Profile picture of Erica Meier

The vernacular of function and skill is a catalyst for my work. My admiration for tools, machines, and other functional objects prompted a necessary redefinition of the concept of “skill” and its diverse habitats. The Tool Series explores the definitions of skill and the ways it can be manifested through specific material. Using the simple vocabulary of a hammer- steel head and wooden handle- I am approaching various ways of exploring skill and its place in our society. In piece, “Community”, the social activity of skill being passed from one individual to another was at the forefront of my definition- referring subsequently to the relationship between parent and child, master and apprentice, and so on. While in more subverted ways, confronting the duality of ability and disability contributes to the broader concept of skill.

I have restricted all of the tools I create to a relationship with the hand, that of the potential user and that of the viewer, in doing so I can confine the definition of skill to the body. By controlling evidence of use, such as a worn handle or a hammer face with dents and dings, I find that the function of these objects becomes a strange thing cradled and lamented by my fascination with their dysfunction, and skill becomes a story about the human body.

Objects and skills come to define individuals as they acquire them. Working in the manufacturing industry has driven me to examine the skills and things that we value and collect and compare them to the mundane skills and objects we over look. My daily life is consumed with mechanisms, ornament, and empathy. The vernacular of function and adaptation is a catalyst for this work. The complexities of ability and disability along with my arsenal of trade and craft skills, and the nuances of material culture perpetuate my work.

In my most recent work I use simple mechanisms, such as a pulley and tensioner, to illustrate relationships within a society and how we disseminate knowledge or skill. The pieces celebrate the subtleties of a complex mechanism that is used in your average vehicle on the road and simplify it as a concise description of reliance and dependence inside a community.

Erica Meier is a Wisconsin based Artist living near Milwaukee Wisconsin. She received her Bachelors of Fine Art from the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater in 2009 and received her Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013. Meier is was the resident designer and Metalsmith at Waterford Precision Cycles from 2013-2016 developing and building internationally renowned bicycle frames for Richard Schwinn. She exhibits her work nationally and internationally and has taught at such universities as UW-Madison and UW-Parkside and is currently the sabbatical replacement for Teresa Faris in the Metals and Jewelry Area at UW-Whitewater.

Erica A. Meier


2013                Graduate School- Masters of Fine Arts- University of Wisconsin- Madison

                                   Magnum Cum Laude


2009                 Undergraduate School- Bachelors of Fine Arts- University of Wisconsin-

Whitewater, Cum Laude       


Teaching Experience                                                                                                                      

Fall 2016             Lecturer- Metals, University of Wisconsin- Whitewater, Whitewater, WI

-Courses: ART272 Introduction to Metals and Jewelry

ART 273, 373, 473 Metals and Jewelry

Independent Study

Undergraduate Research Co-Mentor- Ger Xiong

2013-14         Adjunct Associate Lecturer - University of Wisconsin- Parkside, Kenosha WI

-Courses: Fall 2013 ART 103-001 Intro to 3D Design

Spring 2014 ART 103-001 Intro to 3D Design

Fall 2014 ART 103-001 Intro to 3D Design

2012-13             Instructor of Record: 3D Design, UW-Madison, Madison WI

                                    Courses:   Fall 2012: 3D Design, Two sections

Spring 2013: 3D Design, Two sections


Professional Experience and Related Work Experience                                                

2012-Present   Re-Built Design and Fabrication Co. Co-Owner, Milwaukee and Hartland WI

2013-2016    Resident Artist. Jobs include: Metalsmith/Frame Builder/Designer,

                                    Machinist, Waterford Precision Cycles, Waterford WI

Owner: Richard Schwinn

2015-2016    Social Media Marketing, Waterford Precision Cycles, Waterford WI

2008- Present Visual Arts Classic Judge, State and Regional

2016               Technical Assistant, Teresa Faris- Zoom Symposium, Milwaukee WI

2016               SNAG Next up 20/20 Speaker. Society of North American Goldsmiths Conference,

                                    Ashville NC

2015-2016    Professional Consultant, Metals and Jewelry Studio- Teresa Faris

                                    University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, WI

2015               Visiting Artist/Instructor Waterford Union High School, Waterford, WI

                                    Technical Workshop: Metal Forming

2015               Visiting Artist Lecture, UW-Madison, Madison, WI

Technical Workshop: Steel and Stainless Steel Tubing and Bicycle Brazing

2014               Newaukee Artist Showcase. Copper Raising, Milwaukee, WI

                                    Technical Workshop: Copper Raising

2014               Visiting Artist Lecture and Panel discussion: Re-visit, UW-Whitewater, WI

2014                 American Anniversary Sculpture Commission Winner, Stanek Tool Co, New Berlin, WI

      2013               Emerging Artist Speaker –Society of North American Goldsmiths Conference,

                                       Toronto Canada

      2013               Visiting Artist-Lecture, UW-Whitewater, WI

Professional Experience and Related Work Experience, Cont.


2012                Artist Market Research Specialist, The Art Commission-

Owners Toni Sikes and Terry Maxwell

2012               Curator- Methodologies: An Exhibition of Process. 7th Floor Gallery,

Madison, WI

2011               Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Installation Assistant:

Lisa Gralnick-The Gold Standard

2010-12         Project Assistant; Lisa Gralnick, UW-Madison

2008-10        Brazer/Fabricator/Designer, Waterford Precision Cycles,

Waterford, WI. Owners: Marc Muller and Richard Schwinn

2009-2011     VSA Arts of WI, Volunteer Instructor, Madison, WI

2009                 Presenter, 23rd Annual National Undergraduate Research Conference, UW-La-Cross, WI

Silver Plating: An Alternative to Working with Solid Silver Sheet

2009               Visual Arts Classic Juror: Body Adornment, University of Wisconsin Whitewater

2009               Women of Metal exhibition, Research Assistant, UW-Whitewater, WI

2009               UW-Whitewater Recognition Committee member for the W.P- Roseman

Excellence in Teaching Award, Student Representative- UW-W

2008-2009   Women of Metal, Interview transcription (34 Interviews)

2008-2009     Studio Assistant/ in class aide for Center of Students with Disabilities-

       Anastasia Wilson, Whitewater, WI

2008                Visiting Lecturer, 20th Century Art History- Dr. Deborah Wilk-

World of the Arts- Dr. J. Micheal Allsen, UW-Whitewater, WI

2008              Juror: “Generation Next” Whitewater High School Juried Show, Whitewater, WI

2008              Visiting Artist and Workshop, “Dance of the Honey Bee:

Body Adornment with Steel Wire”, Whitewater High School, WI

2008              Presenter, 22nd National Conference of Undergraduate Research,

Salisbury University -Salisbury, Maryland

2008            Presenter, Undergraduate Research Day, UW-Whitewater, WI

Women of Metal

  • Women of Metal-Oral History project, interviewer (35 participants)
  • Arts Vs. Craft- Round 7 (Juried craft fair), Milwaukee, W

2006-09        Lab Technician, Metals Studio, UW-Whitewater, provide studio                                               maintenance and Student assistance during Lab hours

2006-10       University sponsored iron pours, UW-Whitewater, WI



2013-2016  Resident Artist, Waterford Precision Cycles, Waterford, WI

2014            Haystack Mountain School of Craft Artist Residency- Deer Isle, Maine


Grants, Awards, and Scholarships                                                                                           

2013       Tempkin Award for Outstanding MFA Exhibition

2012        Teaching Assistantship- Instructor of Record- 3D Design- UW-Madison, WI

2012        Society of North American Goldsmiths- Educational Endowment Scholarship

2011       Women Jewelry Association Marilyn DaSilva Scholarship

2011       Project Assistantship, Lisa Gralnick- UW-Madison, WI

Grants, Awards, and Scholarships, cont.


2010       Project Assistantship, Lisa Gralnick- UW-Madison, WI

2009       Outstanding Arts, Humanities, and Education Oral Presentation Award

2009       National Committee of Undergraduate Research Grant, UW-Whitewater, WI

Silver Plating: An Alternative to Working With Solid Silver Sheet

2009       Best in Show and Honorable Mention, Annual Student Juried Exhibition, Crossman Gallery, WI

2008       National Committee of Undergraduate Research Grant, Women of Metal,

Research and Exhibition

2008       Outstanding Arts, Humanities, and Education Oral Presentation Award

2008     Women of Metal Student researcher as funded by the Women Of Metal

National Endowment for the Arts grant

2008     University of Wisconsin Whitewater Art Department Scholarship



Technical Workshop Attended and Travel Grants                                                           

2016       Zoom Symposium, Milwaukee, WI - Grandchildren University Grant, UW-W

Teresa Faris- Piercing

Mya Leppo- Micro Welding Steel

2012       Doug Seilger and Terry Hunt Woodworking. Arrowmont School of Arts and Craft, TN

Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Windgate Scholarship

2011       Elliot Pujol, Metal Forming, Penland School of Craft, Penland, NC

Work Study Scholarship

2009       TIG welding, Matthew Fox, Jon Maass, Sean Ketterhagen, Waterford, WI

2008       Harlan Butt, Enameling: Image and Word. Penland School of Craft, Penland, NC

                       Work-Study Scholarship

2008       Blacksmithing, David Clemons, Visiting Artist, UW-Whitewater

2008       Steel Sheet forming, Silvie Rosenthal, Visiting Artist, UW-Whitewater, WI

2008       Chasing and Reppousse, Marcia Lewis, Visiting Artist, UW-Whitewater, WI

2008      Bench Tips and Processes, Eleanor Moty, Visiting Artist, UW-Whitewater, WI

2008       Enameling- Image and Work, Harlan Butt, Penland School of Craft, Penland, NC

2008       Jeffery Clancy, Ideation Workshop, Whitewater WI

2007       Mechanical workshop, Sayumi Yokouchi, Visiting artist, UW-Milwaukee, WI

2007       Holly Cohn, visiting artist, UW-Whitewater, WI

2007        Swiftcast® Foundry Products. Southern Conference on Cast Iron Art -Birmingham, AL

Workshop assistant, Travel Grant

2007    Bonded sand parted mold workshop- Katerina Sanerib,

Southern Conference of Cast Iron Art, Sloss Foundries, Birmingham, AL

2006       Pewter workshop, Fred Fenster, Visiting Artist, UW-Whitewater, WI



Selected Exhibitions                                                                                                                       

2016      Our Everyday Life, Cedarberg Art Museum, Cedarberg, WI

2016        Kyoob, Kipp Annex Gallery, Indiana University, PA

2016        Build, Ciel Gallery, Charlotte, NC

2016        River’s Edge Art Walk, Waterford, WI

2016        Beyond Function, Arts and Literature Laboratory, Madison, WI

Exhibition Record Continued


2016        Dependence, West End Gallery, Waterford, WI

2016        National Handmade Bike Show, Chicago, IL

2016        Contemporary Jewelry Exchange, International

2015        In Progress: Ten years of Exploration, Solo Exhibition, Waterford Union, Waterford WI

2015        Annual Art Walk, Milwaukee, WI

2015        Philadelphia Handmade Bike show, Philadelphia, PA

2015        Roost, Merton, WI

2015        Re-Visit, Whitewater, WI                                                                                                                         

2014        Newaukee, Milwaukee Artist of the Month, Milwaukee Market, WI

2014        NEWaukee, Milwaukee Artist of the Month, Hot Water Warehouse, Walkers Point, WI

2014       Device, Overture Center for the Arts, Madison WI

2014        International Handmade Bike Show, Philadelphia, PA

2014        26th Annual Women’s Works Exhibition, Northeast Area Arts Council, Old Court House

Art Center, Woodstock, IL

2014        LaGrange National XXIII, Lamar Dodd Art Center, LaGrange, GA

2014        2x2x2, Overland Gallery, Kingston, NC

2013      RockerBox MOTOfest, Fuel, Milwaukee WI

2013        The Right Tool Studio 84 Whitewater WI

2013        Hardware: The cripple and the King, Gasoline Studios Milwaukee, WI

2013        Hardware- Master of Fine Arts Exhibit- Lofts Gallery, Madison WI

2012        An Archival Impulse, Lofts Gallery, Madison,WI

2012        Tool At Hand II, FreshWater Hatcheries, Milwaukee WI

2012        Alloy, Commonwealth Gallery, Madison, WI

2012        III- A Review, Art Lofts, Madison, WI

2012        artWORK: an exhibit of our times, Crossman Gallery, Whitewater, WI

2012        Fusion: SNAG Student Slide Exhibition, Scotdsdale, AZ

2012        Object, UW-Milwaukee, Peck School of Art, Milwaukee, WI –First Place                                

2012        Methodologies: An Exhibition of Process, 7th Floor Gallery, UW-Madison

2011       Second Year Review Show, Art Lofts, Madison, WI

2011        Paramount: Heartland Velo Show, Alliant Energy Center, Madison,

2011      Review in Year Humanities 7th Floor gallery, Madison, WI

2010       New Car Smell, Art Lofts Gallery, Madison, WI

2010        Philadelphia Bike Exposition: Activists, Artisans, Alternative, PA

2010     Community Arts and Funk Festival, Peck Pavilion, Marcus Center for Performing

                         Arts, Milwaukee, WI

2010        Flow, Guildess: Women’s Art Collective, Milwaukee WI, Juror’s choice,

                         Juror: Naomi Shersty

2010     The Faux Show, Jazz Gallery, River West Artist Association, Milwaukee, WI                                      

2009       Pandora’s Box, The Target Gallery, Torpedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria , VA.

Juror: Landria Shack

2009     Art From the Heartland, Indianapolis Art Center, Indianapolis, IN

Juror Paul Klei

2009    Environment- Bachelors of Fine Arts Exhibit, Crossman Gallery, UW-Whitewater, WI

2009       Scholarship Show, Fiskum Gallery, Whitewater, WI

2009     Best of the Best Student Exhibition, Fiskum Gallery, Whitewater, WI


Exhibition Record Continued.


2009       Annual Student Juried Exhibition, UW-Whitewater, WI

                             Best in Show Juror: David Clemons

2009   Present/ Represent: Digital Student Juried Exhibition, Philadelphia,,

2009   National Undergraduate Research Exhibition, Center of the Arts Gallery

     University of Wisconsin- La-Cross, WI

2009     5th Annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show, Indianapolis, IN

  • Best of the Best Exhibition, Fiskum Gallery, Whitewater, W
  • Scholarship Show, Crossman Gallery, Whitewater, WI

2008     Annual Student Juried Exhibition, Crossman Gallery Whitewater,WI, 2nd Place

Juror- Dara Larson

2008     Surge: Student Juried Exhibition, Savannah, GA

2007     Student Sculpture Exhibit, Sugar Bay Coffee House, Whitewater, W

2007     The International Exhibition of Art Works by Professors and Students Of Graphic

                       Design Department, Exhibition in Print, Korea



Related Conference and Professional Development                                                      

2016- Zoom Symposium, UW-Milwaukee- Milwaukee WI

2016- Yuma Symposium, Yuma AZ

2006- Present Society of North American Goldsmiths Conferences

                               SNAG-Next May 18-21, 2016 - Asheville, NC- 20/20 Speaker

                               Meta Mosaics May 15-18, 2013 - Toronto, Canada- Speaker

                               Flux May 26-29, 2011 - Seattle, WA

                               Going to Extremes March 10-13, 2010 - Houston, TX

                               Revolution May 20-23, 2009 - Philadelphia, PA

                               Crosscurrents: Diverse Solutions in Global Environment

                                           March 5-8, 2008 - Savannah, GA

                               Directions Unknown: Looking Forward, Learning From History

                                           June 13-16, 2007 - Memphis, TN

                               Mind And Matter: From Thought to Object

                                           May 24-27, 2006 - Chicago, IL

2007   Southern Conference on Cast Iron Art, Birmingham, AL



2012-Present Rally America, Automotive Association

                      National Auto Sports Association

2010-2014     Mad Madison Metals, Students Metalsmithing Organization, UW –Madison

College Art Association

2011-2013    Wisculpture, Students Sculpture Organization, UW-Madison

                    Midwest Metalsmiths

Metal Arts Guild

2009- Present Ethical Metalsmiths

International Sculpture Center

2007-Present Student Research Association

2005-Present Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG)

2005-2009     Alloy, Student Metalsmithing Group, UW-Whitewater, Secretary

Where to Buy

Work is not available for sale through the SNAG website. Please contact the artist directly to inquire about making a purchase.