My best childhood memories: The countless hours spent coloring and drawing with my father. He and I would trace the images in my coloring books, making the lines, dark and hard. Then, with a light touch, we’d shade in the figures. I still remember the tension between the exterior outline and the interior spaces- the heavy outlines made the colors richer, more vibrant. The lines I traced in my childhood were boundaries; creating structure for empty interiors, form for formlessness. Since my father’s death in 2010, I’ve returned to heavy lines and colored spaces but, unlike those childhood pictures, line and color are free to explore new ways of being. There are no perfect lines, nor finished forms in my work. Instead of tracing the outline of pre-existent forms that beg to be colored, I start with a blank canvas, and I make random marks and washes of color. I let the marks fall where they will. Sometimes they are layered and work together to create depth in the paintings. At other times, both line and color lie flatly on the surface, co-existing independently of each other. The uneven, thinly applied color and flawed lines represent fragments in the process of being. They mark the passage of time and of incremental transformations. I want people to see the whole of a thing--to include the scores of imperfections and mountains of failed attempts-- not just the final perfected form.
Nikki Terry, a native of Baltimore yet a true Brooklynite, lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. In addition to being a painter, she is also a Web Designer. Nikki studied at Pratt Institute in the MFA Painting Program where she participated in several graduate exhibitions. Nikki has exhibited in and around the NYC metropolitan area. During a short residence in Iowa City, Iowa, she was the recipient of the Iowa Arts Council Mini-Fellowship Grant. In addition, she was a finalist for the Hennessey-Cognac Emerging Black Artist Holiday Gift Package Contest (2005). Nikki has conducted artist workshops at Little Red School House-Elisabeth Irwin High School (New York) as well as conducting workshops on abstract art, Agest 5-12 ((South Oxford Artist Space, Brooklyn). Nikki is currently enrolled in the Web Development program at New York University and spends time on the weekends painting at her studio in upstate New York.