Artist Calvin Nicholls

Biography of
Calvin Nicholls

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Inspired by the role art plays in communication, I began my art adventure by enrolling in the Graphic Design program at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario. Assignments in a class called Materials and Structures provided an instruction to the idea of paper as a medium. Five years later in 1983 as a freelance graphic designer, I included paper sculpture imagery in one of my design projects and I was instantly hooked. Enthused by the effects achieved through simple scoring and folding I expanded my search for specialized knives and embossing tolls. Consultation with paper mills, while researching paper for my design projects, had provided a valuable understanding of the various types and weights of fine papers. A select line of archival papers of varying weights proved to be perfect for fine detail and structural components. The introduction of paper sculpture to my design clients provided a fresh look for their marketing campaigns and a distinct look and personality to my own portfolio. Combining my childhood interests in model making, sculpture, drawing and photography was fulfilling but in 1986 I sculpted my first bird and everything changed. I realized that the layering of feathers was the perfect application of this amazing art form. Images from my youth of wild fowl on the wing, hawks soaring overhead and songbirds punctuating the rural landscape rushed through my mind and I recognized the opportunity that lay in front of me. In 1989 I released my first series of wildlife prints and two short years later I completed the first of seventy-five sculptures for Follet Library Resources near Chicago that would establish my career as a wildlife paper sculptor. Collaborating with corporate clients, private collectors, wildlife photographers and biologists continues to inspire me in this wonderful art adventure from my home based studio in Lindsay, Ontario.

Against the Cold - Mourning Dove - Calvin Nicholls