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Former HCC Student Returns to College to Debut Art Exhibit “Places Called Home”

A profile picture of Nicole Parker.

From October 1 through November 18, 2018, Nicole Parker will showcase her oil paintings and intaglio prints in her first solo exhibition since graduating from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia (PAFA) last May.

The exhibit, titled “Places Called Home” will be held in The Rouse Company Foundation Gallery (RCFG) within the Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center at Howard Community College (HCC) – a place she dreamed of exhibiting her art since she began attending the college as a teenager.

“I have high expectations for myself after the five years I have been away from HCC,” she said. “It means a lot to me to be able to exhibit in a space where I spent so much time as a student. And I cannot wait to see some of my old friends again.”

A homeschool student, Parker began taking courses at HCC during high school through the college’s dual enrollment program, which provides Howard County students the opportunity to earn college credit while working toward their diploma. Parker’s schedule consisted of many core subjects, but her favorite classes were visual art courses.

“My art classes at HCC were really the highlights of my whole high school experience,” she said. “HCC has such a strong art department. My favorite classes were Advanced Color Theory with Jim Adkins, and every painting course I took with Peter Collier.”

She became close with both teachers, and during her senior year, joined Collier and his student group for a study abroad trip to France. “It was a really unforgettable experience and contributed so much to my growth as both an artist and an individual,” she said.

Parker graduated high school in 2013 and began her studies at PAFA the following fall.

“I studied primarily painting and printmaking,” she said. “I just graduated this year with my bachelor’s degree. Since then, I’ve moved back to my hometown in Maryland to continue my studio career and forge new connections, with plans to pursue a Master of Fine Arts in a few years.”

Throughout the years, Parker stayed in touch with her teachers at HCC, dropping by Collier’s class whenever she could and enjoying studio visits with Adkins over the summers when she was home.

Two years ago, she gave an artist talk in Collier’s painting class and caught the attention of Thomas Engleman, assistant professor of visual arts and director of galleries at HCC.

“She had brought a small pocket-sized painting for an example with her,” he recalled. “Just from seeing that small piece, I was immediately attracted to her compositions, color pallet, and rendering skills.”

Engleman offered Parker her own exhibition this fall.

“All throughout undergrad, I hoped that one day I might be to come back to HCC as an exhibitor,” she said.

“I primarily work in landscapes and cityscapes, but I like to say that I make pictures of places and things that reflect the small, quiet moments in a very big and loud world. This current body of work in particular is inspired by childhood memory, recent travels, and transitioning between one home city to another.”

Parker says though her career as an artist has been brief, she considers her experience at HCC to be formative and lasting.

“During my time at HCC, my professors provided me not only with the technical skill set that I needed in order to progress, but also the drive and courage to pursue what I am most passionate about.

“Places Called Home” will be held in The Rouse Company Foundation Gallery within the Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center from October 1 through November 18, 2018. The exhibit is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily.

Visit the artist’s website for exhibition news and recent work.

Topics: Arts & Culture
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