international drawing annual 9 exhibition-in-print
online resource

Leslie Nichols
Bowling Green, Kentucky

detail image


I use a variety of found and original text to create images.  As a young woman I kept journals and sketchbooks filled with writing, drawing, and doodling, so the evolution of my studio work as a confluence of text and image has been a natural to me.

The first text works I publicly displayed were self-portraits created on a manual typewriter, which I received as a gift. One of my first inclinations with the new tool was to make images. At first I made simple concrete poems such as a "bridge from me to you." The word "me" shifted to the word "you" in the middle of the image of the bridge.  It was a short time before I started creating portraits and grounded my studio practice on crafting letterforms and words into images.

My recent work, "Textual Portraits," is a series of works on paper that started as a personal search for a sense of place. I created portraits to visualize the historical context of North American women's lives and convey a sense of social heritage. Encounters with individual women provided a connection to a text related to the social and historical context of their present concerns or persona. The texts originate mainly from the United States and address various facets of women's lives. The titles reference academic citation. For example, "Neli (Anzaldúa 1987)" is a portrait of Bulgarian American artist Neli Ouzounouva created with Gloria  Anzaldúa's 1987 text "Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza."





born: St Louis, Missouri


Western Kentucky University, MA, 2013
Fontbonne University, BFA, 2001

selected awards/honors

Career Development Grant, American Association of University Women, 2011
Artist Enrichment Grant, Kentucky Foundation for Women, 2010
First Prize, Excellence in Art, Liquitex Artist Materials, 2008
Individual Artist's Grant, Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation 2002

selected publications

Barrie Tullett, Typewriter Art: A Modern Anthology. London: Laurence King, May 2014.
"Leslie Nichols," POETSartists 42, (January 2013): 26-27.

selected solo or two-person exhibits

Lucretia C. Begley Art Gallery: A Decade of Text, Columbia, Kentucky, 2014
John Brown University Art Gallery: Textual Portraits: Envisioning Social Heritage Siloam Springs, Arkansas, 2012
Ellis Walker Gallery: Southwest Stratum, Bowling Green, Kentucky, 2012
Carnegie Center for Visual and Performing Arts: Bits and Pieces, Leslie Nichols. Covington, Kentucky, 2011

selected group shows

Oakland Community College: From Our Perspectives: A National Women's Art Exhibition, Farmington Hill, Michigan, 2013
Huntsville Museum of Art: Red Clay Survey 2012: Contemporary Southern Art, Huntsville, Alabama, 2012
Lore Degenstein Gallery at Susquehanna University: Fourth Annual National Figurative Drawing and Painting Exhibition, Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, 2012
Appleton Gallery at Vern Riffe Center for the Arts: She Said . . ., Portsmouth, Ohio, 2011

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