Cultivating Art: Nicole Royse aims to showcase Valley artists in a fresh light
Nicole Royse aims to showcase Valley artists in a fresh light.
By Emma Suttell
Nicole Royse has spent her career moving between art shows and galleries and writing about emerging artists for North Valley Magazine. Now the owner of her own gallery, Royse Contemporary, she’s extending her art network to showcase Valley artists in a new light.
Raised in Orange County, California, by her grandparents, Royse moved to Arizona in her teens and became the only person in her immediate family to graduate from high school. After pursuing a bachelor’s degree in art history at Arizona State University, Royse’s art appeared in over 80 shows in a six-year period from 2006 to 2012.
After accumulating her own experiences in the art industry, Royse pulled together her skills in social media, public relations, business, and marketing to benefit others in the art community. She began working as a curator for monOrchid, where she worked with over 200 artists to curate over 80 exhibitions.
“I am committed to discovering, exhibiting, cultivating, and promoting artists and original contemporary artwork of all mediums. I aim to educate and engage patrons and artists while exposing them to the eclectic talent we have here in the Valley and beyond,” says Royse. “Working with artists and buyers over the years, I discovered that my extensive experience, knowledge, and connections in the arts could greatly benefit artists, galleries, and buyers.”
In 2017, Royse decided to step back to evaluate her next steps as both an artist and curator. She left her position at monOrchid and began to pursue art consultation, as well as search for various publications to write for to illuminate the breadth of the Arizona art community. In the midst of her career reassessment, Royse leased a gallery space and things fell into place from there. Provided with a platform to expand her offerings to the community, Royse began to provide services such as art consultation, where she assists other galleries in selecting artwork and artists to present in their upcoming exhibitions.
“I opened Royse Contemporary officially on Sept. 14, 2017, in the renowned Scottsdale Arts District, hosting bi-monthly and monthly exhibitions showcasing a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture, mixed media, photography, and installation. To date, I have had the opportunity to host 14 artists and curate eight exhibitions with much more to come in the future,” she says.
One notable exhibition that Royse had the opportunity to curate was an exhibition titled Feminism Today, which was monOrchid’s first all-female group exhibition. “This exhibition examined the many roles we as women play including artist, mother, wife, friend, etc., and
how these topics reflect within their work… As curator I wanted to give visitors the opportunity to explore generational viewpoints of feminism through engaging imagery, diverse styles, and mediums. I brought together a diverse and vibrant group of women who have helped to shape the art scene here in the Valley.”
Royse admits several difficulties have arisen from her evolving career path. She points to her various experiences, explaining “…working in the arts requires one to wear many hats, and I have been in this industry long enough to know that. The biggest challenges as a gallery owner are consistent art sales, but I have structured my career and business so that art supports art.” Royse aims to not only support other artists by visiting other galleries, but by featuring diverse art at her own gallery and within several other projects including guest curating, art consulting, and arts writing.
She juggles these responsibilities with being a wife and mother. Married for 16 years to Rob Royse, they’re the parents to three children: Connor, 9; Drake, 7; and Ava, 5. Royse describes her family as amazing and supportive and notes that all of her children enjoy helping out in the gallery. In their spare time, the Royse family scavenges for museums, galleries, and cultural events.
7077 E. Main St., Scottsdale
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