Erica Hinson Denny

Erica Hinson Denny 1977-2010. Photo by Katie Hilton


She said, “we are flowers of one garden” and we’re left to wonder if she knew how profound those words would be to us now. Erica Hinson Denny (aka Artfisch) leaves behind a loving family and a community of friends and admirers who have been deeply touched by her light. Her ability to see the world with a singular vision and relay that to others in an entirely unique and sincere way makes the time we had with her that much more precious. She was gifted in the sense that she was the conduit that enabled others to see and feel from an entirely new perspective. The world through her eyes bursts with color and light and often reveals the better spirit in all of us. For this, we are grateful for having known her.

Erica Hinson Denny inspired many of us to be better while she was here and I’m certain she will continue to for many years to come.

For examples of Erica’s photography and more follow this link.

While most of us are aware of Erica’s stunning photography, it was not her only talent. For more examples of her art follow this link.

“We are flowers of one garden.” -Erica Hinson Denny

Photo by Philip Laubner

I’ve heard people call Baltimore “Charm City,” but for me, it’s not just charm, it’s love. If acceptance, giving, sharing, laughing, and creating are essential to love, there has never been a better example of that love than you Erica Hinson Denny.

Your love and art touched everyone. Your amazing talent and indomitable spirit was contagious- like a laugh that starts another laugh until the whole room is rolling on the floor- it was always obvious you were there. It just doesn’t seem possible or right that your good energy and love could be gone so soon.

I remember the first time I saw you in a club. It was like watching a miner with a lamp. You were bringing the light of the sun to a dark place. It was also like watching a magician; I didn’t know what was about to happen. Flash, flash, flash you were all around the person or people you were photographing; popping and bobbing with intensity. Then you would stop and immediately share the moment using the monitor on the back of the camera. The photograph was an incredible combination of the scene usually in multiple exposures. I watched as even the most weary and jaded-looking clubber would light up or shake their head in disbelief as they looked at the incredible image you had just created. I was amazed by your energy. I hadn’t seen your work yet but I knew from that kind of life-force it had to be good.

When we finally met that night you told me that you felt you knew me, you were sure that you knew me. I felt the same way. Looking back I know that you just saw in me, what i saw in you and that’s warmth and acceptance.

I want to thank you for your ability to share and openly give what you have. In a world of competition and pettiness you had the courage to share your love and your gifts freely with me and everyone you knew. I know as a stubborn rebel you’d cringe at this, but Erica you set a good example.

As reality sets in I miss you more and more, but I’m grateful that I met you and I have your example. You have helped me become a better artist, friend and man.

We love you.
Phil Laubner

Photo and letter by Philip Laubner.

Photo by Theresa Keil

We’d like to recognize Erica’s friend and mentor, Jack Radcliffe.

“RIP Erica Hinson Denny. I am blessed to have known you, even for such a short time. You touched my life in many ways, thank you.” –Theresa Keil

Photo by Philip Laubner

“Lost a friend, a light, and an inspiration.” –Philip Laubner

Photo by Lauren Barnhart

“What matters is that an amazing friend, artist and mom passed this evening when no one was ready to see her go. We love you Erica, so so much…” –Lauren Barnhart

Photo by Philip Laubner

“Baltimore is a dimmer place without you.” –Tom Swiss

“RIP Erica Hinson Denny (“Artfisch”)” by Tom Swiss.

Photo by Theresa Keil

“you were the first thought i had when i woke up this morning, although we did not spend alot of time together my heart aches for your family and friends. its so hard to believe that this has happened but i know that your soul is here and you are wrapping your arms around your husband and children. so many people have a… peice of you embedded in their hearts that we will keep you alive in all the things we do that were inspired by you, love and light forever” – Chrissy Tomasco

Photo by Erica Hinson Denny

*The following photos taken by Erica were contributed to What Weekly by Erica Hinson Denny and previously published on May 19, 2010.

“Erica was one of the most original and supremely talented
photographers I’ve ever known. A beautiful person and generous
artist…a wonderful friend that will not be forgotten…” – David Hilton

Photo by Erica Hinson Denny

“In one of my last conversations with Erica, she told me that life was too short to ever say “No” and that she would let her willingness to experience life and her openheartedness lead her through this odyssey. Erica was a prime example of an individual who acted on the aphorism that it’s not the destination, but the journey, that really counts…

We will love you and miss you dearly….” – Chad Smith

Photo by Erica Hinson Denny

“We Are Flowers Of One Garden”*   Title via E.H. Denny, words by heck

So young I lost a father
Then so you left your’s
Knew it was coming
My lame advice about
T. Nhat Hanh’s “no toothache”
Seems now like speed reading

Like advice given with not enough
Information…as your “toothache”
Was constant, progressive, fatal
You knew and carried that
With grace and a strange serene
Smile on your beautiful face

And we are here
And you are not
At least not in the form
We are most aware
And if I dare suggest
There is more than the rest

Believe, will I seem naive?
I guess I’ve never cared
For group-think, as it stinks
So here are my thoughts on
Your physical passing as I
Lay in my garden in May

Covered with 1000 ladybugs
You and your friend straddled
Me and took pictures, giggling
Laughing, playing, reminding me
That so long as we laugh at
Laugh with life, we are alive

And so I laugh with you
For you, for you are here
In our memories, in your children
Who will know of your love via
Their and our hearts
Growing in one garden

* Erica Hinson Denny.

Poem by J.Gavin Heck

Photo by Erica Hinson Denny

“Love you sooooo much erica…theres a major empty space in my heart in all of this..i know your kickin it and poppin flashes in heaven asking God to turn down the bright ass lights for some pics :)) you truly were one of my dearest friends in the world, i feel you wouldve done anything for me..or anyone else (that you …liked haha 🙂 its been a true blessing to know you and your wonderful family!! it seems unfair and fucked but i feel your crazy awesomeness is needed somewhere else!!! keep on soaring n loving!! i love you so much girl!! when its my time, ill meet you at the gig in the sky!” –Johnny Thorne

Photo by Erica Hinson Denny

“Go not yet away from us. A noontide have you been in our twilight, and your youth has given us dreams to dream. No stranger are you among us, nor a guest, but our [light] and our dearly beloved. Suffer not yet our eyes to hunger for your face.” — Gibran.

“I LOVE YOU, ERICA. XO” –Toby S Verhines


By Erica Hinson Denny

Erica Hinson Denny struggled with chronic asthma for her entire life. In the end she finally succumbed. We’ve been asked to provide this link to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. There you can leave a donation and learn more.

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America