Friday, January 5, 2018 (All day) to Thursday, February 15, 2018 (All day)


Erin Rappleye will give a performance in her installation on First Friday, February 2nd.

A R T I S T   B I O G R A P H Y


Erin Rappleye is an interdisciplinary artist and educator.

Erin’s artwork explores a psychological understanding of the self, both spatially and interpersonally. She creates hand-made wearables and objects, which she activates via performance in various installation environments.

Erin attended the University of Iowa, School of Art and Art History in Iowa City for both her BFA and MFA. In 2015, she received an MFA with Distinction from the University of Iowa in Jewelry and Metal Arts and a minor in Printmaking.

During the summer months, Erin is Faculty Instructor of Jewelry and Metal Arts at Interlochen Summer Arts Camp in Michigan. Currently, Erin is an Assistant Professor of Art at Tulsa Community College, where she teaches Art Foundations, Sculpture and Jewelry.


A R T I S T   S T A T E M E N T

More than likely, we will not experience the same events in our lives, but we will probably feel many of the same emotions. For myself, storytelling serves as a way of connecting with others emotionally through a variety of experiences. I create characters and objects that are part of a larger context exhibited in an installation environment. The objects I create are not wearer neutral, they implicate the wearer; for example, a liar’s mask or a horse’s bit, submits the wearer directly into the role of the character. The wearer then becomes part of the story, activating an immersive environment for both the performer and the viewer. The stories expressed through my installations explore sexuality, partnership, femininity, behavior, communication, and misunderstandings in an attempt to better connect with others and understand myself.

My stories are derived from memories of relationships existing or past; that could range from ex-lovers to my relationship with my sister. Memory is a mixture of emotion, dream-content, sensory experiences, and perspective; making it nearly impossible to recount an event with exactness. This allows my work to dance on the line of reality and fiction, resulting in fable-like narratives. Fables allow for strangeness and absurdity; consider animals sitting around the dinner table or inanimate objects chattering on the mantle. The beauty of absurdity is that it can seamlessly blend humor and tragedy. In my work, humor offers an access point for the viewer, while the seriousness of the situation is slowly revealed through the performance of the story. Absurdity can promote acceptance of even the toughest of lessons because it disrupts expectations and natural tendencies, highlighting perspectives that may have not otherwise been considered.

I am interested in jewelry’s ability to serve as a vehicle for revealing narratives. The broadest objective of jewelry as an art form is to impact or complement the story of the human body. It is an objective informed by inherent material value and psychological/emotional value. The latter determined by relationships, interaction, personal history, legacy, and gesture, which I explore through performance. I believe positive and negative environments have the ability to manipulate our perception of ourselves just like something physically attached to us. My research centers on how body adornment can reflect personal psychology as influenced by a given environment and the potential for the objects within that space to respond as witnesses to further illustrate stories within an installation.

I create objects using a combination of technology and hand-skills. I start by drawing blue-prints for objects using 3D modeling software; I then use those drawings to guide my hand fabrication process, which could involve anything from piercing and sawing, cold-connections, welding and soldering to casting or forming. I work with a variety of materials from rubbers, plastics and fabrics to brass and silver. Most objects I create incorporate a machined component from either the CNC mill or the CNC laser. The conversation between the machine and the hand is important - the defined edge of a machined component lends credibility and emphasis to the hand’s translation of emotion, sincerity and history.





The chrysalis provides a sanctuary for the larva as it matures into an adult insect. Once cocooned inside, there is no witness to this internal process of maturation. We are only made aware of it when the insect re-emerges, transformed into a fully-grown butterfly or moth. Similarly, a child's playroom functions as a sort of social chrysalis. This is a space where we can mimic learned behavior through interactions with our peers or inanimate objects. This exhibition seeks to reconcile patterns in social behavior subconsciously adopted from our childhood role models. The objective of the performative aspect to this exhibition is to find strength, courage and identity in acknowledging these constructive or destructive behaviors within ourselves as we grow into adulthood.



Gallery Hours:

Tuesday - Saturday: Noon-5pm

Thursdays: 5-9 by appointment only

As always, there is no cost to come in and see our exhibits, unless there is an event taking place!

Living Arts of Tulsa 307 E. M.B. Brady St. Tulsa, OK 74120