Erin Lee Gafill – Presenting Artist

Erin Lee Gafill is featured in the Observation | Interpretation Exhibition at the LyndonDesign Gallery for the Month of February. She will be the presenting artist at The Sea Ranch Lodge throughout the month of February.

Erin Lee Gafill

Born in Big Sur California in 1963, Erin is an award-winning writer, painter, and teacher with deep roots in the California arts community.

For almost 30 years, Erin has taught arts, crafts, and creative writing programs to children and adults up and down California’s central coast.  She co-founded the nonprofit arts education organization Big Sur Arts Initiative in 1998 to provide arts and cultural opportunities to local children and their families.

In 2001, Erin was honored to serve as the first American artist-in-residence of the Hamada International Children’s Art Museum, Hamada, Japan.  

In 2008, after almost a decade of nonprofit work, Erin and her husband Tom Birmingham opened their own art studio in Monterey’s historic Doud House, offering workshops, art exhibitions, and a space for local arts groups to meet.  In 2011 the Museum of Monterey presented a special exhibition, “Cultivating Creativity” featuring Erin’s Doud House paintings.

In 2009 Erin and Tom were honored by the Arts Council for Monterey County as “Champions of the Arts” for their service to the community.  In 2010 the couple launched a nationwide arts education tour visiting 17 cities over 9 weeks.  They staged art shows, art salons, interviewed arts professionals, held workshops, and taught free art programs to children and their families.

Most recently, Erin’s still life work was featured in the summer exhibition, Color Duets, a retrospective on thirteen annual painting retreats with her uncle, textile designer, Kaffe Fassett.

Erin credits her deep familial roots in the arts for her on-going work today.  Her maternal grandparents Lolly and Bill Fassett built Big Sur’s famed Nepenthe Restaurant, a mecca for artist, poets, writers, and bohemians since opening day in 1949.  Erin’s great-grandmother was Jane Gallatin Powers, a Modernist painter who had the first artist’s studio in Carmel in 1903.

Erin is on the creative arts faculty for Esalen Institute, Big Sur, California, and teaches her “Passion of Painting” and “Art of Now” workshops  throughout the United States, Italy, and online.  She is the author of the inspirational memoir “Drinking From a Cold Spring, a Little Book of Hope”. 

Erin Lee Gafill is the lead artist at The Sea Ranch Lodge during February, 2022 for their Month of Inspiration. Work from this month-long painting retreat will be featured in June in a solo exhibition at the Morris-Graves Museum of Art in Erureka.

Erin Lee Gafill - Drinking from a Cold Spring
Erin Lee Gafill – Drinking from a Cold Spring