To those familiar with the Arizona art community, Nicole Royse is a name you will recognize. As an art curator, advocate, and artist herself, this talented woman is helping to support the local scene and highlight up and coming artists every day.
We wanted to highlight a little bit more about what makes this woman so incredibly special, so we sat down and asked her a few questions.
CitS: Who is Nicole Royse?
NR: I grew up just outside of Newport Beach California raised by my incredible grandparents, moving to the valley during High School. I attended Arizona State University receiving my Bachelors of Arts Degree in Art History. I have been married to an amazing man, Robb Royse for 14 years and we have three beautiful children, currently living in the East Valley.
For almost four years I have been the Shade Projects Curator at the monOrchid the hub of Roosevelt Row, running two art galleries: Shade Gallery and Bokeh Gallery open daily as well as attracting 3,000 visitors every First Friday. I feature monthly exhibitions showcasing both local and national artists in all mediums. At the monOrchid I handle all aspects of the galleries including but not limited to: installation, promotion, social media, and artist relations. The monOrchid is a wonderful co-working space that houses two beautiful galleries, a coffee shop, soon to be open restaurant, a plant shop and more! I am focused on building the careers of local artists, educating patrons, and overall arts advocacy and promotion of Arizona arts.
I am a freelance writer covering the arts across the Valley for such publications as AZFoothills Magazine, North Valley Magazine, SoScottsdale, AZCulture.com and YabYum Music & Arts where I am the Visual Arts Editor. I have been pursuing my own art career since graduating college, creating artwork that primarily centers on nature focuses on abstraction of form through the use of line, color and texture (more here: nicoleroyse.com).
CitS: Who were some major influences in your life and how did they help you get where you are today?
NR: My grandparents Richard and Maxing Bertich are a huge influence and support in my life. Having raised me when my parents could not (and did not want to), due to their drug and alcohol addictions, they were true models of love, compassion, and hard work instilling in me strong values and work ethic.
My husband Robb Royse, who is smart, funny, kind and my best friend has giving me unconditional love, we are an amazing family and supports my career in the arts. Lastly my three children (Connor, Drake, Ava) who inspire me to be the best version of myself and push me to strive for more, giving them opportunities and experiences I did not have.
CitS: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
NR: If knowledge and ability aren’t enough, always work hard and be persistent.
CitS: What’s one of your favorite things about Roosevelt Row?
NR: Roosevelt Row is an eclectic mix of people, culture and businesses and I am honored to be apart of our arts community that continues to thrive and evolve despite all the change and development occurring.
CitS: In your opinion, in what way can Phoenix be pushed forward?
NR: With so much development and change occurring in Phoenix their needs to be more support of local businesses and the arts, as well as better communication and collaboration to really achieve the vibrant city we desire.
CitS: What is your favorite place to hang out at on the weekends?
NR: I love to be out and about with my family seeing the latest exhibition at a museum or gallery, grabbing an iced coffee and relaxing at a coffee shop for a but, and of course swimming at our pool. We love sushi in our family and our favorite weekend go to eatery is Stingray Sushi in Ahwatukee with chef Andrew Nam (Love the spicy tuna & shrimp tempura rolls and the kiddos love the bento boxes).
CitS: What’s next for you? What new projects are coming up?
NR: Currently I am preparing for the monOrchid’s September exhibitions: Shade Gallery will feature the solo painting and sculpture exhibition “What Happens In Between” from Kris Manzanares (Read more about that here).
Bokeh Gallery will showcase “New Myths”, the photography exhibition of Rembrandt Quiballo who’s current work was created by appropriating images from mass media, then digitally manipulating it and collaging transparent prints onto acrylic glass or archival paper (More information here).
Also happening this month is the third installment of Square1Phx with “Extra Layers” showcasing fashion, poetry, music and visual arts at the monorchid on Thursday, September 29th, honored and excited to work with this talented group of young creatives again! Finally I am pursuing collaborative opportunities that will allow me to better support and grow the Arizona Arts.
(Get your tickets to Extra Layers here and use code COUTURE to save money.)
CitS: What is your most favorite “escape?”
NR: The ocean is my happy place, specifically Laguna Beach California where I vacation every summer with my family! I am so lucky to spend a time there enjoying the beautiful ocean, the great community, local arts, restaurants and shops.
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