A teaching artist living in Bismarck is involved with all things creative across many ages. You could say she has her hand in everything.
Nicole was raised in North Dakota but attended college in California. When she moved back to Bismarck a few years ago, she was thrown into the art scene instantly and was asked to paint a mural in Art Alley.
She was asked to paint what North Dakota meant to her. Gagner said it meant canning with her grandmother. So she created a huge mural of cans filled with pickles and other veggies.
Whether it’s painting little houses she found at a thrift shop, adding new designs to a previous art piece, or creating images of her own, art is woven into everything Nicole Gagner does. Her style is very eclectic, vintage and unique. Her home and studio are covered in special items she found in thrift shops and markets that are often accented with a touch from Nicole.
Gagner has been painting since she was a child but didn’t sell her first painting until she was in college. It was then she realized art could be a real thing in her life.
At first, she thought she’d be a journalist because it sounded practical. But when she got to college she met the professors that sparked the interest in her to pursue a career in art.
Gagner is now in her second semester as an adjunct teacher at Bismarck State College. She loves this age group because she says it’s fun to see what they’re interested in. She also travels around the state stopping in rural communities, teaching art classes to people of all ages.
Besides painting, she helps out behind the scenes with a small-batch hot sauce and mustard venture that her husband started called “Morningside Provisions.” It’s a new business but she said you can find the product at local markets.
Nicole Gagner documents her artistic adventures on her Painter Nicole page, if you are interested!