In planning for the year ahead, we have been reflecting on the artists who inspire us with their drive and nourish our community through their creativity. Since first meeting abstract artist Nicole Shulde several years ago, there was no doubt she had the ambition to achieve her dream of making art her full-time focus and spark imagination in others.

We’ve been thrilled to be a supporter in Nicole’s work -- from her first art contest entry to the day she was able to make creating art her sole career. In a quick question-and-answer series, Nicole offers her perspective on Lincoln’s art culture and the value and encouragement she has received from the Lincoln Arts Council and others as she pursues her passion.

What does art in Lincoln mean for you?

Art in Lincoln represents possibilities to me. Being fairly new to the business of art, I am learning that it is not only important to establish yourself by being active in the community, it is equally important to be in a community that embraces art. Lincoln does that. With a community that shows such appreciation and enthusiasm for art, how could one not see it filled with endless possibilities?

How did you first get involved in the Lincoln Arts Council?

I received an email from the Lincoln Arts Council and the National Arts Program about an art contest open to all city employees, Lincoln Public Schools employees and their families. I entered and was awarded an honorable mention. With growing confidence, I entered the following year and was thrilled to win first place in my category. As I started gaining momentum, I submitted a proposal to the Lincoln Arts Council for the Community Supported Art project. I was accepted and given the opportunity to meet exceptional local artists and patrons. The following year, I had my debut at the Lincoln Arts Festival.

How has the Lincoln Arts Council connected you with support for artists?

The staff is inspirational, approachable, welcoming, and eager to help forward the progression of those who seek to do art here in Lincoln.

They have shown support to me personally as an artist from the get-go. I feel the utmost gratitude for the way they supported me, encouraged me, and promoted me in the media. I have also witnessed their support of many other new talents here in Lincoln. We’re able to take advantage of many fantastic opportunities available through the Council, such as programs, workshops, contests, the Arts Festival, and various media.

By participating in programming offered by LAC and working in a community that embraces and fosters art, Nicole is now a founding artist with Chapin Studios and Gallery, a new downtown art establishment.

Your contribution to the Lincoln Arts Council allows us to continue lifting up artists like Nicole who enrich our community with art. Please make a gift today.