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Nicole Smith

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Information about Nicole Smith

Profile image of Nicole Smith

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Curator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Salad
Favorite Time of Year:
Early Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Shasta Springs, California
Favorite Quote:
I Wish You A Victorious Day

Birthplace

Born:
12/8/1940

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Curator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Salad
Favorite Time of Year:
Early Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Shasta Springs, California
Favorite Quote:
I Wish You A Victorious Day

Birthplace

Born:
12/8/1940
See how Nicole Smith is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Curator Nicole Smith was born in the Republic of Haiti. In 1971, she began her career as a curator at the Centre d’art in Port-au Prince, Haiti. In search of new adventures, Smith moved to the United States in 1973.

At first, she sold Haitian work from her home and automobile before opening the Nicole Gallery in 1986. Smith was instrumental in bringing Shona stone sculpture from Zimbabwe into prominence and the Nicole Gallery maintained one of the most comprehensive collections of Shona sculpture in the United States. The gallery came to represent one of the finest collections of world renowned Haitian, African and African African artists. With many of these artists, Smith represented them and fostered their careers including Nigerian artists such as N’Namdi Okonkwo and the Haitian artist Franck Louissaint. Smith also championed the careers of Chicago Artists Allen Stringfellow and George Carter. In 1988, Smith began working with the Haitian artist Fritz Millevoix who had just moved to the United States. She helped bring his brilliantly colorful and dreamlike paintings of villages to prominence. In 2005, she curated an exhibit of Fritz Millevoix paintings at the Daley Civic Center in cooperation with Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs. In 2010, after the Haiti earthquake, Smith organized a fundraiser at the Nicole Gallery to benefit displaced artists who were affiliated with the Centre d’Art and also to rebuild the center itself. Also in 2010, the Nicole Gallery featured the work of Afro-Carribean influence artists Alexandra Barbot and the microscopic sculptor Willard Wignan. The Nicole Gallery closed in 2011 after celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary.

Throughout her career, Smith has been celebrated for her dedication to Haitian, African and African American art. In 2002, she was featured on the cover of Chicago Gallery News. Smith was honored by the Chicago Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority in 2009 and in 2010, she was named a Chicago Defender Woman of Excellence. Nicole Smith lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Nicole Smith was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 2, 2012.

Nicole Smith passed away on March 29, 2016.

See how Nicole Smith is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Nicole Smith's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Nicole Smith lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Nicole Smith describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Nicole Smith remembers her mother's storytelling
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Nicole Smith describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Nicole Smith talks about how her parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Nicole Smith describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Nicole Smith lists her siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Nicole Smith describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Nicole Smith remembers moving from the mountains to the suburbs of Port-au-Prince, Haiti
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Nicole Smith describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Nicole Smith recalls her early experiences of religion
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Nicole Smith talks about the geography of Haiti
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Nicole Smith talks about the history of Haiti and the Dominican Republic
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Nicole Smith describes her childhood pastimes
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Nicole Smith remembers her early influences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Nicole Smith describes Les Soeurs de la Sagesse in Kenscoff, Haiti
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Nicole Smith remembers learning about the Haitian Revolution
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Nicole Smith recalls her early interests in art and history
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Nicole Smith talks about Le Centre d'Art in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Nicole Smith talks about the emphasis on art in Haiti
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Nicole Smith talks about Haiti's role in the American Revolution
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Nicole Smith talks about the history of the Louisiana Purchase
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Nicole Smith talks about the history of voodoo
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Nicole Smith talks about Dutty Boukman's role in the Haitian Revolution
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Nicole Smith recalls the start of her interest in Haitian Vodoun
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Nicole Smith describes her experiences with Haitian Vodoun
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Nicole Smith talks about the depictions of zombies in Haiti
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Nicole Smith remembers her secondary education in Haiti
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Nicole Smith talks about the activities she was involved in during high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Nicole Smith talks about her early experiences of color discrimination
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Nicole Smith talks about her undiagnosed childhood illness
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Nicole Smith describes the education system in Haiti
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Nicole Smith talks about Haitian Creole
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Nicole Smith describes her family's political affiliations
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Nicole Smith remembers her college education in Haiti and Jamaica
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Nicole Smith remembers the Durham College of Commerce in Kingston, Jamaica
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Nicole Smith talks about Alix Pasquet's failed coup d'etat against Francois Duvalier
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Nicole Smith describes the Citadelle Laferriere in Haiti
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Nicole Smith remembers her older sister's influence on her career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Nicole Smith talks about her career at Le Centre d'Art in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Nicole Smith recalls her start at Le Centre d'Art in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Nicole Smith remembers the artists at Le Centre d'Art in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Nicole Smith talks about Haitian tourist art
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Nicole Smith remembers her influences at Le Centre d'Art in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Nicole Smith reflects upon her time at Le Centre d'Art in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Nicole Smith describes the clientele of Le Centre d'Art in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Nicole Smith talks about her decision to move to Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Nicole Smith remembers immigrating to the United States from Haiti
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Nicole Smith recalls her exhibition at the Aurelia Gallery in Evanston, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Nicole Smith talks about her art collection
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Nicole Smith talks about the legacy of Jean Baptiste Point du Sable
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Nicole Smith talks about working with Ramon Price and Mayor Harold Washington
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Nicole Smith recalls meeting Katherine Dunham
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Nicole Smith talks about the relationship between Haiti and Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Nicole Smith remembers founding the Nicole Gallery in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Nicole Smith talks about Paul Waggoner
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Nicole Smith talks about Eva-Maria Worthington
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Nicole Smith describes the first location of the Nicole Gallery
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Nicole Smith remembers relocating the Nicole Gallery
  • Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Nicole Smith recalls meeting Nnamdi Okonkwo
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Nicole Smith talks about her relationship with Allen Stringfellow
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Nicole Smith reflects upon Allen Stringfellow's legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Nicole Smith talks about Frank Louissaint
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Nicole Smith talks about Henry Munyaradzi's sculptures
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Nicole Smith remembers meeting Fritz Millevoix
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Nicole Smith talks about Ify Ojo
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Nicole Smith talks about the qualities of a gallery curator
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Nicole Smith describes her artistic philosophy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Nicole Smith talks about her art gallery locations
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Nicole Smith talks about the black gallerists in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Nicole Smith describes her hopes for the future of black art
  • Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Nicole Smith shares a message to aspiring artists
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Nicole Smith talks about the importance of a painting's frame
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Nicole Smith talks about her plans for the future
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Nicole Smith describes the Haitian art aesthetic
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Nicole Smith talks about her gallery's media coverage
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Nicole Smith describes her hopes for the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Nicole Smith describes her concerns for the Haitian community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Nicole Smith reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Nicole Smith reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Nicole Smith talked about her friends and family
  • Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Nicole Smith describes how she would like to be remembered