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Anything Can Happen Where the Sidewalk Ends


Shea Stanfield
Arts Columnist

“Anything can happen child, anything can be. All the colors I am inside have not been invented yet for you to see.” The poetry of Shel Silverstein beckons forth the optimistic, free creative spirit and imagination in Arizona’s newest generation of artistic talent. A recent graduate of Northern Arizona University, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in ceramics, Erin Gooch summons forth unimagined colors, whimsical lines, and dancing shapes in her one of a kind, functional, ceramic creations.

Growing up in Orange County, California provided a fresh and expansive look into the world of quality design and utilitarian creativity. Erin’s mother, an artist and graphic designer, encouraged her young daughter to imagine, create, and explore the world in a variety of media, but it was the clay that would become young Erin’s muse. As Erin describes the transition, “I went from play-dough to porcelain.” ¬†Currently, she is completing a 1-year post-baccalaureate program at Northern Arizona University, while also applying her secondary degree in Art Education as a teaching assistant in the Flagstaff Unified School system.

Characteristic of this young, vibrant, and talented ceramicist, Erin is accepting an opportunity to attend Indiana University’s graduate school for her Master of Fine Arts in ceramics, which she will begin in the fall of 2016. In the meantime, her creativity has not taken a backseat. NAU’s ceramic facilities offer Erin ample space to continue her exploration in ceramics and production.¬† She chooses to make functional pieces so they can occupy a useful place in any home and add a touch of fun, color, and conversation to the mix. For Erin, nothing is more exciting than seeing her pieces in use, brightening someone’s morning with a colorful mug or decorative platter for that beloved coffee cake. Erin shares, “I am constantly striving to create increasingly functional pieces, evolving my design, and adapting to a variety of uses, designs, patterns and colors.

Currently, Erin exhibits her work in Flagstaff and the Coconino county area; a favorite is the Coconino Center for the Arts in Flagstaff. She has had successful exhibits in galleries such as Flagstaff Modern and Contemporary Gallery and Beasley Gallery on the NAU campus. Erin aspires to a teaching position, in ceramics, at the university level. Erin’s goal is to continue to grow her craft and technique, while exhibiting and teaching others to express their passions through the endless opportunities the medium of clay offers.

Shel Silverstein reminds us, “There is a place where the sidewalk ends and before the street begins.” Bridge this possibility gap, in your journey, with an original functional ceramic piece for your home. View Erin Gooch’s astonishing variety of functional ceramic designs on her Web site: She can be contacted on the site for the purchase of a piece or to request a commissioned creation for someone you would love to thrill. Erin will be showing her functional ceramic pieces at the Local Color exhibition at Coconino Center for the Arts, April 19 through May 28, 2016.¬† You are invited to attend the public opening on April 16 from 6-8 p.m. For more details, go to

Contact arts columnist Shea Stanfield at