Exhibitions & Readings

Career Overview:? My art has been exhibited publicly many times at various venues, and has been on exhibit at a gallery/business/public venue continuously for more than a decade, which is an unusual accomplishment for most artists. Exhibitions have included Santa Barbara City Hall, Ventura County Government Center, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Community Memorial Hospital, The Atkinson Gallery (Santa Barbara City College), Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Harvard Smithsonian Observatory, Ojai Art Center, among others (several as the result of juried competition). For approximately a decade, my fine artwork was been on display at Santa Barbara, California City Hall.? Similarly, commencing public exhibition in February 2011, Community Memorial Hospital acquired a large collection of my works, following a display of my artwork and poetry for the hospital in 2010.? In 2006 I was fortunate to have a solo exhibition that was recorded by Marjorie Cronshaw on behalf of the Montecito, California History Committee, and I’ve been named an artist to watch by the “Montecito Journal” and a few other periodicals. ?? A retrospective of M. Nicole van Dam works has also been published, entitled “M. Nicole van Dam, A Retrospective 2010.” ? (See also my? Portfolio )? Current gallery exhibitions often include recitations of my poetry and philosophy combined with my art, in large part taken from my book (and labor of love) “Tempo – The Rhythm and Rhyme of the Artist.”? In 1978, I as a solo artist did a mural of the constellations and astrological symbols inside the curved surface of the Harvard/Smithsonian Observatory dome.

In addition to fine art exhibitions, as an internationally licensed artist and author, my work is licensed by international manufacturers for many products, such as glass plates, footwear, tile wall murals, collectibles, etc., and as a result people around the world have purchased my work.?? I’ve enjoyed the thrill of being written about in collector newsletters, including international newsletters that published my poetry as well as my other creations. Examples of the many products made using licensed images of my art can be seen on this site at the Licensing menu tab.??? I’ve authored books which combine my art with my poetry, humor and philosophy, and current gallery exhibitions often include recitations of my poetry and philosophy combined with my art.? The book I am most proud of blends my art and writing and is called? “Tempo – The Rhythm and Rhyme of the Artist.”??? I also have written and illustrated several children’s books, including “Inca Dink, The Great Houndini” ? (licensed for the iPhone/iPad and narrated by BBC personality Dominic Byrne) and “Rosie and Emma Plant a Seed“? and “This Little Puppy.”?

Below is a slide show sharing photos of exhibitions, openings, media, licensed products, published books (poetry, philosophy, art, how-to and children’s books), parade floats, and much more.? In addition to the traditional slide show that follows, you might also enjoy Nicole’s “Memory Ball” – this whirling, twirling ball is a fun way to visually see how “Memories make the World go Round!” Exhibitions have included Santa Barbara City Hall, Ventura County Government Center, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Community Memorial Hospital, The Atkinson’s Gallery (Santa Barbara City College), Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Harvard Smithsonian Observatory, among others (and several as the result of juried competition).

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A great memory is having my art at Santa Barbara City Hall for almost a decade – from around 2006 until August 2016, encompassing several mayors and city council members over many years. My artwork “Voting Booth” was the first thing a visitor to the Santa Barbara Mayor & City Council office would see when entering the office (see the artwork on the square wall). The artwork was accompanied by an explanation of what the art meant:

My artwork "Voting Booth" first thing visitors would see at Santa Barbara City Hall Mayor & Councilmen's Office

My artwork “Voting Booth” first thing visitors would see at the Santa Barbara City Hall Mayor & City Council Office

I took a quick video:

THANK YOU SANTA BARBARA FOR ALL YOU’VE DONE FOR MY ART!

In 2017 I was asked to read two of my works for television broadcast – very fun indeed! I chose two works that had a reference to knitting, in honor of my Mother and my Aunt and cousins, all of whom encouraged my exploration of the diverse world of knitting. When I did the readings, I wore my Dance of the Fall Leaves kaftan, based on my Dance of the Fall Leaves artwork. One of the readings was of a short story I wrote, “Nessie.” I had fun juxtaposing the traditional with the modern with the futuristic. This reading was broadcast on television 5 times in 2017 and has enjoyed some nice internet exposure:

Here is another of my readings broadcast on television – my poem “Life is Like Knitting.” Following is the video of the reading, and below the video I have put the poem itself.

As background on the poem itself, I had written about knitting, and life, some years ago, when I was starting anew before I met my wonderful husband. Knitting was a lovely part of my relationship with my Mother and also with my wonderful Aunt Barbara and her daughters Rika and Claire. The poem is apropos of so many of life’s changes and decisions:

Life is Like Knitting

Life is like knitting
Sometimes each stitch falls easily into place
Each row upon row flowing with grace
And then, a mistake, not easy to erase

A choice must be had
Do we go ahead flawed, looking a bit bad
Or do we unravel and then
Begin, begin, begin again?

With each new start
The old design deliberately picked apart
Carefully the yarn from the needle unfurls
Undoing all the knits and pearls
Cautious not to harm
The tender texture of the yarn

This life’s thread must be used to stitch again
In our universal pattern of row upon row, til time’s end
There is no shame in each start anew
No matter how many restarts or how few

The rows undone
In the redoing are part of life’s fun
The lessons learned along each knitted way
Can be used another day
To last, to warm our souls a little longer
Making our life’s knitting that much stronger.

(c) 2006 M. Nicole van Dam. All Rights Reserved.

Below is screen show of some of Nicole’s blog posts on a variety of things that might interest you – you can click on whichever post interests you to read the full post – ENJOY!

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