Nicole Kennedy discusses her art and her Raleigh art gallery, Nicole's Studio & Gallery

Profiles in Art features Nicole Kennedy, a Raleigh artist and owner of Nicole's Studio & Art Gallery, a Raleigh art gallery.


Describe your journey to becoming a full time artist.
It is a lifelong journey so to make a long story short I always drew as a child, painted in oils during high school taking frequent trips to MOMA and the Met in NYC, then studying design at Parson’s in NYC.  I ended up working for 15 years drawing and producing TV commercials as an art director.  It wasn’t until we moved to Raleigh that by necessity I had to start painting again to decorate my husband’s restaurant.  That was 1996 in Raleigh and the demand for original art was almost a novelty.

How did you come to own your own gallery?
In the year 2000, I was looking for studio outside my home and found a retail space for rent in an unpopular neighborhood in Raleigh. I exhibited my own works and opened to the public.  In 2001 I expanded and started to represent artists other than myself.  In 2012, I moved the gallery to a building next door; the neighborhood once derelict is now touted as one of the top urban areas in the country.

What sets Nicole’s Studio & Art Gallery apart from other galleries?
We are one of the only galleries in NC to represent fine artists with a special focus on excellence in Contemporary Realism and American Impressionism.  We are also well known as the #1 gallery to host professional art workshops at all levels.

Nicole’s Studio & Art Gallery has a reputation for hosting some of the regions best workshops.  Why did you begin offering workshops?                Because I am an artist owned gallery, creating workshops happened by accident. Clients, artists, and visitors came in asking if I taught.  So there was a demand not being met in the area and it was a natural for me to fill it as I had a space to teach in. 

How do you choose which workshops to offer?
We offer a curriculum from beginner to advanced. The beginner class starts the student off with a bedrock of knowledge and hands-on practice painting realism. Subsequent classes are designed to continue their growth into more advanced areas.  But we are most well known for hosting week long workshops for advanced or professional artists with national master instructors.

What does the future hold for Nicole Kennedy the artist and Nicole Kennedy the gallery owner?
For myself I would like more time to explore my own artistic journey and I am not ruling out an exploration into more abstract contemporary genres.  With the whole art world online, the physical gallery has almost become an obsolete venue. Having said that, by providing workshops for hundreds of students, the gallery is always drawing new talent and new clients often grow out of those classes.

Nicole’s Studio & Art Gallery / / 719 N. Person St. / (919) 838 - 8580 / Wed - Fri 10:30 - 5pm; Sat 12 - 4:30pm