Artist Spotlight : Erin Watson

Anna Hainze

As Lawrence’s first female Trivia Grand Master in 25 years, and now the star of this week’s Artist Spotlight, Erin Campbell Watson certainly has a lot to offer the Lawrence campus.At the moment I met her, Erin in her pink alphabet glasses and I in my stirrup leggings, I knew that I was beholding great talent. And indeed, what an artist my little Sunday school friend has turned out to be. But why did she choose to become an art major and not, say, enter the seminary? Said Watson, “I decided to take art classes during my senior year in high school because I needed non-academic classes to boost my GPA. My ceramics teacher . sent one of my pieces to be in a high school art competition. But then it broke.” As charming of a success story as this may be, Watson has certainly moved forward in the art world after such a rough start.

She was fortunate enough to study abroad at the London Center last term, where she was able to make weekly visits to the acclaimed Tate Modern and Tate Britain museums, making her one of the most “ridiculously lucky” art majors ever. Though Watson found herself most drawn to the art of Eva Hesse because, as she said, “I respond to her use of materials and the way in which her art subtly reflects her femininity without providing an obvious, stereotypical commentary on the female’s role in the art world,” she also was particularly inspired by a Louise Bourgeois exhibition at the Tate Modern. I’m sure it is only a matter of time until Erin herself is inspiring young artists everywhere with her Tate Modern exhibits. But until then, her March 14 Mudd Exhibition will have to do.