The Oregon Coast Council for the Arts welcomes Coastal Lane County artist Karen Nichols to the Coastal Oregon Visual Artist Showcase (COVAS) from December 5 to January 30 at the Newport Visual Arts Center. The exhibit, “Relief Works,” will feature Karen Nichols’ bas relief collage paintings and small sculptures. The opening reception for “Relief Works” will be on Saturday, December 5, 5-7pm at the VAC, and an artist talk will be held at 5:30pm during the reception.
Originally from Southern California, Karen Nichols is an active member of the Florence arts community. She is a board member of the Florence Regional Arts Alliance (FRAA), does marketing work for the Backstreet Gallery and is a member of the Watercolor Society of Oregon. Her work has been shown at the Gallery Above the Silver Lining, the Siuslaw and Mapleton libraries, Peace Harbor Hospital and The Florence Events Center (FEC). Nichols has won several awards at the FEC’s Celebrate the Arts, The Rhodie Festival Art Show and the Siuslaw Library. During the juried Celebrate the Arts shows in Florence, among over 300 entries, Nichols has been awarded a first place and four honorable mentions. At Backstreet Gallery she has been awarded 2nd places twice and People’s Choice twice.
Karen Nichols traces her interest in drawing back painting back to her paper doll days. And while she enjoys a variety of media, including watercolor, oils, acrylic, pen and ink, and graphite, her signature media, paper painting collage, remains her favorite. Paper painting collage is executed using watercolor paper or various textured rice papers, which are then watercolored and torn into shapes to be assembled into 3D sculptural pieces. Most of her paper painting collage works are bas-relief but some are free stranding and housed in display cases.
Karen Nichols graduated from California State University (Los Angeles) with a major in art and education. After 33 years in elementary education in Cypress, California, and raising a family, retirement offered Nichols the opportunity to use her creativity in various ways. Besides regularly showing her work at the Backstreet Gallery and The Florence Regional Art Alliance, Nichols writes poetry, short stories and novels. Her four latest novels, Thornton House, The Unexpected Gift, Second Chance Heart and Triumph Over Fear, can be found on Amazon.com. All of her novels include dogs as an integral part of the stories, as they “just seem to nose their way in.” In marketing Backstreet Gallery, Nichols also writes feature stories for the Siuslaw News.
Karen Nichols lives in Florence with her husband, Ralph and Buddy, her King Charles Cavalier Spaniel. “A ray of sunshine, a drop of rain, egrets and a child’s smile are but a few inspirations that motivate my artistry in visual art pieces, composing or writing,” Nichols says.
The COVAS Showcase is open Tuesday-Saturday, noon to 4pm.
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