Erik Parra

Erik Richard Parra was born and raised in the border metroplex of El Paso-Juárez. He received a Bachelors of Fine Art degree in painting from The University of Texas at Austin and completed a Masters of Fine Art while on fellowship at the University of Wisconsin—Madison.

Currently based in San Francisco, California Erik has exhibited internationally in alternative spaces, commercial galleries and museums in Berlin, Brazil, Los Angeles, London and New York. In the Bay Area Erik’s work has been exhibited at Blankspace Gallery, Johansson Projects, The Headlands Center for the Arts, Root Division, Southern Exposure, Kala Art Institute and the Berkeley Art Center.  Erik’s work has been included in publications including New American Paintings, the SF Bay Gaurdian and the LA Times. Additionally Erik teaches art and has lectured at universities, given artist talks, garnered residencies and awards. Most recently he was awarded an inaugural Liquitex Research Residency.

Curriculum Vitae

Erik Parra



Born 1975, El Paso, TX.

Works/Lives San Francisco, CA.



Master of Fine Arts    2004 Studio Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Bachelor of Fine Arts 1999 Studio Art, University of Texas at Austin.


Selected Exhibitions


2016 In The Same River Twice, State Space, San Francisco, CA.

2015 Each Devil His Own, Transmission Gallery, Oakland, CA.

         @HOME, Project Grant Artist Residency, Buffalo, NY.

2013 Capturing the Void, Nisus Gallery, Portland OR.

         This: A Contemporary Situation, Sheppard Contemporary and University Galleries

University of Nevada Reno, Reno, NV.

2012 West Facing– Truesilver Gallery, San Francisco, CA.

         Roam Home- (Installation) WE Artspace, Oakland, CA.

2011 Expectator- WE Artspace, Oakland, CA.

2010 Between Currencies- Johansson Projects, Oakland, CA.

2009 Marvels of Construction- Online Exhibit at Beefmaster Gallery and Project Space                 

2004 This Paradise Spell- MFA Thesis exhibit Seventh Floor Gallery, Madison, WI.



2016 How to Build A Foghorn, Samuel Freeman Gallery, LA, CA.

         Perpetual Sunset, 2731 Prospect Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH.

2015 Botanica: All Things Plant Life, Bedford Gallery at the Lesher Center For the

Arts, Walnut Creek, CA.

2014 Make Space, Berkley Art Center, Berkley, CA.

         MAS ATTACK 6, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA.

Point of Consequence, Installation commissioned in conjunction with the San

Francisco Art Institute graduate thesis exhibition.The Old Mint, San

Francisco, CA.

         Artists Across America, Flower Pepper Gallery, Pasadena, CA.

Transition Point, Purple Pop Up Gallery, El Paso, Texas.

2013 This Will Never Work, Southern Exposure, San Francisco, CA.

         Ransom, Brooklyn Wayfarers, Brooklyn, NY.

         Paperworks, BJ Spoke Gallery, Huntington NY.

         Summer Group Exhibition,  Fouladi Projects, San Francisco, CA.

         A 2ND Show, Purple Pop-Up Gallery, El Paso, TX.

2012 The End, Big Medium Gallery, Austin, TX. Curated by Cantanker Magazine.

         Method of Exchange, Points North Contemporary Art Space, Farmington, ME.

         Introducing our Flatfile Artists, Fouladi Projects, San Francisco, CA.

         Myths of Progress, Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, CA. Curated by Lauren Davies.

2011 Juried Annual 2012- PROARTS, Oakland, CA. Juried by Hamza Walker.

         Chain Letter- Samson Projects, Boston, MA.

         Paint By Numbers- WE Artspace, Oakland, CA.

         Wild Country- Space Gallery, San Francisco, CA.

         The Letter Collector- Gallery Hijinks, San Francisco, CA.

2010 Small Works, Important Presence- WE Artspace, Oakland, CA.

         Taste 2010: A Garden of Earthly Delights- Root Division, San Francisco, CA.

         Inaugural Flat File Exhibition- Golden Parachutes, Golden Parachutes, Berlin, DE.

2009 Salon09- Matt Roberts Arts, London, UK.

         Formations- Blankspace Gallery, Oakland, CA.

         Front + Center – Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA. Curated by

Kimberly Johansson.

2007 Grounded– Southern Exposure San Francisco, CA. Curated by Kristan Kennedey.

2006 Works on Paper – Flux Factory, Long Island City. Queens, NY. Curated by Nick


2006 Merely The Substitution Of One Piece Of Nonsense For Another – Hastings

                   College Art Gallery, Hastings, NE.

2005 Performing One Particular Function- Marsh Special Projects

Gallery, Herron School of Art and Design, Indianapolis, IN.

         Point-to-Multipoint- Elsewhere Artist Collaborative, Greensboro,NC.

         Corporate Bodies- Momenta Art, Brooklyn, NY.

         NOVA: Young Art Fair- Chicago, Ill.

         16th National Drawing and Print Competitive Exhibit- Gormley Gallery, College of

Notre Dame of Maryland, Baltimore, MD.

         Seven Reasons to Leave Your House- Beverly Art Center, Chicago Ill.

         Surfacing- Offbeat Gallery, Minneapolis, MN.

2004 Projekt 30- Online Exhibit at

         Overlay- Commonwealth Gallery, Madison, WI.

         The Stray Show- Chicago, Ill.

         Pretty Vacant- aND GALLERY, St. Paul, MN.

2003 Fig. 03.03- DeRicci Gallery, Edgewood College, Madison, WI.

         Artists/Artists: Invitational 2003- Fine Arts Building Gallery, Chicago, Ill.

         Uncouched- La Galeria de la Mision de Senecu, El Paso, TX.

         Centro-Oestes Nucleo Madison- Museu de Arte de Brasilia, Brasilia, D.F. Brasil.

         Paint- Citiarts Space, Madison, WI.                                 


Selected Awards & Honors

Nominated as a Candidate for San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, SECA (Society for

the Encouragement of Contemporary Art) Award 2012.

Creative Capital Professional Development Program, Nominated by Southern

Exposure 2010.

Second Place, El Paso Art Association Arts International Exhibit 2002.

Advanced Opportunity Fellowship, University of Wisconsin-Madison 2001.

College of Fine Arts Dean’s List, Fall 1997, Spring 1998.


Artist Residencies

Liquitex Research Residency, at Minnesota Street Projects, San Francisco, CA,  December 2017 through February 2018.

Project Grant, Buffalo, NY, July 6 through 26, 2015.

Stamford American International School—Singapore, SG, January 18 through

February 10, 2015.

Sheppard Contemporary and University Galleries, University of Nevada, Reno. October  11 through 18, 2013.

Elswhere Artist Collaborative, Greensboro, NC. July 31 through August 31, 2005.


Christopher Knight, Uncharted Seas in ‘How to Build a Foghorn” at Samuel Freeman

         Gallery, Los Angeles Times, August 12, 2016.

International Painting Annual No. 6, Manifest Press

New American Paintings, Juried Exhibitions in Print, Issue #115, December 2014-

January 2015.

Muzzle Literary and Art Magazine Best Of Issue, Muzzle Literary and Art Magazine,

August 2011.

DeWitt Cheng, Out and About at Zughaus, Krowswork, and WE Artspace, East Bay

         Express, April 20-26, 2011.

Sam Stander, Pick of the Week, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, vol.44, no. 43, July

28- August 3, 2010.

Emmanuel Hapsis and Kristin Farr, Studio Invasion, KQED Arts, September 04, 2010,

MomentaArt 2004/2005 Catalogue, MomnetaArt Brooklyn, NY, 2005.

The El Paso Times, July 27, 2003.


Publications as Author

“We Live Only Through Ourselves” Catalogue Essay for Artist Ben Buswell’s solo exhibition. Upfor Gallery, Portland, OR.

Plastic Antinomy, Fall 2009, 14-15.

“On Art and Water” Critical Essay on Olaffur Eliasson’s use of water as a medium,

Plastic Antinomy, Fall 2009, 14-15.

“Cosmos Deep” Critical Review of Bryson Gil’s solo exhibition,

BeefMasterMagazine  , Feb. 2010.


Selected Visiting Artist Lectures

Stamford American International School—Singapore, SG, February 07, 2015.

University of San Francisco—San Francisco, CA, September 10, 2014.

Portland Community College– Portland, OR, December 3, 2013.

University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA. March 26,2013.



Stanford University, Stanford, CA.

Fannie Mae, San Francisco, CA.

Kimberley Johansson, San Francisco, CA.

Tommy Guerero, San Francisco, CA.