Erica Lori Grimm, PhD

Professor of Art; Sabbatical 2023/2024
“Artists create in the contested interstitial spaces between embodied awareness, sense perception, imagination, and reason; enthusiasm, dream, and disaster; affect, intuition, and intellect; wordless, timeless, experiences of ‘unknowing’ and those ‘known’ through our embodied existence. A form of understanding born out of mindful attention; artmaking is a way of coming to knowing through trusting unknowing”.

A Canadian artist of settler descent and professor of art, Erica Grimm is a grateful guest on the traditional, ancestral, unceded, territory of the Stó:lō people. She is honoured to have held Canada Council and SSHRC grants for her material practice rooted in drawing. Curious about saturated–inexplicable but ordinary–experiences, her work explores the overlapping entanglements between embodiment and ecology. For more than 30 years she has practiced attentiveness, drawing daily on paper and panels, in space with branches, words, objects, ideas and sounds. Fueled by environmental urgency, her recent research-creation projects are collaborative, large-scale installations. Creating what she describes as “material semiotic entanglements”, the work layers materials with scientific texts, maps, medical imagery, video and sound. Drawing through space with anything at hand, she explores the connexions between aesthetics, embodiment, ecology, ethics, science and art. She was the 2002 Distinguished Nash Lecturer, received the Imago National Juried Art Prize, and was appointed U of R Distinguished Alumnae. Widely exhibited in museum, public and community galleries, her work is found in public collections such as the Canada Council Art Bank, the Richmond Art Gallery and Vatican Collection of Contemporary Art. Her written practice considers the epistemological implications of the process of making. The Aesthetics of Attentiveness is forthcoming from Wilfred Laurier University Press.  

Erica is on Sabbatical for the Academic Year 2023/2024

  • PhD - Dissertation: The Aesthetics of Attentiveness (Simon Fraser University, 2012)
  • Akademie der Bildenden Kuenste (Munich, Germany, 1983)
  • BFA  - Great Distinction  - Stations of the Cross (University of Regina, SK, 1982)
  • Summer Scholarship (Banff School of Fine Arts, Banff, AB, 1980)


Drawing, Intermedia, Relational Aesthetics, Research-Creation, Arts-Based Research, Attentiveness, Anthropocene, New Materialism, Intersubjectivity, Contemporary Visual Art and Theory, Ecology + Spirituality    

  • SSHRC Explore Grant (2020)
  • SSHRC Exchange Grant (2019)
  • Canada Council for the Arts, Inter-Arts Creation Grant (2016)
  • SHRC Institutional Grant (2016)
  • Provost Research Fund, Trinity Western University (2012)
  • President’s PhD Research Award (PRS) Simon Fraser University (2011)
  • Graduate Fellowship, Simon Fraser University (2009)

Awards & Honors

  • SSHRC Provost Research Award (2012)
  • SSHRC TWU Internal Award (2005)
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, Professional Accomplishments, University of Regina (2002)  
  • Distingished Nash Lecturer, Campion College at the University of Regina
  • First Prize, Imago Juried Art Competition
  • First Award of Merit, Seymour Art Gallery
  • Riddel Award
  • Second Prize, Streff Gallery, Marylhurst College
  • Saskatchewan Arts Board, B Grant
  • Saskatchewan Arts Board, Travel Award



Recent Publications


Selected Exhibitions and Collaborative Projects

  • Fraser Valley Biennale 2023, curator Candace Couse, The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford, 2023
  • Upstream/Downriver: Walking the Stɑl̓əw̓ Watershed, Langley Centennial Museum Oct 21-Jan 22;  White Rock Museum and Archives Feb-May 22; Kwantlen Polytechnique University Spruce Gallery Sept 22, TWU Salmon River Spatial Drawing; ongoing site-specific spatial drawing collaborations with Tracie Stewart and Emily Arnett; walking soundscape collaboration with  Siya:m Patricia Victor, Alysha Creighton, Josh Hale; fieldnote map of the lower Stɑl̓əw̓, 2021-22 
  • Fraser Valley Biennale, curator Adrienne Fast, The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford, 2019-20
  • Troubled Waters: Contemporary Art Stations of the Cross, Waalse Kerk, Amsterdam, 2019              
  • Water Samples and Skin Boats, 571 water samples, skin boat collaboration with Tracie Stewart, soundscape via QR code collaboration with Sheinagh Anderson, SAMC Gallery, TWU, 2019        
  • Surge 2018, Museum of Northwest Art curated group exhibition in co-operation with the Skagit Climate Science Consortium (SC2), 2019   
  • Murmuration, Fort Gallery, Langley, installation collaboration with Zuzana Vasko, Emily Arnett, soundscape by Jocelyne Morlock, 2018    
  • Grief Work/Hope Work: Watersheds, Rising Tides + Skin Boats, O’Conner Gallery, Chilliwack Cultural Center, collaboration with T. Stewart and S Anderson, 2018     
  • Weather Watching: Ocean Prayers + Provocations, White Rock Museum, Kate Petrusa curator, research journal, maquettes, skin boats. 2018     
  • Salt Water Skin Boats: Waking up in the Anthropocene, large scale installation + experimental soundscape, collaboration with Sheinagh Anderson + Tracie Stewart, Reach Gallery Museum, Laura Schneider curator, Abbotsford, BC. 2018   
  • Fraser Valley Biennale 2017, curated by Beth Carruthers, Abbotsford Arts Council (Kariton Gallery), Chilliwack Visual Arts Association (O’Connor Group Gallery), Mission Arts Council (Rock Family Gallery) The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford, 2017           
  • Salt Water Skin Boats Prelude, Lookout Gallery, Regent College, Vancouver; TWU President’s Gallery; The View Gallery, Fraserview, Richmond, B.C. 2016          
  • Sea-Change: Art & the Environment, President’s Gallery, TWU, curated by E. Krause, with D. Auxier, L. Ingram, E. Krause, H. Sawatzky, + B. Ziegler, 2015          
  • Laughing Medusas, Assiniboia Gallery, Regina SK., 2013 
  • Saturated Phenomenon, Bellevue Gallery, West Vancouver BC, 2013         

Selected Conference Presentations

  • Geo-drawing: An aesthetic response to ecological precarity. Geopoetics Symposium, organized by SFU and Concordia Universities, Hollyhock Cortes Island, B.C. Apr 2022
  • Weathering the Change: New Materialism, Subjectivity + Art, Paper read at the Art and the Anthropocene Conference, School for Creative Arts, “Identities in Transformation” Steering Group and Trinity Centre for Environmental Humanities, Trinity College, Dublin, 2019

Affiliations & Memberships

  • CAA - College Art Association
  • CIVA - Christian in the Visual Arts

Current Courses:

  • ART 181 Visual Foundations I
  • ART 211 Life Drawing
  • ART 310 Drawing
  • ART 351 Intermedia
  • ART 410 Drawing IV
  • ART 451 Socially Engaged Art

Past Courses:

  • ART 180 Integration Forum - NC
  • ART182 Fundamentals of Design
  • ART 305/306/307 Art Practicum
  • ART 495 Honours Project