Nikki Painter is a nationally and internationally exhibiting artist with solo shows at Shockoe Artspace, COOP Gallery, Purdue University's Rueff Gallery, and Twelve21 Gallery in Orlando, Florida. Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including shows at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, in the publication New American Paintings, 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.


Through my mixed media works on paper, I envision a world that is constantly constructed and then broken down. Construction and destruction may happen simultaneously, and sometimes natural forms take over and are the “winners” of the unfolding drama.

My current work focuses on intricately patterned gardens. Each Garden work shows a microcosm of space, and because plants are common in our lives, centering them as subject emphasizes a sense of intimate familiarity. Mood is embodied by color: darker tones evoke a feeling of somber contemplation, while an underlay of brighter color feels optimistic. All patterns are hand drawn, encouraging contemplative viewing while creating a buzzing optical energy.
My visual style is rooted in eighties pop culture, referencing brightly colored cartoons and digital collage techniques that were hallmarks of music videos from that decade. These things shaped my inner bank of imagery, and they are evident in the world I build within my work. I use nonrealistic spatial perspective, intricate patterns, and layers of media to create an intentional sense of intensity, mystery, and controlled chaos.