international painting annual 6 exhibition-in-print
online resource

Michael Nichols
Bowling Green, Kentucky

Western Kentucky University, Associate Professor

detail image


For the past eight years, I have been researching contemporary applications of buon fresco, an ancient technique of pigmenting wet plaster. In its purest sense fresco is a method of painting into limestone. While it has a long and distinguished history, particularly as an architectural element, its use as a medium for contemporary expression is barely existent due to a number of reasons that may include the extreme physical demands, rigidity, and overall difficulty of the medium. In contrast, I create frescoes that are portable and lightweight, using an airbrush (spray paint) to make imagery. I mist pigment onto fresh plaster until figures emerge. The atomized dispersal of the figures intrigues me because it creates paintings that seem veiled with forms hinging less on literal description and more on subtlety and nuance.The visual forms allude to metaphysical ideas of knowing and being.





born: 1973, St. Louis, MO



Fontbonne University, MFA, 2000
Fontbonne University, BFA, 1997


selected awards/honors

RCAP Grant, Refresh: Exploring Contemporary Applications of Buon Fresco, Western Kentucky University, 2014
Best of Show, OAG 51st Juried Exhibition, Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, 2013
Third Place, 3rd Annual Figurative Drawing and Painting Competition, Susquehanna University, 2011
Indivual Artist Al Smith Fellowship Award, Kentucky Arts Council, 2010


selected publications

International Painting Annual 5, exhibition-in-print. Cincinnati, OH: Manifest Press pp. 137-138, 2015
365 Artists | 365 Days Project, "Michael Nichols - Bowling Green". Web, Frank Juarez Gallery and Greymatter Gallery, February 17th, 2014
International Drawing Annual 7, exhibition-in-print. Cincinnati, OH: Manifest Press pp. 128-129, 2012
National Drawing Annual 2006, exhibit-in-print. Cincinnati, OH: Manifest Press pp. 22-23, backcover, 2007


selected solo or two-person exhibits

On the Surface: John Cross and Michael Nichols, Fine Arts Gallery, Fontbonne University, St. Louis, MO 2015
Michael Nichols: Fresco and Silverpoint, Lucretia C. Begley Gallery, Lindsey Wilson College, Columbia, KY 2014
Michael Nichols, Semmens Gallery, Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center, Covington, KY 2013
Confluence: Leslie and Michael Nichols, Visual Arts Center, Blackburn College, Carlinville, IL 2011


selected group shows

Metalpoint Now! Garvey Simon Art Access, New York, NY 2015
The Red Clay Survey: 2014 Exhibition of Contemporary Southern Art, Huntsville Museum of Fine Art, Huntsville, AL 2014
Drawing Discourse, 5th Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Drawing, S. Tucker Cook Gallery, University of North Carolina Asheville, Asheville, NC 2014
Residue, 22nd Annual Drawing Show, Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA 2011



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