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Robert Nickola

Chicago, Illinois, March 7, 1953


  • Art Major, Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, Iowa, 1971-1972
  • Petty Officer, US Naval Construction Battalion 5, 1972-1975
  • Professional Undergraduate Degree in Architectural Design, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1975-1979
  • Professional Graduate Degree in Architecture, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1980-1981
  • Assistant Professor of Architecture, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1981-1996
  • Partner: Jaeger, Nickola & Associates Ltd., Architects, Park Ridge, Illinois, 1984-2013
  • Partner Emeritis: Jaeger, Nickola & Kuhlman & Associates Ltd., Park Ridge, Illinois, 2013-present
  • Sole Proprietor: NICKOLA ART Studio, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2014-present

Artist Statement:

In 2012, I retired from my professional architectural practice. For 36 years, I was immersed in the world of architecture. I entered as an intern and departed as Senior Principal of an award winning, 15 person, Chicago based firm which specialized in religious architecture. It was truly a wonderful journey but the time had come to give up the multi-dimensional corporate world and seek creative expressions on other levels.

Having been “classically” trained as an architect; the ability to observe, create, communicate, and employ my own graphic skills, had always been the passion that fueled my architectural career. Thus, it became a logical leap to pursue art and refocus those skills while developing a new passion for creative expression via my painting. My work focuses on three portfolio categories: Cityscapes, Landscapes, and Treescapes. Being a trained “three dimensional thinker”, I believe it is very important to bring the element of texture into my work, giving it, albeit subtle, that very critical added third dimension. Thus I believe the combination of an architect’s training, and the desire to create art that is vibrant and unique, is the “foundation” of my work.

The new journey is truly rewarding and I am excited to share these art pieces with you via the internet. As my work continues to evolve; I remain inspired by DaVinci’s definition of creativity which combines the talents of observation and imagination, O’Keefe’s suggestion that painter's express personal feeling in their work, and Van Gogh’s belief that paintings have a life of their own derived directly from the painter’s soul. The journey continues...