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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

EDUCATION

2015

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

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

2014

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

Fine Arts and Art History

2010

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

Pre-University Course

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2018

Tandava, Featured Artist, Kelowna, BC

2017

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

Ratio, Featured Artist, Vernon, BC

2015

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

The Rule of Three, Ecora Engineering, Kelowna, BC

2014

Where We Are, Streaming Café, Kelowna, BC

Shell, Lululemon Athletica, Kelowna, BC

Away We Go, The Marmalade Cat, Kelowna, BC

2013

Jailbird, The Habitat, Kelowna, BC                                 

One Last Thing, Frock, Kelowna, BC

Professional AFFILIATIONS

2019

Member, New Arts Collective, Kelowna, BC

2018

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

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2019

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

2018

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

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

 2017

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

2016

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

2015

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

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

2014

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

2013

Under Eight, SOPA Fine Arts, Kelowna, BC

2012

Under Eight, SOPA Fine Arts, Kelowna, BC

The Mad Hatter, Kelowna, BC

CURATORIAL WORK

2016

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