Erik Mace is a visual artist who uses photography, graphic design, and book arts as his tools of inquiry. As an experimental visual thinker, he is deeply curious about the power of photography and adjacent mediums and how to take advantage of their limitations. Erik’s work is connected by a sense of restlessness where he seeks out messy processes, delighting in how visual and language-based tools can be expressly matched to subject matter, causing a body of work to rise from the chaos

Many of his projects germinate from specific personal memories and grow into deeper discussions of place and identity, while other bodies of work are born from a general sense of wonder. Preferring intense focus within each project to a singular visual vocabulary across his practice, Erik is most curious about how to take risks with his subject matter, material, and expectations of mediums.

In 2022, he self-published Slate, the foundational prototype of an ongoing journey into how the act of seeing can deepen respect for the more-than-human world. What began as a simple act of recording marks, gestures, and other environmental curiosities evolved into a robust project about language. Slate introduced a guiding question: what emerges when we’re forced to start over? How can the environments we encounter so regularly become starting points for a new language — one based less on human need and more on something emergent? Slate is a unique manifestation of how multiple modes of visual communication — photography, semiotics, typography — can be employed to allow a reader space to get lost, while also providing clues to find themselves again (or anew).

Erik received his BFA in Visual Communications from Washington University in St. Louis and is an alumnus of the Contemporary Photography program at the ICP in New York. He currently holds a leadership position with the Kinship Photography Collective, leading workshops on photography, sequencing, and bookmaking. In 2023, he launched Ramble Editions with Kristen Welles Bartley, as a collaborative vision for photobook publishing. In 2024, Erik was named the Photography Artist in Residence at The Bascom in Highlands, NC.



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Exhibitions and Presentations


Fragmented Reality
The Bascom: A Center for the Visual Arts
Highlands, NC

Human, Error: Photographic Essays on a Changing World
2024 Southern Humanities Council
Savannah, GA


Listening to the Land
Upon Blacks Creek Knob
Zebulon, GA

Listening to the Land
The Circle Gallery
College of Environment + Design, University of Georgia
Athens, GA

It’s All Relative: Making Kin with the Natural World
Sylva, NC


Listening to the Land
With August Majesty and Power
The Bascom: A Center for the Visual Arts
Highlands, NC

This Skin I’m In
Revolve Gallery
Asheville, NC

International Center of Photography
New York, NY


F/R User Manual 1.0, 2024

An Approximation of a Death, Ramble Editions, 2023

Ten Ten, Ramble Editions, 2023

Big Mail, Ramble Editions, 2023

With August Majesty and Power, 2022

As Above So Below, 2022

Slate, 2022

Forget This Immediately, 2022

Tokens, 2021

Self, 2021

Sweet and Sour Bacon Stroganoff, 2020

What Was Left, 2020


On Limits and Limitations

Embracing Chaos

Making a Photobook

Sequencing and Narratives