Joe Nickerson, Folk Artist,
Here is part
of an email Peter Bikaunieks sent me in October, 2005, which neatly describes Joe Nickerson and his art.
As promised, just a bit more on our visit to Kearns, Sept. 24/05. Nancy and I have been
going up North to Kirkland Lake, Virginiatown, and Kearns for 20 years or more on 2- or 3-day driving excursions.
. . . .
We also visited Joe Nickerson that day. I met Joe last year on the same street in Kearns
where I played with his brother 50 years ago. It's the street Joe has lived on all his life.
This year Nancy and I spent a good hour and a half with him and bought a couple of pieces
of his art work.
" Formerly a railway worker, Joe is retired and took up sculpture about 10
years ago. His medium is white PVC tubing. The exteriors of the two houses he owns --
the roofs and yards -- are festooned with larger than life figures of animals,
prospectors, kids on snowboards, and characters out of fairy tales and dreams. Joe has
converted one of the buildings into an art gallery. Both floors and every room, including
the stairway, are crowded with his work. What's immediately striking is the difference
between his exterior and interior pieces, which to my mind are more sophisticated and
aesthetic. He has obviously progressed in ten years from the literalism of his early
Mother Goose figures to greater abstraction as he explores ideas, emotions, and
circumstances in his life. In a fair number of his pieces he incorporates what I would call
found art, and even coloured bits of glass, to very attractive effect. Many of his forms
are reminiscent of Star Wars figures. Clearly, white PVC, the colour of George Lucas's
clone troopers, is Joe's metier. He does with it what poets do with words. And he's
astonishingly prolific at it. For him it seems as natural as breathing good Northern air. "
Joe Nickerson, September 2005.
Inside his studio, September 2005.
This sculpture was outside the studio, September, 2009.
Many thanks to Peter Bikaunieks for the three photos above.
This photo and the one below were taken in or before 2002.
Many thanks to Lloyd Hart for the two photos above.
|Many thanks to Andy Ross for the eight photos below.|