Clips and Quotes
Arts Council for Monterey County Honors Local Artists at Annual Gala
Erin Lee Gafill was born and raised in Big Sur, and she champions the place and its children with joyful advocacy. She isn’t Peter Pan; she did grow up to become a wise and accomplished artist. But, she has never forgotten what it is to be a child, what it means to have the freedom and access to artistic expression.
Which is why, in 1998, Gafill and her husband, Tom Birmingham, founded the Big Sur Arts Initiative…
Monterey County Herald, Lisa Crawford Watson, January 24, 2009
…”Whatever creative form resonates with the kids,” Gafill said. “It’s our birthright as human beings to have expressed creativity. If we’re luck, we get to experience that joy and awe into our adulthood.”
Carmel Magazine, Lisa Crawford Watson, Summer, 2007
A Sense of Place, Erin Gafill’s Rich Artistic Legacy
It is not possible to separate artist Erin Gafill from the rugged landscape of Big Sur.
In part, it is because she grew up clambering up and down its hillsides and canyons and frolicking with youthful comrades on the pristine beaches–to such a degree that she thinks of Big Sur almost as a parent…
Haven Magazine, Sandra Leader, Summer, 2006
Big Sur Artists hit the Road, make first stop in “Last Hometown”
…Big Sur artists, by nature are somewhat solitary souls, connected by a tangled network of long and winding roads. Under such circumstance, the commercial opportunities for an artist living “Down the Coast” are understandably limited. So instead of trying to bring art-loving consumers to Big Sur, Gafill and Birmingham decided to bring Big Sur to art-loving consumers…
Carmel Pine Cone, Chris Counts, June 2, 2006
Legacy in the Arts
…Erin Lee Gafill started painting as a research tool to understand her great-great-grandmother, Jane Gallatin Powers, whom she never met except through family stories, legends and the artwork she left behind.
Gafill, deeply involved at the time in writing as her personal means of investigation and expression took painting classes in an attempt to understand her ancestor’s medium, and found the impulse to paint became stronger and stronger…
Monterey County Herald, Lisa Crawford Watson, September 1, 2005
Red & Green
…Gafill, who also teaches art to children through the Big Sur Arts Initiative she founded in 1997, is usually directed in her own work by what she is feeling.
The challenge and fin in preparing for “Red Light, Green Light” is that her work, if only initially was directed by someone else.
“It has been really fun to go off on an assignment”…
Monterey County Herald, Lisa Crawford Watson, December, 2005
Erin Gafill: Too Much is Barely Enough
…As if painting now, Gafill tilts her head, arms moving in grand gesture as she pauses between strokes to reflect upon an imaginary canvas that is her life…”As a student, I always valued my intellectual achievements over the easy, soft stuff of art,” she says. “Writing was vigorous and rigorous, and worthy somehow…
Alta Vista Magazine, Lisa Crawford Watson, September 10, 1995