Nikki Brooks is a multi-disciplinary artist that works specifically in installations and assemblage that are infused with digital and audio elements, paintings, sculpted text, and collage spaces.
Nikki is a Maryland based artist, born in Brooklyn and raised in Spotsylvania County Virginia. She received her M.F.A. from Maryland Institute College of Art, class of 2019. She has 17 years’ experience as an art teacher and currently works for Prince George’s County Public Schools.
“Activism has been embedded within me since the day my mother guided me to understand the origin of my culture and role within this society.”
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The support of my patrons and community allows me to continue to tell my truth and explore racial justice and liberation for LGBTQ+ people. Please join me in this journey:
The goal of her work is to shed light on how whiteness has weighed on the social, economical, and physical disparities within the black community and provides an illusion of comfort to draw in non-black audiences to provide a deeper window into how whiteness has remained silent and taken an off hands approach to these issues that still plague the black community. These showings also highlight how normalized these traumatic experiences are to the black community; the installations and assemblages are created to provide a healing space for black identity by providing a space for n on-black audiences to independently explore and grapple with the uncomfortable topics amongst one another. In Nikki’s mind she wanted to free black audiences from having to explain something so didactic and visual.
From Nikki: “Activism has been embedded within me since the day my mother guided me to understand the origin of my culture and role within this society. Through the years I have sought out ways to find my artistic voice through images of dark skinned portraiture, and non-figurative (shape, line, color) movement combined with photos, words, fabrics, etc. Having acquired more theoretical pedagogy I am now often thinking how to maneuver around institutional boundaries that wish to silence my creative voice.
Events that have left me in a box of feeling marginalized by discriminatory acts against my skin-tone, gender, and sexual orientation have propelled my most recent artworks to not only challenge unconscious bias, but allow the community in which it serves to participate and create change. Through installation, collage, and assemblage art I have created artwork that confronts the institution’s philosophies that operate with conscious biases and attempt to camouflage themselves under the notion of inclusion and diversity. The audience becomes comfortably immersed in these conflicting spaces and leave the space knowing that their silence is a hindrance towards conversations on equity.
I play with perception by inducing a sense of comfort that brings the audience to unexpectedly grapple with power and privilege. Now the audience sees a part of my lived experience and uses that didactic moment to advocate and challenge the ignorance of others. It is always my hope that through participation people will have conversations that dissect the systems that cause of power, privilege and oppression and work to dismantle them.”
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