Nicholas Projects launched with the intention of addressing some of the conventions we, as artists ourselves, encountered when navigating various existing gallery models.
Our experiences familiarised us with a restrictive hierarchy of terms—such as ‘Artist Run Initiative’, ‘emerging’, and ‘commercially established’—and we ultimately found that the existence of this hierarchy creates unnecessary boundaries between artists and galleries.
In response, we have defined Nicholas Projects as a “curated gallery space that aims to support artists at all stages of their careers”. We say this with the intention to create an even playing field in which artists are celebrated for their merit and not with regards to their weight in the art world.
There are galleries that strive to exhibit “cutting edge, experimental and conceptually driven art”, and although we share these sentiments, we feel that the practicalities of ‘being’ an artist are equally important, yet largely ignored by the gallery system.
99% of the time at an ARI level, artists pay to rent the physical gallery space for the duration of their exhibition. This expense is on top of studio fees, material costs, website hosting, the hiring couriers and framers, etc. It is a sad reality that so many talented artists’ careers are inhibited—or dissolved completely—due to financial reasons. As firsthand witnesses of this dire outcome, we made it a core component of Nicholas Projects’ mission that an artist will never have to pay exhibition fees.
We cover rent, installation (and associated tool use), the provision of invigilation, the costs of opening night, the printing of marketing material, website and administrative costs – in short, all running costs.
We offer guidance to our artists for professional practice development. Under the umbrella of Nicholas Projects, exhibiting artists have access to everything from curatorial advice and communications strategies to commercial and mentorship opportunities. We believe strongly in the idea of mentorship and promote communal support across all levels of the art industry.