Nikki Painter is a Virginia artist inspired by the natural world. She has had solo shows at Shockoe Artspace, COOP Gallery, Purdue University's Rueff Gallery, and Twelve21 Gallery. Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including shows at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art and at the Daegu Arts Center in South Korea.

Painter has attended residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, the Maitland Arts and History Museum, the Jentel Foundation, and the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences. Her work is part of private and public collections including the collection of Capital One in Richmond, Virginia, and the permanent collection of the Katzen Museum in Washington, DC., and she was recently awarded a Fellowship for Works on Paper by the Virginia Commission for the Arts.


My current mixed-media works on paper focus on the natural world, portraying plants in invented settings I refer to as "gardens". Contrasting dark pen patterns against fluorescent colors conveys a variety of moods: "Night Gardens" are more subdued and "Sunset Gardens" are more exuberant. I want these works to remind viewers of life's beauty, complexity, and fragility.

I have also made large installation-based sculpture and smaller scale “dimensional drawings,” which I think of as miniature installations. My works “Home” and “Climb (Dream)” are examples of these. These works reimagine the worlds portrayed in my drawings in immersive three-dimensions. 

My visual style is rooted in eighties pop culture, referring to brightly colored cartoons and digital collage techniques that were hallmarks of music videos from that time. These things shaped my inner bank of imagery, and they are evident in the worlds I build within my work.