Nicole Young is an artist living and working in the okanagan

Nicole Young (b. 1990 Peterborough, Ontario) is a Kelowna based artist who creates mixed media abstract paintings. She studied fine arts at UCLA and UBCO, completing her BFA in 2015. Nicole works primarily with acrylic paint, collaged textiles and homemade plant pigments. Drawing inspiration from collage, fashion, the environment and calligraphy, Young’s paintings are narrative in nature, focusing on documentation through abstraction. Her works are experiments in composition and texture, and strive to reconcile seemingly disparate elements to evoke a sense of nostalgia in the viewer. Nicole’s work is in private collections throughout the globe, and she has curated multiple exhibitions through her work as a curatorial intern with the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan. 

artist statement

Nicole Young paintings are explorations of contradictions. There is a push and pull across the picture plane. A soft wash interacts with a bold line, which is covered by collaged textile. The movement within the canvas reflects how each moment leads to the next. These moments are built up in layers, reflecting a call and response from each mark that is made. 

Sourcing inspiration from the environment, fashion, calligraphy and collage itself, Nicole explores each of these elements in her work and reconciles these disparate items in a way that feels cohesive. Working on raw canvas, the collaged textiles are able to integrate seamlessly into the composition of her paintings. Her large spills and pours are reminiscent of gestural abstraction and action painting, and lines and marks that reflect letters and calligraphic shapes add a contemporary feel to the work. Natural pigments created by the artist interact with acrylic paints and mediums in ways that sometimes feel forced and separate, and at other times surprisingly natural.

These works are diaristic in nature, pointing to specific moments and a sense of a memory or events unfolding. The fabrics used always point to something specific to the artist, whether it’s a person or place, or a fleeting glimpse. The work is both familiar yet foreign, and evokes a sense of nostalgia and tip of the tongue phenomenology – something you know but can’t quite remember. It is a reminder that abstract art need not rely on pure abstraction.  

Curriculum Vitae



BFA, University of British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, BC, Canada

Major in Visual Arts, Minor in Art History and Visual Culture


Go Global Study Abroad Program, University of California, Los Angeles, California, United States of America

Fine Arts and Art History


Painting and Mixed Media, Sean Serfas, University of British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, BC, Canada

Pre-University Course



Tandava, Featured Artist, Kelowna, BC


Rivers and Roads to Find You, Vernon Public Art Gallery, Vernon BC

Ratio, Featured Artist, Vernon, BC


Mix and Match, heART School Exhibition Space, Starbucks, Kelowna, BC

The Rule of Three, Ecora Engineering, Kelowna, BC


Where We Are, Streaming Café, Kelowna, BC

Shell, Lululemon Athletica, Kelowna, BC

Away We Go, The Marmalade Cat, Kelowna, BC


Jailbird, The Habitat, Kelowna, BC                                 

One Last Thing, Frock, Kelowna, BC



Member, New Arts Collective, Kelowna, BC


Juror, Caetani Fresh! AIR Artist Residency, Vernon, BC, Canada



What’s Still Here, What Came Before Us, Lake Country Art Gallery, Lake Country, BC Two Person Show with Liz Ranney


Art on the Line 2018, University of British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, BC

A Restless Earth, Lake Country Art Gallery, Lake Country, BC


Art on the Line 2017, University of British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, BC


Exposed!, Vernon Public Art Gallery, Vernon, BC

Drawn Together, Kelowna Art Gallery, Kelowna, BC

Off The Rails: Lake Country Art Walk, Lake Country Community Complex, Lake Country, BC

Artscape Community Exhibition, Okanagan College Library, Kelowna, BC

Draped/Double Take, Lake Country Art Gallery, Lake Country, BC

Satin Sea, Rotary Center for the Arts, Kelowna, BC


Shelf Life, Vernon Public Art Gallery, Vernon, BC (Travelling Exhibition)

Shelf Life, FCCS Gallery, University of British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, BC


Inside Out, Hillel at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA


Under Eight, SOPA Fine Arts, Kelowna, BC


Under Eight, SOPA Fine Arts, Kelowna, BC

The Mad Hatter, Kelowna, BC



Artscape Curatorial Internship, Arts Council of the Central Okanagan, Kelowna, BC, Canada