Erik Rostad | Fine Artist

Images of Erik Rostad's workA native of Seattle, Erik has always been surrounded and enthralled by the arts. However, growing up he imagined that his career path would lead towards medicine and follow in the footsteps of his family. It wasn’t until his junior year of high school that he decided to pursue a different path, thanks to encouragement from his art teachers. He enrolled at Cornish College of the Arts intent on enriching his undergraduate studies and pursuing a career as a professional artist. He is well on his way.

A 2011 graduate of the Art Department, Erik’s path at Cornish was unique. “I think most art students come in with a pre-conceived notion of what art is supposed to be. At first, I wasn’t always sure what my work meant to me much less anyone else, but I did understand the significance that creativity held in all walks of life. I felt that was the best place for me to begin building something.”After his sophomore year, Erik decided to take a couple of years off. His first two years at Cornish had provided him the necessary tools to sharpen his talent, but he wasn’t sure what more he wanted to accomplish. The next two years he worked as adeckhand and carpenter on several yachts that traveled to Alaska and Mexico.

He said, “…along the way I found new ways of interpreting my visual language while embracing a fresh, mindful perspective. It was time for me to listen to my inner dialogue and find new ways of applying it to my creative process.”

This time away from Cornish provided him with the opportunity to cultivate new inspiration for his final two years in the Art Department. At the opening of the 2011 BFA Art+Design Show last May, Erik’s paintings sold out and many of his drawings were also snatched up. His work attracted the notice of John Braseth, Director of Woodside / Braseth Gallery, est. 1961. “As a longtime gallery owner and director, I view hundreds of visual art portfolios, online presentations and art exhibitions a year. I attended the Cornish BFA exhibition early this summer, which is always a “not to miss” art event. I’m always impressed with the quality of the art and artists that have come out of Cornish. We’ve enjoyed successfully exhibiting a number of legendary Cornish teachers: Mark Tobey, William Cumming and Charles Stokes.

“Woodside/Braseth will be making a bold statement for the future by exhibiting new mixed media paintings this fall by 2011 graduate Erik Rostad. They are hauntingly beautiful and contemplative new paintings.” Erik is really excited to be working with John Braseth—with good reason, since he is the first Cornish graduate to snag an exhibition in the prestigious gallery directly after graduation. As he continues on his path as a professional artist, Erik keeps in mind one of Professor Preston Wadley’s many admonitions: “If you’re not waking up in the morning with a burning desire to create, this isn’t the path for you.”

by Chris Stollery