Reciprocal Joy / Works by Elizabeth Kelley Erickson

Engine is pleased to present the work of Elizabeth Kelley Erickson of Cape Porpoise, Maine. The exhibition titled Reciprocal Joy, consisting of abstracted paintings and drawings inspired by the coast of Maine, will hang in Engine’s gallery from Friday June 17 through Saturday August 15. Erickson previously exhibited in Nano, a show of tiny artworks, which was closed early due to the COVID pandemic. Reciprocal Joy is the first staged exhibition in the gallery space since Engine re-opened to the public on July 1.

RECEPTION: An in-gallery opening reception will be held on Friday, July 17, from 5:30-7:30pm, during the Biddeford ArtWalk. The gallery will be limited to 6 people at a time to allow for plenty of space. Masks will be required to enter the gallery.

Artist Statement

Making art amid the Maine intertidal zone during a global pandemic, cultural divide and climate crisis puts me deeply in touch with the urgent contrasts of the chaos of our current existence and the beautiful resilience surrounding us in nature. Holding awareness of current discomforting worldly affairs while spending as much solitary time as possible among the rocks and sea has offered me increasingly subtle guidance, witnessing, listening and primal alignment with the elements. Nature is my teacher – refreshing my sense of our ancient and impermanent home. Providing clues as to how those who occupied these lands long before us were able to survive and thrive here. And I have learned that “When we open to the joy of nature, nature takes joy in us.” This sense of reciprocity and interconnectedness along with my archaeological art and field work infuses all of my efforts. Whether working in-studio or on location, rich sensory and internal experiences are transmuted with paint into a pictorial language of observational abstraction.

READ THE STUDIO INTERVIEW with Elizabeth Kelley Erickson by writer and photographer Rebecca Mir Grady

About the Artist

Elizabeth Kelley Erickson’s recent work is the culmination of her lifelong exploration of the islands off Cape Porpoise. Her paintings and drawings are meditations on impermanence and reverence of nature and what it is communicating to us, including the notion of reciprocal joy—that “When we open to the joy of nature, nature takes joy in us.” Her work has been exhibited in New England and California and has been collected nationally. She is a juried member of the Barn Gallery in Ogunquit, Maine and a past juried member of the Los Angeles Art Association.

She is a Field Archaeologist and the Senior Artist with Cape Porpoise Archaeological Alliance where her drawing has contributed to the archaeological record. She received her MFA in painting from University of New Hampshire (2013), an MSW from University of New England (2002) and a BFA from MassArt (1989).


Engine is currently located in the historic Pepperell Trust building at 163 Main Street, most recently a Bangor Savings bank. The building houses an events space, a small gallery, a co-make space, and studios.

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