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October CoCA Habit: Erika Rier

Posted by caroline on October 24, 2016


Erika Rier, "Ritus Panel," ink, gouache, watercolor, and graphite on paper.

We are very pleased to announce that our October CoCA Habit feature is Erika Rier, one of the immensely talented artists participating in next month's 24-hour art marathon. If you are in Seattle be sure to join us on Thursday, November 10th during the Capitol Hill Art Walk, and see Erika along with 22 other artists, busily working to create artistic masterpieces in 24 hours straight! There will be an art party from 6-9pm that evening, and all are welcome to come and cheer on our lovely artists. The marathon is followed by an art auction and gala on Saturday, November 12, where guests will have a chance to bid on the freshly made art from the marathon. So be sure to buy your auction tickets before they sell out so that you can snag one of Erika's intricate and whimsical drawings on auction night. Tickets are available here


Without further ado, we give you Erika Rier:

I'm Erika Rier and I'm an artist currently living in Portland, OR. As an artist, I feel like my work is stuck between worlds, never fitting neatly into the boxes of fine art or illustration. I create work everyday, and each day I create many different sorts of things. 
I create large works on paper using ink, gouache, watercolor, and graphite. Works usually depicting violent struggles or strange rituals in a style I call Folk Surrealism. I use bright colors and detailed patterns that feel all cheeriness and stardust until you look closer and the story of the work starts to unfold.
Erika Rier, "Power Struggle" Mixed media illustration, part of Monsters and Women series, 2015
In addition to creating works on paper I create illustrated zines and comic-like things, again these publications don't fit neatly into a category. I've always loved books and magazines and feel drawn to creating little publications of my own. Each explores different topics such as my early attempts to learn Norwegian, an imagined initiation ritual, or most recently, Inanna's descent into the Underworld.
Recently, I've added screen printing into my creative practice. I've been making colorful prints on rag paper and also experimenting with little screen printed textile scarves and patches. As I develop this skill I plan on making some screen printed books and larger textiles as well.
In November, in addition to being an artist at the CoCA Art Marathon, I'll be an exhibitor at Short Run Seattle. This is my second year attending this event and I'm really excited to have 10 new publications and 2 new screen printed prints to sell at this show since I attended last year. This show happens November 5th at Fisher Pavilion in Seattle Center.
You can follow my work on instagram ( ), view my full portfolio (, or check out my shop for hand made and illustrated goods I make (

September's CoCA Star: Trina Cooper

Posted by caroline on August 31, 2016

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Image: from Trina Cooper's CoCA Lab Artist Residency in March, 2016. Cooper explains her Breathing Machine installation to visitors.

For our September CoCA Star feature, we are very happy to share the work of Seattle artist Trina Cooper. Trina inspires us with her creative, informative, and interactive works, as well as her generous support of the Seattle art community. She is a participating CoCA artist and also one of our most dedicated volunteers, and has spent countless hours helping the CoCA team with a range of projects from art installation, event management, and gallery sitting. We don't know what we'd do without her! 

Trina Cooper recently participated as a CoCA Lab Artist in Residence at CoCA UN[contained], where she built an interactive environmental video installation called The Breathing Machine. The Breathing Machine was an interactive environmental video installation which included a set of lungs which breathed, had a video constructed of footage of re-contextualized dendrite structures projected onto them. Dendrite structures occur throughout nature as a part of the mechanical infrastructure that keeps the environment and all of the creatures functioning in a healthy manner. There was also an interactive component of a breath horn to the installation, which when blown would create animated breath across the video imagery and lungs.

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Diagram from Trina Cooper's interactive multi-media installation, Breathing Machine from March 2016.

Trina is currently working on a piece which is derivative of The Breathing Machine installation. The new piece she is working on is an interactive environmental video installation which consists of a set of lungs the participants enter into. The lungs again breath and they are akin to a jumpy castle play structure, like the ones people use at birthday parties. The giant lungs have the interactive animation triggered by breath of the participants, projected through them, over the re-contextualized dendrite video footage. This series of installations seeks to draw awareness to the inter-connectedness and fragile balance of all components in nature, including humans.

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In-process plans for Trina Cooper's Giant Inflated Lung Interactive Video Installation

Trina's work explores the forces of nature that are intrinsic in humans and their relationship to the environments they inhabit. She explores these elements from both a physical and a spiritual orientation. Many of the forms and visual phenomena she explores in her work are derived from the human form and other forms or systems and phenomena occurring in nature. The content or concepts explored in the works are also derived from concepts of humans as organisms in nature and the human psychological response to existing as sentient beings in relation to their environments and communities.

Thank you Trina, for being an integral part of the CoCA community. We can't wait to see the final outcome of your inflated lung interactive installation!

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