Nikki-Renee Anderson

Artist Statement

My sculptures are fantasy objects that explore cultural stereotypes about beauty, desire and femininity. The forms have reference to the female body and also other associations to sweets, fruit and flowers. I both participate in traditional roles and re-imagine them to create new roles. The forms present ideas of temptation and beauty. They are intended to draw a viewer to get closer to the forms and look as though they could be squeezed or licked.

The intertwining of sculptures and voices is important in my expression of femininity; therefore some of the work incorporates sound. The voices tell stories that give another level of understanding about the work. Often the negotiation of listening becomes a form of intimacy, which is important in defining the power of the work.

My sculptures are forms that flow, bubble, grow, explode, drip and ooze. Some of the pieces reference the form of teardrops or fluid. These pieces explore blood being squeezed from a wound or milk from a breast. Also, they relate to the idea of growth, multiplication and expansion.

-- Nikki Renee Anderson


Nikki Renee Anderson creates ceramic sculptures and installations that explore the feminine experience based on her personal history.

Anderson has exhibited extensively including recent solo exhibitions at Northeastern Illinois University, Dubhe Carreño Gallery and the Elmhurst Art Museum. Her work has also been exhibited at the 59th and 56th Premio Faenza Competition at the International Museum of Ceramics, Faenza, Italy; The Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ; The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago, IL; The Urban Institute for Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, MI; the 2009 NCECA Biennial at the Arizona State University Museum Ceramics Research Center, Tempe, AZ; The 18th San Angelo National Ceramic Competition at the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, San Angelo, TX; The Koehnline Museum of Art, Oakton Community College, Skokie, IL; Visualizing TRANS at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Visual Culture Conference; Chicago Sculpture International Biennale at FLATFILE Galleries; SOFA Chicago 2004 with Dubhe Carreño Gallery; The Hillwood Art Museum, Long Island University, Brookville, NY; Art Chicago 2003, Special Project Space, Zolla/Lieberman Gallery, Chicago, IL; Istanbul Museum of Contemporary Art (online exhibition), Istanbul, Turkey and The Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia, PA.

She has been an artist-in-residence at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, Newcastle, ME, Takt Residency Program, Berlin, Germany, the Icelandic Association of Visual Artists (SÍM), Reykjavík, Iceland, La Macina di San Cresci, Greve, Italy, A.I.R. Vallauris, France and the Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT.

Anderson’s work has been reviewed by Helen Harrison in the New York Times, Victor Cassidy in Sculpture Magazine and Ceramics Art and Perception, Lori Waxman and Lauren Viera in the Chicago Tribune. Her work has also been included in American Craft Magazine, Ceramics Monthly, Time Out Chicago, Chicago Artists’ News and the Chicago Sun-Times.

Her awards include an Artist Project Grant in Visual Arts from the Illinois Arts Council, two International Arts Exchange Grants from the Illinois Arts Council, three CAAP grants from the City of Chicago, full funding to the Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, a full fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center; Best Faculty Presentation, Voices, Visions and Visionaries Gender Conference, College of Lake County; and the Maurice Goldberger Graduate Fellowship, Stony Brook University.

She regularly lectures about her work and has presented at the Elmhurst Art Museum in Elmhurst, IL; the International Museum of Ceramic Arts in Faenza, Italy; La Macina di San Cresci Artist Residency in Greve, Italy; the 2007 College Art Association Conference in New York, NY, New School University in New York, NY and Long Island University in Brookville, NY.

She received an MFA from Stony Brook University and a BFA from Drake University. She currently teaches in the Art & Art History Department and the Design Department at Columbia College Chicago. Anderson lives and works in Chicago.