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Erykah Townsend


Mueller Family Gallery, Cohen Family Gallery, Kohl Atrium


Oct 27-Dec 31, 2023

Erykah Townsend, Look Mom, I’m a Woman Now!, 2021. acrylic, oil, modeling paste, and toy witches on panel, 24 x 36 in. (60.96 x 91.44 cm.). Courtesy the artist

Erykah Townsend


As a moCa AIR Artist-in-Residence, multimedia conceptual artist Erykah Townsend is working from July–December 2022 to produce new work that unpacks the relationship between innocence and absurdity, rethinking the experiences and encounters of youth from cartoons, comics, birthday parties, and childhood games. Townsend, a participating artist and member of the 2025 FRONT Triennial Artistic Team, uses humor to interpret personal experiences, consumerism, and art history. In her work, characters, icons, and objects perform as avatars of allegory and criticism, while still referencing their original meaning. Her exhibition project at moCa opens around Halloween 2023 to explore, critique, and poke fun at the role of consumerism around this and other holidays. 

moCa AIR is supported by Margaret Cohen & Kevin Rahilly.

About the Artist

Erykah Townsend (b. 1997, South Euclid, OH) is a conceptual artist born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1997. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2020. Her paintings and objects are heavily influenced by pop culture. She quotes, “I use pop culture as a medium itself—exploring the spaces it fills in our lives and the inquiry of how real are the imaginary.” Her reflective and humorous narratives are interpretations of personal experiences, society, capitalism and art history. Characters, icons, and objects depicted in her work play as avatars of her allegories and criticism, while they retain aspects of their original source.

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