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Erica Bradshaw
Excellence Award Winner
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Illustration teaches a universal language that empowers visual thinkers to bridge cultural, social, and generational gaps.

Growing up on 17 acres of field land, I am drawn to the variety of texture and pattern found in our natural environment. In nature there is connection and growth everywhere -characteristics I strive to embody as a person, and artist. Working with mixed media is an immersive experience that allows me to experiment with different materials and create an interaction between them in a way that feels “meant to be.”


A goal of mine is to embrace the process behind techniques and absorb what makes them successful. This approach creates a large variety within my work that allows me to look at new projects from all angles. A message that remains present throughout my work is wonder and introspection. I enjoy making pieces that can create thought-provoking questions within the viewer. Thoughts of the possibility of bettering themselves, the world around them, or as simple as embracing their curiosity. No matter our age we have the capability to grow from our experiences and interactions. I hope that viewing my work helps people better understand the environment around us.

What is your most memorable

experience at KCAD?

My most memorable experience at KCAD has to be meeting World-Renowned Children's Book Illustrator David Wiesner. In fall 2019, The GRAM hosted an exhibition "The Art of Wordless Storytelling" featuring his collective works. This was followed by an informational talk, and demonstration of his process. Being personally invited to this event by the head of the Illustration department was an honor I won't soon forget. I spoke one on one with David after the event where he signed books of his I purchased and I gifted him a copy of my children's book, the first of many I hope to create in my lifetime. After the event, I was tasked with helping curate a collection of student works inspired by David Wiesner- which was displayed at the GRAM.

What are your most

notable accomplishments?


  • Mermaid Bar and Grill Saugatuck- Mural Painting

  • Lions and Rabbits Storm Drain Project- Mural Painting 

  • Live Chalk Artist at "Chalk it Up” Grand Rapids

  • Windows GR Project- Mural Painting

  • Apprenticeship- Alexa Karabin

  • John Ball Zoo- Exhibit Mural Painter

  • KVCC Virtual Alumni Solo Show- Facebook & Instagram Show

  • Joint Exhibition Kalamazoo Nature Center with Artists Beth Purdy and Molly Burgess

  • West Michigan Area Show - Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Juried Exhibition Entry


  • GRAM Student works inspired by David Wiesner- Grand Rapids

  • Joint Tarot Card Show Dog Story Theater- Grand Rapids

  • Co-Curator for KCAD Student Show- GRAM David Wiesner Inspired Show

  • Tempo Vino Winery Featured Art Hop Artist—The Greater Arts Council of Kalamazoo

  • Great Grounds Cafe Featured Art Hop Artist—The Greater Arts Council of Kalamazoo

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