Erika Marie York (b. 1990)
Born in Washington, D.C. to artist parents, Erika Marie York was in elementary school when she began to lose her vision to Stargardt disease. With her parents’ encouragement, she took art classes and workshops when she was growing up, which gave her confidence in her ability to make art in spite of a vision impairment.
York invested herself in becoming an artist after graduating from Smith College with a sociology degree in 2012. Her first shows have been exhibitions organized by Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind. In conjunction with an exhibition at the H-Space Gallery in D.C. (2017), she was featured in the Washington Post.
York feels that art has to do with sharing one’s perspective, which isn’t dependent on perfect vision. Largely shaped by her eye condition, her distinctive painting style—which includes large canvases, bold lines, bright colors, and figures often lacking facial features or wearing glasses—is inspired by what she sees.
The Vision & Art Project’s June 2020 interview with Erika can be found here: www.visionandartproject.org
For more information about Erika Marie York and her work:
The Washington Post
Erika’s York’s website: