Nicole is from Miami, Florida, and will be in Erie until July 12th. She will be creating a mural along W 11th and Weschler Ave as part of Erie Arts and Culture’s Purposeful Placemaking initiative and in collaboration with United Way and the Safe Routes to School initiative. This particular mural will be on the walking path of Strong Vincent Middle School students and is located on the property of PSB Industries! She is partnering with Erie-based artists Katherine Peters, Sarah Howard, Precious Thompson, and Raina Harden.
Nicole is a painter and muralist of Latin descent. She has always had a passion for traveling and learning about other cultures. She believes it has undeniably influenced her style. Through artist residencies, she has traveled to Cuba, Europe, South America, and the East coast working with the local communities and painting with adults and the youth. When asked about her craft, Nicole says that “art and design are both something I see as a powerful, transformative force which can elevate the practitioners, the people, and their communities.” Self-expression has always been instinctual for Nicole, and she found her way to communicate that through art. Her creative work takes on various forms, which are intended to draw the viewer in, as a co-author and witness in an effort to create new and unpredictable cycles of thought and association, as well as challenge one’s perceptions and perspectives
Nicole is passionate about creating art that people are able to connect with and draw a sense of community. Here is a little more about her concept with community members:
Whenever I am invited or commissioned to bring artwork to a new community, it is of the utmost importance to me that I give something to the city and the residents within. Something in which they feel a personal and a collective connection to. Thematically, I like to work within the voice of those communities with topics of social awareness, with history and preservation being a predominant theme in my work. Local floral and fauna are also throughlines in my work.
My preliminary concept for this mural is to tell a story through visuals that speak to the act of passing and sharing knowledge from one generation to the next. I want it to illustrate the act of one generation giving to another generation the tools that will equip them with the ability to positively contribute to their community. I have read the Our West Bayfront Community Plan and see that it prioritizes sustainability. I believe that this generational sharing is a form of neighborhood sustainability. I cannot think of a better place to add this narrative than to create it on a route where the younger generation will be seeing it on their walks to school, a place where they go to gain knowledge.
Read more about the imagery in the proposed mural!
On the right side of the mural is a chrysalis and on the left a butterfly. This signifies both transition and growth. It is a commentary on how communities and neighborhoods change over time.
The bird is an oriole, which is a common bird in the West Bayfront. Orioles are said to represent simplicity, joy, balance, and positivity. This in particular speaks to being a good neighbor and sharing your joy with those around you.
The flowers are morning glories, a common garden perennial. The morning glory is said to represent human life because they rise up each morning and sleep each evening.
The community mentioned the number of houses with porches and how that creates a friendly, welcoming environment.
The hands represent two different generations and the importance of intergenerational relationships.
The sapling represents the community’s commitment to sustainability, while also tying back to growth.