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Profession: Art & Design Instructor, Keyano College
Age: 35 • Years in Wood Buffalo: 9

A passionate maker, and lover of the arts.

35-year-old Erin Schwab is a maker. As an Art & Design Instructor at Keyano College, she also runs the Fort McMurray Gardener Facebook group, offering free landscape design and garden support for the community.

Born in Morinville, Erin holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Alberta College of Art and Design, and graduated with distinction in 2006 from the University of Alberta’s Master of Fine Arts program in Drawing, where she focused her research on filtering the language of traditional botanical illustration and ceramics through the dialogue of contemporary drawing.

Erin’s recent exhibitions include Migrating Colony: Flood at Line Gallery 2014, and Future Station: 2015 Biennial of Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Alberta.

As the Head of the Art and Design program at Keyano College, Erin has been dedicated in the development of arts and culture in the region through her participation in the development of the Arts Council Wood Buffalo and of the Arts Advisory Board for the Alberta Legislative Assembly.

Erin is the current Chair of the Arts Council Wood Buffalo, and has been representing art for Northern Alberta as a committee member for the Alberta Legislative Assembly since 2013. She is also part of the newly-formed Art Expert panel for the re-write of the K-12 curriculum for the Government of Alberta. Erin has worked on various art acquisition-selection juries throughout Alberta as well.

The Boreal Forest is Erin’s favourite thing about living in Wood Buffalo, and believes that by understanding the landscape she truly learned how to live here.

Erin’s passion for art, and sharing that passion throughout the province is what has landed her on YMM’s list of Top 50 Under 50.

IN HER OWN WORDS: “I don’t believe in talent. Saying someone is talented discounts the dedicated hours, days, years of work it took to get good. I believe in work ethic, and being prepared so you can always say yes.”