Nikki Pike is an Artist and Activist committed to serving the community through her art practice and role as an educator. Through the use universally positive human experiences such as curiosity, music, surprise, and gifting along with the influence of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, she spreads values of empowerment, vulnerability and connection in the form of experience as opposed to product. Nikki sees herself as a Cultural Agent working together with local communities promoting activity and creativity. With her an expansive practice, Nikki straddles Public Arts, Social Sculpture, Service Art and is exploring ideas of Relief Art intended to aide communities responding to disaster. Her methods start from the ideals of democracy and her work has been featured at the Denver Art Museum, the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, and Art Basel Miami to name a few. Currently Nikki resides in Denver, Colorado and holds a professorship at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.
As an artist, my work is engaged in positive yet critical engagement with society. I recognize our need for belonging and connectedness and our need for environments that promote togetherness. Influenced by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I make postmodern, social/relational projects that range from community skill sharing to sustainable structures to large and small-scale sculptures employing whimsy and play. I use both low and high technology that depend on audience interaction. I intend that viewers become collaborators as active participants – whether through hard work and a committed laborious process, active charge, or by a momentary spark of wonder and hope. These approaches foster interdisciplinary exchange, inclusivity and fluidity through various media; it is an experience I intend for my audience as opposed to a product.
Ideals of democracy inspire me. I am mesmerized by its potential and see my art an expression of that. Some elements I have set for myself to attempt working toward artistic democracy are:
Making work in public
Making the viewer the artist
Removing myself as artist
Making the art free
Come see the work of Nikki Pike and her fellow UCCS VAPA Faculty at TIME at GOCA Ent Center for the Arts (5225 N Nevada Ave) starting January 31st and running through May 12th.
Nikki Pike will give a free artist talk on March 14th along with exhibition artists Pauline Foss, Abbey Hepner, and Marina Eckler. Register HERE.