Erin White (B.A. ’13) has carried her passion for art and film since high school. She knew that with her media studies major, focused in film production, her journey would not be an easy one, especially since the conclusion of the film incentive program in Michigan. She had an urge to keep her creative side active and loved to have side projects to work on to keep herself going. This quickly led to her participation in ArtPrize, which she only attempted to find out if she could make it in.

“It’s just a way to—even though I am not doing film—keep the creative juices flowing so I don’t become stagnant,” Erin said.

She had started working in auto insurance as a customer service representative because it was conveniently close to home after college. She is currently a non-injury auto claims adjustor. She has grown to enjoy it quite a lot, stating that the skills she learned at Cornerstone University “have helped me learn how to delegate and how to talk to lots of different people, even people who don’t agree with you.”

Erin was inspired to participate in ArtPrize after finding a piece of art that was submitted to the competition by a CU alum. ArtPrize, a huge city-wide art competition, takes place in Grand Rapids, Mich. Visitors can meet the artists, talk about the meaning behind pieces and vote on their favorite entries to show their support.

Erin knew from her time as a student at Cornerstone that she had a unique way of telling stories through her chosen art form. She decided to implement that creativity and flexibility with the common understanding of story format into a new creative venture for her: painting.

“I never like to be cookie-cutter with storytelling,” Erin commented. “I didn’t like linear storytelling. I liked to kind of make it … unusual.”

In her paintings, she implemented many bold and fun techniques of painting and “Chaos in Balance,” her entry in this year’s ArtPrize, is no exception. For her latest piece, she decided to use spray paint with several stencils on canvas. When asked about the meaning behind the painting, Erin responded, “The main focus of this painting is related to how I was diagnosed with ADHD back in 2016. It’s about the interworking of the mind, the chaos and the balance and how you have to meet the two together.”

It’s clear to see that art has always been a driving force in Erin’s life, both personally and professionally. Through her continued commitment to sharing her passion with the world, she has been able to create several beautiful paintings that have been displayed throughout Grand Rapids. This quote from Erin best sums up what art means to her.

“I don’t make art to make money off of it,” Erin stated. “I just make it because I enjoy doing it. It keeps my mind centered and keeps it from wandering.”