Northwest DIY Artist Nikki McClure

August 04, 2011

This August, artist Nikki McClure brings her meticulously produced sculptural paper cuts to the walls of Museum of Contemporary Craft. McClure, who is a native of Washington State, embodies the independent spirit that continues to bring national attention to creative activities in the Northwest. Her illustrations, which can be found on t-shirts, books, album covers, and posters as well as in her wildly popular annual calendar, insist quietly but forcefully that people sit up and take notice of the world.

“As far as ‘calling out to the world,’ the calendar does that in two ways,” McClure says. “The first is, ‘Hey, I’m here! I make pictures!’ and it has opened doors for me and adventures have been offered because of that call. It is my calling card and portfolio. The second call is, ‘Wake Up!’”

McClure’s self-made career is a model for young artists everywhere. In each piece, her message is clear: Take action. Make your own life. Pay attention.

McClure celebrates the moments, both large and small, that that fill our daily lives. Her work documents her life, family and community, showing real people engaged in activities that have happened for thousands of years: picking berries, sharing meals, swimming in rivers.

McClure recently explained, “My work is about hope and optimism—by using humanity’s strengths, we can fix the mess we’re in.”

The exhibition at MoCC reveals how an artist can be an active, successful, engaged maker using only simple materials and tools. As with everything she does, McClure models a self-sustained life, built on her own terms.

Nikki McClure: Cutting Her Own Path, 1996-2011 opens at Museum of Contemporary Craft on August 18. McClure will teach a workshop sponsored through PNCA Continuing Education in September and will give a lecture as part of the 2011-2012 Graduate Visiting Artist Lecture Series on October 20.

Learn more about the exhibition.