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2021 Exhibition: Purpose & Words

October 1 - 3, 2021
Boulder Creative Collective
2208 Pearl Street - Boulder, CO 80302

20-Second Tour

 

For my friends who want to check out the tour, but don't have much time - here's a twenty-second tour! 

Artist Statement

 

For a living I help to excavate someone's "why" so we can align it with their words. We do this using a method I developed called "The Dig."

 

The people I work with are leaders with something to say. They need to speak their truth in a short amount of time. I use sticky notes to obsessively document the brilliance of these individuals. 

 

After working with 1,000+ clients over the past decade, I've saved every single sticky note from every single session. Several years ago, I had an idea to use these sticky notes for something that can tell a bigger story, in a different way. I wanted to turn it into bold, honest, visual art. The kind of art that pulls people in, and gives them an experience. 

I believe we all have a purpose, and it isn't complicated - in fact, I believe our purpose can be summarized in just one word. We don't need to create our purpose - instead, it is revealed by repeating themes in our life story. So during The Dig Experience, we take a journey back in time and excavate it!  ​

This art show was intended to be experiential. When you walk into the gallery, you around and notice a bunch of big words on walls, outlined in black paint. But as you get closer to each piece, you see the person's individual story within the word. You see a human life unfolding before your eyes. Hopefully you feel this person's word is also relevant to you, and your life, somehow.

To do my job well, I've learned the importance of being a good listener. I've learned the value in everyone's life story, no matter how complicated or "messy" it seems. I've learned that I need to leave behind my own world and my own perceptions of what's true, in order to fully see someone, and to immerse myself in THEIR world. 

 

I hope this art show will make people start feeling more curious about one another, and bring about more compassion and understanding for our respective life paths. I hope we start to embrace both the light and dark aspects of ourselves and each other, and choose to keep growing. 

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HELP

HELP was my first piece, inspired by Austin Eubanks. He was a survivor of the Columbine High School tragedy. He was shot twice and his best friend died next to him. This trauma led to many years of addiction and turmoil. Later he got sober and helped millions of people with his message around the impact of emotional pain. 

Austin taught me (along with millions of others in his audiences) how to help people struggling with addiction. In my case, this person was my brother. After Austin died, I took all the sticky notes from the work he and I did for his TEDx talk. To this day it's one of the most powerful talks I've had the honor to work on. Watch Austin's TEDxMile High talk here (15 minutes long).

Materials: mixed media, acrylic
Size: 20 W x 16 L
Price: not for sale
This piece will be donated to Austin's family

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HOPE

HOPE was inspired by my brother, Brian Weed, who died on July 18, 2020 from complications of alcoholism and mental illness at the age of 45. The background are pages from The Boy Scout Handbook, because Brian was an accomplished Eagle Scout as a teen. Written on the sticky notes are the words from his obituary. The bright color palette was inspired by his love of Mountain Dew and wearing neon yellow shirts. Read Brian's "honest obituary" here.

Materials: mixed media, acrylic
Size: 24 W x 24 L
Price: not for sale
This piece will be donated to Brian's parents

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PERMISSION

PERMISSION was inspired by E. Napoletano, my first-ever client in 2012. E. has challenged millions to express their most authentic self without apology. The background is pages of E's book, The Power of Unpopular and the sticky notes have the script of her moving TEDxBoulder talk, written on them. The rainbow colors represent E's non-binary bi-sexual identity and inclusivity for LGBTQ+ people everywhere. Watch E's TEDx talk here (16 minutes long).

Materials: mixed media, acrylic
Size: 36 W x 48 L

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IMAGINE

IMAGINE was inspired by the founder of the Guided Meditation Institute, James Ripley. The background is sheet music from the song Pure Imagination from the soundtrack of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Written on the sticky notes is the script of a guided meditation James led at Evoso Live. Watch James lead this meditation here (7 minutes)

Materials: mixed media, acrylic, spray paint

Size: 48 W x 36 L

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BEYOND

BEYOND was inspired by former Denver Bronco and Super Bowl 50 Champion, Ryan Harris. The background are pages from his book, Mindset for Mastery, and also some newspaper clippings documenting his Super Bowl win. Written on the sticky notes is the script of his speech from Evoso Live. Watch Ryan's Evoso Live talk here. (11 minutes long - strong language warning for this speech)

Materials: mixed media, acrylic, spray paint

Size: 48 W x 36 L

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WE

WE was inspired by 67 of my clients. When people complete The Dig, they write their one Dig Word on a sticky note. This work includes 67 people's Dig Words on sticky notes (handwritten by each of them), spelling out the word WE. Individually, we're all unique and amazing. But collectively, anything is possible!

Materials: mixed media, acrylic
Size: 48 W x 36 L

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JUSTICE 

JUSTICE was inspired by the late Ruth Bader Ginsberg (1933-2020). The background of this work is the Ledbetter vs Goodyear Tire dissent written by Justice Ginsberg, to prevent pay discrimination against women. She was an advocate for bi-partisan co-operation and working together to solve big problems to make people's lives better. The sticky notes represent remarks from several speeches found on YouTube, all of which had a very consistent message.

Materials: mixed media, acrylic
Size: 48 W x 36 L

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Artist Bio


Erin Weed is a word artist, with over 20 years experience as a public speaker, activist, message strategist and author.

 

She holds a degree in Speech Communications and Public Relations from Eastern Illinois University. She studied painting at Paris College of Art, and studied Business Communication at Harvard University.

 

Erin is available for commissions - contact us for more info.

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WORTH

WORTH is inspired by social justice author and activist, Rosalind Wiseman. She wrote the book Queen Bees and Wannabes, which inspired the film and Broadway play, Mean Girls. The background consists of pages from Rosalind's book. Written on the sticky notes are words from her speech about the importance of giving dignity to all people. Watch an animated video of Rosalind's message here. (2 minutes long)

Materials: mixed media, acrylic
Size: 48 W x 36 L