Nicole Maynard is originally from Boston, Massachusetts, where she earned a BFA with majors in Painting and Art Education from MA College of Art and Design and a MFA in Painting from the University of Pennsylvania, in what is essentially an American/New York painting tradition. Moving to Miami in 2017 threw this background into relief; her art continues to evolve, being inspired and challenged by her colleagues in Miami’s vibrant contemporary art scene.
Born in 1971, as a child Maynard spent a lot of time alone reading, drawing, watching television, thinking, and observing. She became an artist because of her uncle, a painter and fashion model who passed on a life-long passion for art and art mentorship. Examples of many formative experiences included seeing him paint a mural in the kitchen when she was six and the gift of her first oil paint set. His career in fashion brought him to Miami, where he died of AIDS in 1987.
After many years of teaching art to students in K-12 public and private schools and as a professor in higher education, Maynard is now the Education Programs Manager at the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami where she extends a passion for mentorship in the arts. She is an artist-in-residence at the Bakehouse Art Complex in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District.
Spotlight in Shout Out Miami
Spotlight in Voyage Magazine
Spotlight in Hyperallergic
I use color and paint to depict otherworldly, abstract places on the edge.
The pictures reflect our time but aren’t illustrations of it. They are the result of a genuine search for meaning, a search and assertion of myself in a beautiful world that feels as if it’s in the midst of collapse. Geometric, sometimes architectural forms seem situated in an environment yet appear to dissipate. Their edges are often soft while expressive, winding strokes break them. Unlike classical beauty, everything is changing.
My environment mirrors this phenomenon. I live in Miami where buildings go up around me in what feels like the span of a heartbeat. My studio is in a wonderful old building with 60 other artists. A fundraising initiative brings hope for repairs. In the meantime, the roof leaks as a result of the same downpours that cause cars to be towed from city streets that are suddenly rivers. Climate change is personal, as a bucket is placed on the threshold of my studio door, the ceiling threatening to open to the sky over my work. The building in which I live had major renovations when pool chemicals seeped into concrete supports, eroding them. It was only discovered because of the condo collapse in Surfside.
Formally speaking, color and composition structure the images. My lifetime pursuit of painting allows me to create images that are strong yet nuanced. They may appear dispassionate, but a closer experience of their subtle transitions and paint handling reveals specific unnameable feelings. The paint application is important, just like notes that form a whole in classical music, hard to name yet full.
As for the viewer, the viewer will perceive or not. My work is for sustained looking, not only in one encounter, but over many. While it’s possible to have an immediate response, much is missed if the viewer glances and moves on. In the end, the images are poetry meant to be memorized and awaiting a return reading. They exist to inhabit.