Nina Nichols is one of the key members of the curatorial team that brought the Multispecies Salon to New Orleans. Along with Amy Jenkins, she helped herd goats at the Front, the gallery in New Orleans’s Saint Claude Arts District, which hosted artworks speaking to the theme of “Edible Companions“. The Pretty Doe Dairy – an urban goat farm they call a “guerrilla bio-remediation scheme” – used milk from their star animals (Molly, Bunny and Sylvie) to make lattés and goat cheese.
In 2011 Nichols collaborated with Dana Sherwood and Tessa Farmer for a public art project called Lafcadio’s Revenge. Together they put objects excavated from casual dump sites around New Orleans in conversation with fantasy and local legend, telling stories of the city through the reanimation of forgotten relics. The above ground ‘Subterranean Museum’ that was the centerpiece of their vision was constructed from salvaged wood, tin roofing and theater curtains. Inside, Farmer’s tiny webbed demons purveyed the feeling of underground decay and growth while Sherwood’s theatrical marquettes retold a mythic history of New Orleans. Touring the local neighbourhoods by mule-drawn carriage, the Subterranean Museum helped animate the historical present for Nichols’ community whilst also imagining the possible futures to come.
Nichols is also a theatrical designer, parade arts teacher, playwright and installation artist working and living in New Orleans. Her work emerges from a fascination with sustainability, natural diversity, wild pollination and mutation. In addition, Nichols is also the active president of “The Black Forest Fancies Non-Profit Organization”, an experimental community arts promotional group, helping to extend the gifted members of the arts community of New Orleans to work with dreamers all over the world.
Kirksey, Eben et al. (2014) “Hope In Blasted Landscapes?” in The Multispecies Salon, Durham: Duke University Press, pp. 53-56.Black Forest Fancies