Nicole Parker’s work is an investigation of her past as it relates to her present, a memoir in the form of narrative and representational oil paintings and prints. The imagery revolves around the ideas of memory, self and home. Memory is unreliable and ever-evolving by nature, and each person’s reality and sense of self are shaped strongly by what they remember and experience. Each image has a memory or story attached to it, sometimes big and sometimes small. These stories reflect the artist’s own eclectic upbringing, and the resulting sense of “between-ness”, or liminality, that manifests itself in the artist’s personal and artistic life.
Parker’s most recent body of work specifically explores this idea of liminality, of being suspended between or on both sides of a threshold, place, idea, or category. The feelings that come along with this include uncertainty, displacement, and isolation, but also often autonomy and peace. She chooses to represent these ideas as pictures of places and things, where two or more different (and often conflicting) light or color worlds can be viewed from one vantage point. Her work celebrates the odd, quiet and sometimes absurd moments of everyday life in a world that is so often too large and too loud. In the studio, color, light and the “flavor” of a moment are always at the core of her artistic practice. She works from observation and memory in tandem (usually preferring the latter), and is greatly inspired by sensory sources like sound or music, film, and food.
Nicole Parker is a representational fine artist specializing in oil painting and copper plate printmaking. She received her BFA and Certificate from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) in 2018. During her time at PAFA, she was a recipient of the Richard C. Von Hess Memorial Travel Scholarship, which allowed her a month of travel in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Iceland to explore individual artistic pursuits of her choosing. Since graduating and completing her travel, she has returned to Maryland, where she grew up. She is extremely grateful to have recently enjoyed her second solo exhibition in 2021, titled Thresholds, at Gross McCleaf gallery in Philadelphia, PA. Nicole has also enjoyed making work and learning from other artists at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center in Hyattsville, Maryland, where she was previously an Artist in Residence, and is now a Printmaking Associate. She has exhibited her paintings and prints in numerous group exhibitions along the East Coast, including in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and New York. She currently makes work in a small studio in her house, where she lives with her partner and their animals, a cat and a rat.