nichola feldman-kiss

#CouncilSpotlight – nichola feldman-kiss

Jennifer Clark

nichola feldman-kiss: Reflecting Society

nichola feldman-kiss

The Ottawa Arts Council supports artists and arts organizations through leadership, guidance and the provision of opportunities to advance our local creative potential.

Our series #CouncilSpotlight presents stories and experiences of Arts Council members and art award recipients.

nichola received the Ottawa Arts Council's Corel Endowment Fund for the Arts Award in 2009 in support of her project “the camera eye” a propositional, mechanical marionette.

Where are you from? Are you from the Ottawa area?

Yes, born and raised.

How did you get involved in the Ottawa arts community?

I returned to Ottawa following graduate school at California Institute for the Arts. I was a sessional instructor at the University of Ottawa, then I curated technological art for the high tech sector. I then became a policy advisor and, ultimately, an officer for media arts at the Canada Council for the arts, before fully committing to a life as an independent art practitioner.

How would you describe your artistic practice/discipline?

Dedicated, performative, socially engaged, multi-disciplinary innovations in art and technology.

What impact has your involvement with the arts/the Ottawa arts community had on your life?

The community is small and personable, which creates a sense of a safety net.

Is there a specific moment/situation in your art career that you remember fondly?

My first professional exhibition was picture this place, the juried exhibition inaugurating the 1991 renovations of the Ottawa Art Gallery. I think that the inclusion of my work in this show, as part of a cluster of early successes, gave me the confidence to pursue an artistic livelihood.

nichola feldman-kiss

Photo Credit: nichola feldman-kiss 2015

Do you have any advice for artists in the Ottawa community or artists in general?

Keep your nose to the grindstone, have fun and be sure to develop community and audiences outside of Ottawa.

What are you currently working on?

an initial aversion to the plight of the sufferer (Piéta) is a series of portrait photographs and socially engaged works about relative human value in the Canadian context. The work is being prepared for the Nuit Blanche Toronto 2018 curated program.

What was it like to receive an award from the Ottawa Arts Council? How did it impact your career?

It was nice to be recognized by my community. It provided a couple of months of studio rent.

To learn more about nichola and find out where you can see her work, visit


The Ottawa Arts Council's Corel Endowment Fund for the Arts Award is open for applications on February 20, 2018.

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