Nikki Devereux

I took my first oil painting class when I was just 13 years old. It was in the basement of an old stone house down the road from my childhood home in rural Pennsylvania, taught by a man who must have been retired; I remember he seemed so old, just like the dusty old house. I was the youngest person by probably 40-50 years, but I didn’t care and neither did any of the other students – we were there for the love of oil paint. I’ll never forget the gentle lighting, soft rock radio station, and smell of turpentine and basement that permeated my senses.

As an adult I am still possessed with a passion for learning that has led me in endless pursuit of artistic techniques, new and old. I’ve studied photography at The Morean Arts Center in St. Petersburg and Penland School of Arts and Crafts in North Carolina. These classes inspired my love of darkroom work and silver gelatin printing. I have also completed several design and art history courses through California Institute of the Arts, and I am constantly seeking further education to cultivate my skills and knowledge. Most recently, I’ve added encaustic painting, a stunning, dreamy method that uses melted wax and resin, to my mixed media toolkit.

An important part of my work is sustainability, which permeates not just my practice, but more and more it is defining the thematics of my work. A recent project, “The Planet Room,” which debuted at the Creative Pinellas Emerging Artist Exhibition, supports the idea of living more sustainably by assessing a collection of imaginary planets’ ability to support life. The realization is: we must preserve the planet we have.

As an example of ways to live more sustainably, the project is made in a nearly 100% sustainable practice. Each piece is composed of hand-made paper from my magazine scraps and discarded mail. Even the water is sustainable – it is collected from my shower as I wait for the water to warm up.

My first solo exhibition was held at The Studio@620 in St. Petersburg, FL and was attended by over 200 art lovers and collectors. I have also completed works for several group exhibitions and themed shows throughout my career. My work appears in local, national, and international publications.

Wanderlust has taken me all over Europe, the United States, and Central and South America. I have lived in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Ecuador, New York City, and Asheville, and now St. Petersburg, FL, is my forever home. Travel and exploration will inevitably continue to be a catalyst in my life and art, driving me to explore more of our extraordinary world.

I strive to better my community whenever possible through involvement and volunteering. I am a member of the Warehouse Arts District Association, I volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters as a Big Sister, and volunteer in other community organizations on a regular basis.

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