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Nick Cave

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Information about Nick Cave

Profile image of Nick Cave

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Performance Artist
Art Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Crab (Soft Shell)
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
2/4/1959
Birth Location:
Fulton, Missouri

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Performance Artist
Art Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Crab (Soft Shell)
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
2/4/1959
Birth Location:
Fulton
See how Nick Cave is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Art professor and performance artist Nick Cave was born February 4, 1959 in Fulton, Missouri. His mother, Sharon, raised him and his seven brothers. As a student at George Washington Carver School in Fulton, Missouri and at West Junior High School in Columbia, Missouri, Cave showed creativity and artistic ability at a young age. Graduating from Hickman High School in 1977, he enrolled in the Kansas City Art Institute where he continued to express himself through both visual art and performance art. In 1979, Cave met Alvin Ailey and spent that summer and several summers thereafter in New York, New York studying with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. After graduating from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1981, he designed displays for the department store, Macy’s, and worked professionally as a fashion designer, while continuing his passions as an artist and dancer. Cave earned his M.F.A. degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan in 1988.

Joining the faculty of the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, after his graduation from Cranbrook, Cave has built a reputation as an educator and performance artist, especially with his ritualistic costumes called “Soundsuits.” These sculpted, full body “soundsuits” are layered and textured in metal, plastic, fabric, hair, and objects designed to rattle and resonate in concert with the movement of the wearer, usually Cave himself. The suits represent Cave’s feelings about the isolation and insulation attendant to being a African American man in America. One of Cave’s well-known projects is Drop: Soundsuits in Degrees of Observation, a performance parade featuring ten dancers and sixty “Soundsuits.” In 2007, he planned an event in Chicago involving three dance companies, musicians and over 120 sculptured suits.

As the director of the graduate fashion program at the Art Institute of Chicago, Cave enjoys working with students and sharing his knowledge and experiences. His works of art have been shown at the Los Angeles Art Show in Los Angeles, California and the Seattle Art Museum in Seattle, Washington. Exhibitions of his assemblage sculptures in The Arts Connexion in Amsterdam, Holland, and Kestener Museum in Hannover, Germany have earned Cave an international following.

Nick Cave was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 22, 2004.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Nick Cave's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Nick Cave lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Nick Cave talks about his maternal family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Nick Cave talks about his mother and maternal family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Nick Cave lists his brothers
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Nick Cave talks about his paternal family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Nick Cave describes his paternal grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Nick Cave talks about his father and his extended family in Missouri
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Nick Cave describes his earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Nick Cave recalls the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in Missouri
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Nick Cave recalls his childhood personality and growing up in black neighborhoods in Fulton, Missouri and Columbia, Missouri
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Nick Cave recalls his early artistic influences, including his uncle who was an oil painter
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Nick Cave describes the music he listened to as a child and his experiences at George Washington Carver School in Fulton, Missouri
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Nick Cave talks about his interests in art as a youth
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Nick Cave reflects upon his move from Fulton, Missouri to Columbia, Missouri
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Nick Cave talks about his schooling in Columbia, Missouri
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Nick Cave remembers his high school years and being sheltered as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Nick Cave talks about his high school activities and a teacher who motivated him
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Nick Cave talks about leaving home for the Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Nick Cave describes his arts involvement as a student at David H. Hickman High School in Columbia, Missouri
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Nick Cave recalls his time at Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Nick Cave talks about beginning to dance with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and his impressions of New York, New York
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Nick Cave recalls his time in New York, New York and his family's acceptance of his work
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Nick Cave talks about dancing for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Nick Cave talks about dancing for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Nick Cave talks about creating performance work as a student at Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Nick Cave talks about the importance of being accepted into Kansas City Art Institute and designing clothing for a department store
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Nick Cave recalls the months after earning his B.A. degree from Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Nick Cave recalls getting a job at Macy's as visual director
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Nick Cave talks about the type of clothing he designed while working at Macy's in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Nick Cave recalls his time at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Nick Cave remembers being the only black student at Cranbrook Academy of Art as a graduate student in the late 1980s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Nick Cave reflects on how studying at Cranbrook Academy of Art allowed him to ground his work without outside influences
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Nick Cave talks about being offered a teaching position at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Nick Cave describes how he began to create Soundsuits
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Nick Cave talks about ceasing to make Soundsuits in the early 1990s and further describes his thought process in making them
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Nick Cave talks about a Soundsuit exhibition and performance to debut in full in 2007
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Nick Cave talks about who is involved with the Soundsuit performance project and his hopes for future work
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Nick Cave talks about teaching at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Nick Cave describes his philosophy and role as a teacher
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Nick Cave describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Nick Cave talks about why he finds it important that art objects have a history
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Nick Cave talks about his mother's support of his art career
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Nick Cave reflects upon his life and talent
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Nick Cave reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Nick Cave describes how he would like to be remembered