Erika Ritzel grew up in Carbondale, Illinois and now lives in Minneapolis. She received her BFA from Webster University in St. Louis and her MFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. A majority of her photographic work deals with the objects that people leave behind and the personalities that arise when these random objects are placed together.
She received a grant in 2002 from the Illinois Humanities Council to complete a project on the flood of 1993, which destroyed her father’s hometown. In 2008 and 2013, she received a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board to continue her study of estate sales and auctions. In 2009 and 2013 she was selected for the 2nd round of the McKnight Fellowship of Photographers and attended Photolucida in 2011 and 2013. Her work has been exhibited at the Phoenix Art Museum in Arizona, the Palm Springs Art Museum in California, the Minnesota Museum of American Art in St. Paul, the Minnesota Center for Photography, and with the Coalition of Photographic Arts in Wisconsin.
Erika currently is adjunct photography faculty at Century College and Inver Hills Community College in the Minneapolis area.