Elizabeth Gahan Wanderlust 4 (Ballard Locks) Acrylic on Canvas Board $800

Elizabeth Gahan Wanderlust 4 (Ballard Locks) Acrylic on Canvas Board $800

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Elizabeth R. Gahan grew up in San Diego, CA.  She received a dual undergraduate degree in Global Studies and Fine Art from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Masters in Fine Art from Claremont Graduate University with an emphasis in painting. Gahan then attended the Banff Centre, Canada to pursued installation art. Gahan has received numerous fellowships, grants, and public commissions including Artist Trust GAP Grant, City of Seattle 1% for Arts, and the Washington State Art Colleciton. Gahan was selected for the Americans for the Arts 2014 Public Art Network Year in Review. Currently Gahan's practice combines 2D studio art and 3D installation art. Gahan is based in Seattle and works from a space at Equinox Studios.



Elizabeth R Gahan

Artist Statement:


I use architectural imagery and mixed media to portray how humans build their physical and cultural surroundings. The built environment impacts our experience of everyday life, both influencing local communities and economies, while more than ever before pointing to broader global trends. I draw imagery from personal experience and travel. Each painting is an architectural vignette exploring relationships between natural and built environments, architecture and advertising, urban development and existing structures, public space and private experience, as well as organic and hard-edge forms. I utilize current materials and digital design programs combined with painterly techniques.  The imagery is embellished with a combination of saturated colors, delicate line-work, ephemeral transparencies, and robust gel applications to represent a contemporary view of the world we live in today. My work strives to balance beauty and inspiration with a critical consideration of our growing urban environments.

In each painting, the sense of movement, instability and growth is alluring and unnerving. Watery backgrounds are beautifully surreal, yet unnatural. The bubble-like forms, gaseous and un-tethered, are an eerie reminder of the constantly changing state of our atmosphere and surroundings. Buildings are painted with translucent walls while foliage sprawls in thickly protruding paint suggesting the delicateness of the built environment amidst an aggressive landscape. Saturated palates used throughout depict natural and artificial environments as extensions of one another. Shiny acrylic foliage is tempting like the glossy finish of a sports car or high-fashion photo. The paintings' plastic textures question the environmental and cultural impact of human production while simultaneously allowing the joy and beauty of exuberant color and graphic pattern to remain.  My artwork represents the intersection of constructed and natural beauty in which both pleasure and conflict are present.


2008    Masters of Fine Art, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA

2005    Filologia y Bellas Artes, Universitat de Barcelona, España

2004    B.A. Art Studio & Global Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara, CA


Continuing Education

2015    Adv. Ceramic Techniques and Surface Treatment, Seward Park Clay Studio, Seattle, WA

2013    Ceramic Techniques in Large Scale Hand Building, Seward Park Clay Studio, Seattle, WA

2010    Flash CS4 for Designers, Creativetechs course with EriK Fadiman, Seattle, WA

2009    Dreamweaver CS4, Creativetechs course with Erik Fadiman, Seattle, WA

Digital Photography, Creativetechs course with John Greengo, Seattle, WA

2007    Preparing Future Faculty, Course in Higher Education with Laurie Richlin, PhD, Claremont, CA 

2005    Graphic Media and Marketing, UCSD Extensions Digital Arts Center, San Diego, CA


Artist Residency

2014    Guest Artist and Residency, Northwestern Oklahoma State University, OK

2008    Self-directed Artist Residency, Banff Centre, AB Canada


Public Art Installation Projects

TBD    Geode, Washington Elementary School, Washington State Arts Commission, Wenatchee, WA 

            Rock Stack, Lake City 33rd Ave. NE park, Seattle, WA   

2017    Silver Compass, Safeco Field, Seattle, WA

            Urban Garden, Art On Main, Main St & Division St, Auburn, WA

            Synthetic Blossoms, "Heaven & Earth: Cultivated," Carkeek Park, Seattle, WA

            Cosmic Interference, Chromatopia: Collaboration Elizabeth Gahan & Liz Tran, Dottie-Harper Park,   Burien Arts-A-Glow Festival, WA

            Pop Shapes, Bellevue Square Mall, Bellevue, WA

2016    Street Lanterns, City of Spokane, WA

            Bioluminescent, Chromatopia: Collaboration Elizabeth Gahan & Liz Tran, SAM Lights festival,            

               Seattle Art Museum Sculpture Park, WA

            Bombogenesis, Chromatopia: Collaboration Elizabeth Gahan & Liz Tran, Shoreline Community         

               College, WA

            Vertical Garden, Seattle Center Poetry Garden, Seattle, WA

            Cohesive Fragments, Tacoma, Woolworth Window #4&5, downtown Tacoma, WA

            Checked, "TACOMA FOOD FOREST: Art, Edibles + Sustainable Culture," curator by Lisa Kinoshita,

               Swan Creek Park, Tacoma, WA

            Home Grown, Burien Community Center Atrium, Burien, WA

            Bioluminescent Pods, "EVOLUTION: Art, Science & Adaptation," curator by Lisa Kinoshita,              

               Seymour Conservatory, Tacoma, WA

2015    Abundance, Tacoma Arts Month Exhibition, Tacoma Armory, WA

            Phosphorescence Canopy, Burien Arts-A-Glow, Dottie Harper Park, Burien, WA

            Urban Trail, Bellevue Art Museum Fair, Bellevue, WA

            Passage, Pedestrian Corridor, Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA

            Dreamscape, King County Public Health Clinic Window, Kent, WA

2014/15 Fracturing Crystals, Window Space, Renton, WA

            Kingfisher Landing, Winterfest, on Fisher Pavilion, Seattle Center, WA

            Urban Snowflakes, One Main (& N Division St), Auburn Streetscapes, Auburn, WA   

2014    Chromatic Encounters, NEPO 5k Don’t Run, Daejeon Park, Seattle, WA

Bellwether Connect Bellevue 2014, Bellevue City Hall, Bellevue Galleria and Bellevue Way NE, WA

            Color Utopia, Window Installation at Finerie CoLAB, Seattle WA

Catching the Holy Spirit, First Presbyterian Church, Alva, OK

Graphic Plume, Storefronts, Seattle, WA

2013    Color Wave, Spaceworks Tacoma, Woolworth Window #2, downtown Tacoma, WA

Chromatic Crystallization (Seattle), Westlake Park, Seattle, WA

Tree Pods, “Acclimatized 5: Heaven and Earth,” COCA at Carkeek Park, Seattle, WA

Climbing Crystals, Art Interruptions in Beacon Hill, Maplewood Playfield, Seattle, WA

2012    Honeycomb, South Park Community Center, Main Entrance, Seattle, WA

            Metamorphosis, University of Washington 150th Celebration, Art & Music Pavilion, Seattle, WA

2011    Seattle Storefronts Installation, Seattle, WA


Solo Exhibitions

2016    BOOM: From Wonder to Whiplash, Zinc Art + Object, Edmunds, WA

            Magic Portal, Chromatopia: Collaboration Elizabeth Gahan & Liz Tran, PUNCH Gallery, Seattle, WA

2015    Ebe & Flow, Firehouse Gallery, Rogue Community College, Granys Pass, OR

2014/15 The Urban Garden, Gallery 2312, Seattle, WA

            Alva Architectural Narratives, Historic Runnymede Hotel, Alva, OK

2013    Urban Ecosystems, Adobe Waterfront Art Gallery, Seattle, WA

2009    Material Concerns, JK Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2008    Shifting Solid Ground, East Gallery, Claremont, CA 

2005    Exchanging Perspectives, Departamento Bellas Artes, Universidad de Barcelona, Spain 

2004    The Global City, Gallery 1434, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA


Selected Group Exhibitions

2018    Elizabeth Gahan, Linda Hodges Gallery, Seattle, WA

2017    Winter Group Show, Phylogeny Contemporary, Seattle, WA

            Structural Configurations, Seattle Art Museum Gallery, Seattle, WA

            Northwest Nature, Seattle Art Museum Gallery, Seattle, WA

            The Cityscape Show VII, George Billis Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2016    Chromatic Crystallization (Burien) & Synthetic Growth II, "Colorfast: Vivid Installations Make Their

               Mark," curator Amy Chaloupka,Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, WA

            Group Show at Aqua Art Fair with Phylogeny Contemporary, Miami, FL

            The Cityscape Show VI, George Billis Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

            Power Clash, Artifact Gallery, Seattle, WA

            Knock Out: 10 Year Anniversary Exhibition, Chromatopia: Collaboration Elizabeth Gahan & Liz Tran,             PUNCH Gallery, Seattle, WA

2015    Neighborhoods, Seattle Art Museum Gallery, Seattle, WA

               PUNCH Gallery at the Seattle Art Fair, Seattle, WA

            Westward Bound, PUNCH Gallery at Clymer Museum & Gallery, Ellensburg, WA

2015    Equinox Group Show, Counterbalance Brewing Company, Seattle, WA

            Seattle Art Museum Gallery Artists, SAM, Seattle, WA

2014    New Members, PUNCH Gallery, Liz Tran & Elizabeth Gahan Collaboration, Seattle, WA

            A Selection of New Paintings, Finerie CoLAB, Seattle, WA

Contemporary Views, Graceful Arts, Alva, OK

2013    World/City, SAF Annual Model Exhibit, 1201 2nd Avenue at Seneca St., Seattle, WA

Human Nature, Gallery [context], Seattle Design Center, Seattle, WA

2012    Oasis, 3rd Annual Shangrila Art Show, Joshua Tree, CA

2011    Synthetic, Winston Wachter Fine Art, Seattle, WA 

2008    Mindful Navigation of Synthetic Spaces, Other Gallery, The Banff Centre, AB Canada

            Envisioning A Future, South Seattle Community College Art Gallery, Seattle, WA

            Some Young Los Angeles Artists, Cardwell Jimmerson Contemporary Art, Culver City, CA

            eyeCAndy,  Peggy Phelps Gallery, Claremont, CA   

2008    Political Disco, Santee Plaza, Downtown Los Angeles, CA

2007    Exceedingly Way Too Overhung, Concrete Walls, Los Angeles, CA

            Exhibitionists, East & Phelps Gallery, Claremont, CA

            The Media, City of Brea Gallery, Brea, CA

2006    BUZZ, East & Peggy Phelps Gallery, Claremont, CA

            Peace & Anti-War Exhibition, San Diego Artist Guild, San Diego, CA

            San Diego Regional Artist’s Show, SDAI: Museum of the Living Artist, San Diego, CA

            “One Foot Show,” SDAI: Museum of the Living Artist, San Diego, CA

2005    Southern California Regional Exhibition, SDAI: Museum of the Living Artist, San Diego, CA A


Grants, Fellowships & Awards

2017    City of Seattle 1% for Arts Fund

2016    Washington State Arts Commission

2014    Americans for the Arts' 2014 Year in Review Excellence in Public Art

2013    GAP Grant, Artist Trust, Seattle

2013    City of Seattle 1% for Arts Fund

2013    City Public Arts Grant, City of Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs

2012    City Artist Projects Grant, City of Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs

2012    Art Grant, University of Washington, Husky Fest, 150th Anniversary

2011    Storefronts Seattle Grant

2008    Helen B. Dooley Art Fellowship

2007    Macuire Teaching Assistant Fellowship

2007    Museum and Cultural Management Academic Fellowship

2006    Claremont Graduate University Faculty Selected Art Fellowship

2005    Jeanie Anderson Memorial Fund Grant

2004    Art Department Faculty Award of Distinction, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA

2001    William Dole Memorial Award



Hughes Community Center, City of Claremont, CA 

Washington State Art Collection, WA

City of Seattle, WA



"Artist Elizabeth Gahan Selected to Create Public Artwork for New Lake City Park," Erika Lindsay, Art Beat Blog, Office of Arts & Culture, January 9, 2017

"Site-Specific Art Installations Bring Splashes of Color to the Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher Building," Whatcom Talk, June 2016

"Colorfast, Big, Bold and Gasp-worthy," Amy Keepferle, Cascadia Weekly, June 29, 2016

"Pumpkins as Art," Kennedy Wirth, Seattle Times, Oct. 26, 2016

"CHROMATOPIA Art and Cocktails at Punch Gallery," Sarah Cardoza, Vanguard Seattle, Feb, 26, 2016

"New Installation in Tacoma's Seymour Conservatory Puts an Art Spin on Science," Rosemary Ponnekanti, The News Tribune, Jan, 28, 2016

"Transforming Advertising Pulp into Public Art," Lisa Kinoshita, Spaceworks Tacoma Blog, Dec, 12, 2015

"Bright Lights, Big City: Three Painters Chase the Glow," Sarra Scherb, Stackedd Magazine, Sept, 16, 2015

 “A brief guide to Bellwether 2014,” Daniel Nash, The Scene, July 2014, pg. 4

“Bellwether 2014: Connect opens Friday; evening celebration to be held at City Hall,” Daniel Nash, Bellevue Reporter, June 24, 2014, http://www.bellevuereporter.com/community/264484761.html

"Kaleidescope Chic," Leslie Schor, Babiekins, Nov, 19, 2014, babiekinsmag.com/fashionkinskaleidoscope-chic/

“Carkeek Park, where heaven meets earth for the fifth time,” Elizabeth Wang, Ballard News Tribune, July 18, 2013

“CoCA’s ‘Acclimatized: Heaven and Earth 5’ at Carkeek Park,” Miguel Edwards, City Arts, Aug. 2, 2013

“Spaceworks Announces Round 10 Artscapes Installations,” Spaceworks Tacoma Blog, Sept, 2013

“State of the art: 10 great pieces of public art in Seattle,” Michael Upchurch, The Seattle Times, Sept. 26, 2013

“HuskyFest at UW,” Bettina Hansen, The Seattle Times, Online Media Center, Saturday, April 21, 2012


“Man-made,” Where Magazine, July 2011, p.44

“Seattle Storefronts is Expanding,” Cory Budden, Seattlest, Arts & Events, July 27, 2011 


“Vacant Seattle Storefronts Get New Life From Art Program,” King 5 News, Spring 2011


“Grad Student’s Paintings Now Hang in City Hall,” Will Bigham, Staff Writer, Inland Valley Daily 

Bulletin, Ontario, CA. Aug. 23, 2007

“Art Notes from the Road,” Richard Chang, Register Columnist, The Orange County Register, Orange 

County, CA. June 23, 2007

“Mediated Media,” Jaimee Lynn Fletcher, Star-Progress, City of Brea, CA. June 2, 2007

“Best of College Photography Annual 2007,” Photographer’s Forum Magazine, Serin Communications 

Inc., Santa Barbara, CA. 2007


Live Interviews

"Elizabeth Gahan," Sessions of She with Missy Lacey, May 6, 2015

“Elizabeth Gahan Visiting Artist to NWOSU,” Alva Review-Courier, online access via You Tube, March 2013

“SDAI: Museum of Living Artist,” NBC Morning Shows 7/39, October 2005


Lectures & Workshops

2016      Office of Arts & Culture, Seattle, WA

                  Boot Camp, professional development program, talk on "Transitioning from temporary to         permanent art"

2015    Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA

            ArtVentures, temporary installation group project and "meet the artist"

2014    Seattle Art Museum Summer Programs, Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle, WA

            Temporary installation group project and "meet the artist"- open to the public

            Graceful Arts Center, Alva, OK

Saturday workshop (all ages) explore techniques combining drawing and acrylic painting

2013    Nathan Hale High School, Seattle, WA

In partnership with Erin Shafkind’s advanced painting class, three week workshop applying drawing and acrylic painting techniques to individual and group projects

Cleveland High School, Seattle, WA

In partnership with Art Corps, beginning level instruction, applying drawing and painting techniques to enhance project addressing race and social justice issues

Tacoma Arts Conference, University of Puget Sound, hosted by the Arts Leadership Lab Tacoma

Panelist on the transition from studio to public art

Gensler integrated architecture, design, planning and consulting firm

Presenting studio art and work in public spaces by Elizabeth Gahan

2012    Sprout 8, events cultivating creative good

            Presenting “Year of Forests”

            Youth Art Workshop South Park Community Center, Seattle, WA

            Funded by the City of Seattle, the workshop was presented during the Fiestas Patrias festival.  Youth created drawings inspired by the installation and the community, then added then to the art piece.

2007    Scripps College, Claremont, CA

Exhibition Design, Layout & Installation Workshop

            Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA

Interpreting Inside the White Cube by Brian O’Doherty

Scripps College, Claremont, CA

            Introduction to Photoshop Workshop

Preparing for Graduate School Applications, Resumes and CV’s


Past Professional Experience

2009-12 Gallery Registrar, Winston Wachter Fine Art, Seattle, WA

2006-08 Executive Assistant, Department of Art, Claremont Graduate University, CA

2006-08 Gallery Coordinator, East & Peggy Phelps Galleries, Claremont Graduate University, CA

2007-08 Education Coordinator, Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont, CA

2007-08 Teaching Assistant, Claremont Graduate University and Scripps College, Claremont, CA

2005-06 Public Relations & Marketing Coordinator, San Diego Art Institute, San Diego, CA

2004-05 Studio Assistant for Jane Callister, Santa Barbara, CA