“The idea that people and nature are separate is wrong. Once you realize that you’re just as much a part of nature as a raccoon or a tree then you can see the world differently so you’ll treat the world differently”.
My name is Skyler Hayman, but everyone calls me Sky. I identify as a non-binary queer human being who was born and raised in Miami, FL and birthed from two immigrant parents who are originally from Nicaragua. All pronouns are welcomed and so are your comments. I am a junior at Florida International University double majoring in International Business and Marketing. Art has always and will always hold a special spot in my heart as it is a way to connect with other human beings through time and space.
Nick Gilmore is a Miami-based sculptor and printmaker. From a young age he was drawn to the natural world. Having a passion for the outdoors and later dabbling with his construction background, this factored heavily into his artwork. He focuses on connecting you to the earth while disconnecting you from the world. He has won awards and has even served as a professor at Florida International University. Gilmore’s artwork has been exhibited throughout South Florida like places at Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, Locust Projects, Dimensions Variable, Turn-Based Press, Swampspace, 6th Street Container, Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum, and many more.
Nick Gilmore was born in Alabama where has was given the opportunity to base his childhood memories about running in the woods and connecting to nature. He has been able to manifest this into his work by working with wood which is essentially working with trees. “Maybe it’s just me trying to get back to my memory of running around the countryside and I feel very comfortable among those parts. Young me grew up in a very rural area out in the woods it wasn’t a cosmopolitan area like New York City”. Gilmore believes that “to a large degree” he has this “need to connect with nature” and he does associate it with his “upbringing in Alabama”.
CULTURAL IDENTITY & Subject of artwork
Gilmore has gotten the opportunity to have experienced different side of the country. Alabama gifted him his “country boy” aspects and has given him this connection to nature. However, he has also spent time in the city when he moved to New York in the 2000s and then later moving to Miami. He did admit for it to be a bit more difficult connecting to nature in the city, but later does speak about his artwork and how these places have influenced his perspective.
Skyler (Me): Having said that you’ve had an upbringing in Alabama, the moving to New York, and to now you living in Miami, I’m assuming these places have affected your culture and even influenced your artistic eye. Do you see these influences of your found culture and places in your artwork?
Nick Gilmore: Yeah, absolutely. I am of the belief that artwork needs to be able to connect on a different level of connection personally to the artist you know maybe locally, but they should also extend to a global and even universal truth of some sort. The way I try is that since before Miami was a city, it was mostly a county on Pine Rockland Forests and it was not found anywhere else in the world except for Florida. It’s good to be able to represent issues that reflect ourselves and also universal issues.
Like many artists, Nick is influenced by where he is and is able to connect these places and their belongings to his own origins and is able to put a message out there to world that everyone can understand.
Exhibition & Project history
Nick Gilmore has been given the opportunity for his artwork to be displayed in many galleries and has been able to be in shows. Of course, there is always that one piece in that one place that really makes us all nervous and grasping for air.
For Nick Gilmore it was his piece Babble, et al in a library. You can see this piece on his page gilmoreworks.com in the Portfolio tab. Nick was able to acquire some of this materials for this piece from a “former Miami artist who passed away who’s wife used to work the library”. He says that “it was all these connections to the library and so I really wanted to make this Tower of Babble”. He then spoke of the artwork as “sexual like a brain of a show but then it has shocker for the press and also work from the Everglades and even urban exploration”. It was a very big moment for Nick seeing that he wanted this artwork to combine his two main mediums of woodwork and paper printmaking.
You’ll have to check out his website for the images of this masterpiece!
Nick Gilmore is a very unique person in the sense that he seemed very easy to connect with and even opened my mind about certain things that I never thought of before. I took advantage of this opportunity with him and asked him certain “abstract” questions to pick his mind on and see his responses.
Skyler (Me): How does your creative process look like? Do you need to take a trip back to Alabama to find inspiration? Do you have ideas ready to go?
Nick Gilmore: I do have a family and I have other jobs that I work at, so I have to be very careful with my studio time where I am going to take advantage of it. Basically I don’t really have to think that much when I get to the studio and I’m ready to make work I just kind of do it. I always have ideas in my head and so when I get in the studio I can just start making so I don’t have it I don’t have trouble coming up with ideas maybe all those years ago suspended while I was learning all this stuff about woodworking is stored up.
Skyler (Me): Are there any challenges you face when making artwork? What are these challenges and how do you overcome them or try to overcome them?
Nick Gilmore: Well if I’m working on a commission piece for somebody else sometimes I can get interrupted by anxiety about it as if it’s not going to work with my vision and theirs, but no that’s never the case. It winds up being an unnecessary stress and I don’t enjoy issues like that. If I do have a plan for a piece I want to work on and I have a technical issue where I cut something by accident, it’s not like painting where I can wait for it to dry and fix it.
I was very excited to have this interview with Nick and see exactly how his mind works. At the beginning of our interview, he mentioned how he did not like talking about himself and trying to respond to questions in a concise manner was difficult for him, but that it was good practice. Due to time constraints, we were not able to go deeper into his paper printmaking process, but I am going to reach out soon to pick his brain some more. Nick Gilmore is a very talented artist whose artwork needs to be displayed in places like Florida International University, Everglades National Park, and many more places for people to see. Don’t forget to check out his website, gilmoreworks.com
Author: Skyler Hayman