Artist Statement: I have never painted an outdoor mural until April 2020, although I have 18 years of experience with large scale interior murals for commercial and residential clientele. As the current pandemic changed our reality, it has also changed my creative focus. My artwork had focused on themes of nostalgia, pop culture, persona and the gaze. Primarily represented in graphite on paper and paint on canvas. When the pandemic began, I walked the streets of Hayes Valley, in San Francisco, watching plywood being hammered onto the storefronts in my neighborhood. The post-apocalyptic streets were in dire need of life and these plywood canvases seemed to have endless possibilities.
Painting upon these unorthodox canvases has not only been a mechanism to cope with the uncertainty of this time, this dive into public art has instilled a sense of purpose and responsibility. Working in this public space, I felt a sense of community that I have not experienced before and recognized an opportunity to give back to these struggling businesses. I painted vintage women swinging from the trees, reminding us of our inner child and giant florals bringing beauty and hope to the mundane. Exotic large cats in fantastical jungle scenes allow passerby’s to escape the day. My murals are diverse in subject matter but are drawn together by the intent of connecting with the public, providing a sense of escapism and creating a visually engaging landscape.
About the Artist
Nicole Hayden Nicole Hayden was born in Skokie Illinois in 1979, and brought up in Chicago, IL. She attended several art programs during her youth, including Marwen Foundation, Gallery 37, and The Art Institute of Chicago. These activities influenced the continuing of her education at the University of Kansas in Lawrence Kansas. While at KU, she received scholarships for her figurative painting. After attaining a BFA from KU, she extended her fine art education at The California College of Arts and Crafts in San Francisco California. In the two year graduate program at CCAC, Hayden experimented and explored figurative painting, and has shown work in various art venues in the bay area including Southern Exposure, Sanchez Art Center, Gensler, Nexus gallery, The Lab, 111 Minna, Hang Art and Adler &Co. After receiving a MFA from CCAC in 2003, she continues to live and work as an artist in San Francisco.
Paint The Void supports artists for the public good and highlights art as essential, particularly during times of crisis. The organization uplifts artists and their voices by funding public art and creativity in everyday urban spaces – spaces that impact and enhance people’s daily lives. Paint the Void is a fiscally sponsored 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, born from an idea to help keep artists engaged and paid as guardians of hope and beauty in a time of fear and uncertainty.