Contemporary Art Center
305 SW Water Street
2nd floor Loft
Peoria, IL 61602
Nikole has been an artist since childhood. As a child, she tended to look at the world through very analytical and curious eyes. She loved to draw, paint and sculpt early in life, but was also always fascinated with small details and unique perspectives. Growing up in the country and near the Mackinaw River, nature supplied a wealth of subjects. Nikole's very first paintings were of wildlife. Her early passions were art, animals, and nature.
Nikole Cooney did her undergraduate studies in art at Illinois Central College. She was fortunate to study and apprentice under Preston Jackson for many years who strongly encouraged her to apply to The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She was accepted and was awarded a Presidential Scholarship. From that point until now, she has worked as a full time artist.
Currently Nikole shares a studio with her husband, Eric Cooney, at the Contemporary Art Center of Peoria in the Loft of the 2nd floor. Although she enjoys sculpting as well, her current body of work is primarily oil or acrylic paintings.
"I have found these rich mediums to be the most effective to achieve a soft, blended, fleshy feel to the work. My current pieces are like journal pages to me…some from mine….some from others. It is very cathartic in nature. Much of the work is social commentary. I have layered meanings by using symbolism and the psychological implications of the mask."
The mask also allows Nikole to bring animals and wildlife into the work. Through these beautiful creatures, she can speak indirectly of the strength, frailty and carnal nature of humans.
"It is my desire to create work that is not only visually exciting, but intellectually and emotionally stimulating as well."