This June, Candleberry Gallery in St. Michaels will host a retrospective exhibit of Erick Sahler’s work that will include nearly every silkscreen design he has ever printed. In addition, the show will feature many rarities never before offered, including number one prints, artist proofs and edition varies.
Candleberry Gallery is a co-op that features the work of more than 50 artists from across the Eastern Shore. Erick will be officially unveiling his latest St. Michaels print, entitled “Miles Regatta,” which is featured on Attraction’s cover this month. Meet Erick and view his serigraphs on June 9 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the gallery, located at 210 South Talbot Street in historic St. Michaels.
Erick, an Illustrator Member of New York’s distinguished Society of Illustrators and an American Screen Printing Association certified graphic artist and screen printer, has created and published thousands of illustrations, graphics and cartoons in the Mid-Atlantic region since 1983. His clients have included American Public Power Association, Belmond Ltd., Boat U.S., Dunes Manor Hotel, Maryland Park Service, NASA, Perdue Farms and Salisbury Symphony Orchestra.
His artwork hangs in the collections of Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Scott Higham, and NPR “Morning Edition” host Liane Hansen, as well as the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, Lowe House Office Building, Peninsula Regional Medical Center, Salisbury University, Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, the Commander Hotel and the historic Robert Morris Inn.
Erick’s artwork is unique in that it’s a silkscreen print, which most people have an idea about because they or somebody they knew “did silkscreen” in high school or college and loved it. But not many people do it anymore because it is backbreaking work, especially in the era of digital printing.
He explains, “Silkscreen art has a rare quality that allows it to be both nostalgic and contemporary at the same time. The vivid colors and graphic images remind folks of the great WPA posters of the late 1930s, as well as advertising from the 1940s and 50s, so it stirs a sense of the past. On the other hand, next to the generally more traditional paintings of birds and boats that fill most Eastern Shore galleries, my work looks fresh and modern.”
Raised in the Salisbury area, Erick worked during high school and college at Chesapeake Screen Printing. He designed and made silkscreen prints. C. Keith Whitelock was his coach and mentor growing up. Erick studied graphic design, illustrating and lettering at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Before launching Erick Sahler Serigraphs Co. in 2011, he worked at a Salisbury newspaper for 22 years.
To summarize the best part of his job today, Erick says, “I am both a creator and deeply in love with the Eastern Shore. To be able to combine the two makes what I do the best job in the world. The source material is endless and I am utterly grateful to have the both the opportunity and the support of so many wonderful people on this journey.”
So far in 2018, Erick released five serigraphs, including “Miles Regatta,” “Oxford Strand,” “Northbound,” “Chincoteague Lovebirds,” and “Ward Museum.” He adds, “I am proud that I have been able to promote all the great things about the Eastern Shore in my artwork, and that so many others have joined in the celebration.”
Erick started illustrating after New Year’s and came up with the five new designs in January and February. Since then he has been printing nonstop. It takes him about two weeks to pull a 10-color silkscreen print. He plans on pulling at least two more print editions at the end of this summer, and possibly one or two more in the fall.
When Erick is not working in his studio, sometimes with the help of his 15-year-old daughter, Molly, one may find him cruising Eastern Shore roads in his 1973 Camaro, exploring the history and culture that make the Eastern Shore such a cool place to live.
Meet Erick on June 9 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Candleberry Gallery. For more information, call the gallery at 410-745-2420.