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Meet Erin Elizabeth Flettrich, local artist and climber. A painter since high school and a climber since college, Flettrich first began to blend her passions while working at High Point Climbing and Fitness. One evening, when asked to update the message board, she doodled a quick nature scene to accompany the gym's list of upcoming events.

From there, her illustrations spread, taking over most of High Point's message board and eventually spilling over onto canvas of her own.

While Flettrich tends to take a realistic approach with her sketches and drawings, her acrylic paintings burst with surrealism and bright color schemes.

Here, Flettrich shares a few of her latest pieces, inspired by local climbing spots.

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Painting by Erin Elizabeth Flettrich

"When I moved here for school in 2014, visiting Sunset Rock was the first Lookout spot recommended to me. I went there countless times that first year between taking visiting family and friends as well as using it as a quick getaway after classes and on weekends.

"With all those trips up the mountain, I had no idea how popular climbing was in Chattanooga, let alone at Sunset Rock. About midway through my first semester of college, some friends and I were invited to spend an afternoon on Sunset to rappel. At that point, I had only climbed indoors one other time, so I was very excited for this new outdoor experience.

"Rappelling over a cliff and trusting my life to the rope was simultaneously the scariest and most adventurous thing I had ever done at that point. I absolutely LOVED it. That experience of real rock in the outdoors kindled a passion for rock climbing.

"Since then I have visited Sunset Rock many times, and continue to be astounded by both the climbing and natural beauty of the area."

— Erin Elizabeth Flettrich

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Painting by Erin Elizabeth Flettrich

"I remember hiking at Foster [Falls] just before I really got into climbing, and watching, mesmerized, as climbers scaled the walls with grace. Most people who visit Foster Falls don't venture past the waterfall, but just a short hike down the canyon reveals world-class rock climbing and stunning views of the South Cumberland Plateau. I have spent a lot of time climbing and exploring at Foster and never once regretted the decision.

"I've climbed out there with my friends in 27-degree weather, and once spent a day completing as many routes as possible to celebrate a birthday. I've spent days attempting the same climb over and over again with no success, and one time spent so much time lost on the trail that I only got to climb one route in a five-hour period.

"No matter the occasion, Foster Falls has provided me numerous fun adventures and lasting memories."

— Erin Elizabeth Flettrich

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Painting by Erin Elizabeth Flettrich

"Since diving into the world of outdoor recreation, I have dreamed of exploring the Western United States. The dry air, minimal precipitation and 14,000-foot mountains were always more alluring than anything the South had to offer. Funny thing is, I know a lot of people who have relocated from the West to live here in Chatt.

"I'm lucky to have traveled out West at least once a year for the past six years. The more time I spend traversing the plains, deserts and mountains on the other side of the Mississippi, the more similarities I find between Chattanooga and Western climbing communities. While each community has its differences, they mirror each other in their love for the outdoors and their shared passion for climbing.

"I have met climbers from all over the world. Regardless of where they are from, how strong they are or what they believe, I have never once seen a climber be shamed for their differences. Climbers are some of the friendliest, most empathetic and welcoming people I know.

"[This painting] is a testimony to the unity that overrides the geographic difference in climbing communities around the country."

— Erin Elizabeth Flettrich

To see more of Flettrich's work, visit artbyeef.square.site.

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