Years” The Courier-Journal, Louisville, KY., Art Scene Section, by Diane Heilenman, Jan. 7, 2007.
“Steel Art Setting Sail” Lexington Herald-Leader, Cover- City/Region Section, Nov. 30, 2006, Section B1. By Jim Warren, Photos Charles Bertram.
“Forged Marriage” Kentucky Homes & Gardens, by Judith Hatchett, July/August 2006, Pg. 50-55, article, photos.
Ironwork Today, book by Dona Meilach, Published 2005, Descriptions, Photos, Pgs. 153, 170, 196, 247.
“Integrating Art with Community- Local Artist’s Sculpture find homes in unlikely venues” by Christine Husskisson, Business Lexington, November 18, 2005, Vol. 1 Issue 15, Pg. 20-21. Photos.
“Beacon: Landmark in the Making” Business Lexington, January 13, Vol. 2 Issue 1, Pg. 38, Photos by Drew Purcell.
“Sculpture Installed- Guiding Light for Shopping” Lexington Herald-Leader, Jan. 6, 2006, Section B3- City/Region, Photos.
“What Yesterday Left Us- Stanley Kelly’s Incomparable Career” by Judith Hatchett, Kentucky Homes & Gardens Magazine, Sept/Oct. 2005, photos of Erika Strecker’s work, pg. 50-54.
“Forging Ahead” Contemporary Iron and Steel Work, by Diane Heilenman, The Courier-Journal, Louisville, March 27, 2005, Section I. Photos.
“Forging Art and Metal” by Jim Warren, Lexington Herald-Leader, July, 1, 2004, Section E. Photos.
Kentucky Life Magazine, “Sculpting Life” article by Kathy Witt, December 2004, Pg. 22-26.

“Erika Strecker and Tony Higdon Sculpture -Nexus” article by Fran Watson. Dialogue Magazine, the art, architecture, and design journal of the Heartland, March/April 2004, Vol. 27 Number 2, Page 44, Photo.

Kentucky Life, May 2004, “The Strecker Family: A Family of Artists” Public Television half-hour special program.
The Anvil’s Ring Magazine, Volume 32, Number 2, Winter 2004, Page 13, Bench Proposal for Clearwater Courthouse, Collaboration with Tony Higdon, Forged Bronze and Steel, cast bronze. Photo
Mixed Media- KET- The Kentucky Network-Public Television, “Erika Strecker- sculptor/ blacksmith” Segment #611, 12/8/2003- a televised program on Kentucky Artists and their work.
The Anvil’s Ring Magazine, Volume 32, Number 1, Fall 2003, “Nouveau Dragonfly” relief wall sculpture, forged steel, bronze, copper, 40” x 65” x 4” deep. Photo.
Fireplace Accessories, book by Dona Z. Meilach, Published September 2002. Photos, Artist’s Statement, work description.
Channel 36, News Segment-on visiting artists/glass students, Corning, New York, July 2001
Architectural Ironwork, book by Dona Z. Meilach, Published July 2001. Photos, Artist’s Statement, description.
American Craft Magazine, April/May Issue, 2001, “Portfolio” Section. Photos, Artist’s Statement.
The Contemporary Blacksmith, book by Dona Z. Meilach, Published June 2000. Photos. Artist’s Statement.
“Making a Strong Statement” Jacqueline Hall, Art Critic. The Columbus Dispatch. February 22, 1998. P. 8F. Photo.
“Elemental Art in Asheville” Peter Millis. The Mountain Xpress. June 17-23, 1998. P. 16-17.
The Anvil’s Ring Magazine, Spring Issue. 1997. “Early Spring” garden gate. Photo.
The Anvil’s Ring Magazine, Summer Issue. 1996. “Silver Queen” fireplace screen, and “Fiddlehead Table”. Photo.

wards-Scholarships-Visiting Artist Lectures/Demonstrations

Recipient of the prestigious 2007 Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship, Kentucky Arts Council.
Judge- LEAP- Lexington Extraordinary Art Project, student sculpture competition, October, 2006.
Judge- Invited judge for juried show of student work, EKU- Eastern Kentucky University- Department of Art, April, 2004.
Juror- Kentucky Guild of Artist and Craftsmen, juror of new applications for membership in the guild. July 2003, January 2004.
SOFA –Sculptural Object Functional Art, slides of my work- presentation about Penland School of Arts and Crafts, Chicago, Navy Pier, 2003.
Visiting Artist Lecture Series/ Workshop, Co-taught/lectured with Tony Higdon- University of Kentucky, Department of Fine Art, September 14-15, 2003.
Grant Award- Kentucky Foundation for Women. Monies received to purchase new studio equipment. Received January 2003.
Assist with Visiting Glass Artists Che’ Rhodes and John Miller’s Demonstration Pieces, Glassworks, W. Market St., Louisville, KY., October 20, 2001.
Visiting Artist- Slide Presentation/Lecture, Arts Professions Class, The University of Kentucky, Department of Art, Lexington, KY, September 28, 2001.
Scholarship-funded by the Corning Museum of Glass, to study at The Studio, The Corning Museum of Glass, to attend a 2-week class with Henry Halem, July-August 2001, Corning, NY.
Professional Artists Development Fund. The Early Times Scholarship, received June-2001, Kentucky Art and Craft Foundation-received to help defray the cost of taking a class at The Studio-The Corning Museum of Glass, NY.
Visiting Artist Lecture Series, Slide Presentation, The Herron School of Art, Indianapolis, IN, April 13, 2001.
Full assistantship, and tuition waver scholarship, 1997-2000 MFA, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
Best Ferrous Award, “Metals, and exhibition in conjunction with the Carbondale Metals Conference, September 1999. Southern Illinois University Museum.
Best Box Award, “In a Box”, Mitchell Gallery. University Museum, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. March 1999.
Judge. Purchase Awards, 20th Anniversary. Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Permanent Collection. Art Alley, Student Center, April 8- 30, 1998.
Most Creativity Award, Waterside Festival. 1996. Louisville, Kentucky.
Four-Year Scholarship BA, Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio

Professional Organizations

International Sculpture Center- ISC Member- Member since 1997

Artist Blacksmith’s Association of North America – Member since 1996

Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen- Member Since 1995

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