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Interview with Nicole Melnicky

Nicole Melnicky is a contemporary artist based out of Vancouver, BC. She received her MFA in Interdisciplinary Art, Media, and Design at OCAD University in Toronto, ON. She obtained her BFA from Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with a major in Fine Art, along with minors in Textile Design, and Art History.

Melnicky was hosted as an artist-in-residence at Vermont Studio Center, Otis College of Art and Design, The Ou Gallery, Studio H Canada, LEÑA Artist Research & Residency, and AZULE.

Her work has been exhibited at The William Vale (Brooklyn, NY), Deanna Evans Project (Brooklyn, NY), The Other Art Fair (Brooklyn, NY), Benjamin Lumb Art House (Vancouver, BC), Art Vancouver International Art Fair (Vancouver, BC), the Queer Art Festival (Vancouver, BC), Las Laguna Gallery (Laguna Beach, CA), Art Show International Gallery (Los Angeles, CA), TAG Gallery (Los Angeles, CA), and Boomer Gallery (London, UK). Her work has been featured on Artsy, Artnet, Singulart, Saatchi Art, Discover Abstract Artists, Jaamzin Creative Magazine, and Goss Magazine.

Nicole Melnicky
Nicole Melnicky

What does your current series “Queer Visions” explore?

In the captivating series 'Queer Vision,' I embark on a visual journey that delves deep into the dynamic and visceral realms of feminism, gender, and queer sexuality. Each brushstroke and color choice are a deliberate exploration, creating an ethereal and dreamy collection of paintings that transcend the canvas. Through bold and vibrant hues, coupled with fluid shapes, 'Queer Visions' captures the essence of the queer body—a celebration of its strength, beauty, and resilience. It goes beyond the surface, touching upon the intricacies of queer sexuality, weaving a narrative of healing, spirituality, and the profound connection between identity and artistic expression. This series is a testament to the multifaceted nature of queerness, inviting viewers to immerse themselves in a visual tapestry that encapsulates the diverse and empowering facets of the LGBTQ+ experience.

How did you start your career as an artist?

My journey into the world of art traces back to an intrinsic creativity that has been a constant in my life since childhood. The pivotal moment occurred during my time at Langley Fine Arts School, a magnet high school dedicated to the arts. Under the mentorship of the late visual artist Nancy Crawford, who sadly passed away due to a brain tumor, I found inspiration to pursue a career in fine art. Nancy played a crucial role in fostering my creativity, guiding me to explore and expand my artistic horizons. She recommended I attend a small women's art college in Philadelphia, marking the beginning of my art career. This initial spark led me to pursue a BFA in Fine Art with minors in Textile Design and Art History at Moore College of Art and Design, followed by an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art, Media, and Design at OCAD University. My artistic journey encompasses a diverse array of mediums, including painting, drawing, textiles, surface design, sculpture, and fashion design. This broad spectrum of interests profoundly shapes my studio practice, defining me as a multidisciplinary artist.

What direction do you see your current work moving towards?

In the trajectory of my Queer Visions series, I aim to continue my exploration of alcohol ink on Yupo paper while continuing to explore the realm of large-scale works. I envision these works backlit on light boxes, a display that will illuminate the stunning intricacies of color, texture and material of the paintings. My goal is to imbue these works with an ethereal and otherworldly quality, capturing a visionary intuition of the future.

What draws you to explore queer futurism?

I delved into queer futurism due to a profound desire to reimagine and question conventional narratives about gender, sexuality, and identity. This genre allows for the envisioning of alternative futures where LGBTQ+ people not only thrive but also exist free from oppressive norms. Queer futurism serves as a potent catalyst for sparking meaningful conversations, promoting inclusivity, and igniting positive change within the queer community. By presenting a positive perspective, it unveils new possibilities for the future, offering a transformative outlook that challenges and expands our understanding of what we foresee in the future.

What is queer futurity and its difference to queer utopia?

Queer futurity and queer utopia both rooted in fiction, imagine alternative and optimistic futures for the LGBTQ+ community. At its core, Queer Futures emphasizes the ongoing process of queer existence, recognizing the potential for continued improvement and growth in the future. Queer utopias, on the other hand, present a more idealistic vision, imagining a perfect society where all aspects of queer life are celebrated. Despite these differences, both concepts share a goal of challenging and reimagining traditional norms to foster inclusive and affirming futures for the LGBTQ+ community.

Which one piece of art (your favorite piece) would you use to describe Pride, and could you also tell us more about your studio practice?

One piece that holds a special place in embodying the essence of Pride for me is 'Tzipora.' It's vibrant colors and fluid forms gracefully symbolize the celebration and strength intrinsic to the LGBTQ+ community. In my studio practice, guided by intuition and clairvoyance, I delve into the creation of abstract paintings. The interplay of vivid colors, blending, and merging on translucent paper mirrors the diversity and beauty inherent in the pride experience. Through the medium of alcohol inks, I intend to express pride in a dynamic and powerful nature, offering a visual representation that not only underscores the strength and beauty of our community but also envisions a new perception and manifestation of utopian pride in the future.

When did you begin your Artistic journey?

My journey as an artist commenced with a lifelong affinity for creativity, which has been an integral aspect of my life since childhood. Art, for me, serves as a potent medium for self-expression, a means of shaping my identity, and a source of empowerment within the realm of queerness. The turning point in this journey occurred in the Fall of 2020, marked by a profound experience—the onset of a Kundalini Awakening. This transformative catalyst left an indelible mark on my queer identity, recognized for its energetic activation that stirred a dormant spiritual energy, inherently feminine and creative. Since then, my art has become a powerful medium for self-expression, shaping my identity and enhancing my connection to queerness. This awakening has profoundly impacted my life, altering its trajectory and fostering a deepened connection with my artistic identity.

Can you describe what a Kundalini Awakening is?

A Kundalini Awakening is a deeply transformative spiritual experience associated with Kundalini, a dormant spiritual energy believed to reside at the base of the spine. During this awakening, the dormant energy is thought to rise through the spine, activating and opening the chakras, which are the body's energy centers. This results in an elevated state of consciousness and a profound sense of spiritual enlightenment. A Kundalini Awakening is recognized as a powerful spiritual occurrence or an energetic awakening leading to mental, emotional, and spiritual transformation, this exploration of Kundalini energy, intertwined with themes of queer identity and sexuality, stands as a pivotal element in both my series “Utopia Manifesto” and my upcoming project.

Which type of art do you specialize in?

At the core of my artistic exploration is Queer Abstraction, a methodology crafted by David J. Getsey. This approach serves as the linchpin of my work, aiming to visually articulate queerness within the realm of two-dimensional images. Through vibrant abstract paintings, sculptures, and fashion garments, my current body of work delves into themes of feminism, gender, and queer sexuality. Guided by the belief that the personal is political, my goal is to reclaim my queer identity through the expressive mediums of painting, fashion, and wearable sculpture.

Can you tell me about a challenge you have surmounted recently?

Embracing my identity as queer has been a lifelong journey, marked by challenges, especially during my early 20s when accepting my sexuality posed as challenging. However, the more I embraced my unique identity, the greater my confidence grew in pursuing my passion for art. Overcoming these challenges has been instrumental in shaping my artistic vision. Through my work, I've created a space for healing and representation, particularly for individuals within the LGBTQ2S+ community.

What inspires you?

My primary source of inspiration is my community, the LGBTQ2S+ community--a tapestry of beautiful, colorful, and unique souls. Reflecting on my own experiences and identity fuels my creative drive. My work originates from an intuitive space, centered around the concepts of energy and vibration. Often, a specific queer emotion or mood sparks the genesis of my work, evolving into an entire body of art that seeks to express and encapsulate my visions.

More info:

Visit the online gallery of Nicole Melnicky at:


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