My Story

I created Art-Niks after years of dreaming, hoping and planning to create beautiful art.

Cue inspiration… I spent a decade living and working abroad in developing countries.

In southern Iraq, working with a group of artists – visual, performing, musicians and writers – to create a space to unleash their creativity and economic viability.

In Zimbabwe, where they use multi-colored and random shards of glass imbedded into the tops of security walls. While serving as a security measure they also caught and refracted sunlight in wonderous ways.

In Tirana Albania, where the mayor decided to paint all the dull gray concrete block buildings with an eclectic variety of bright colors and patterns, creating a patchwork of color and shapes throughout the city.

My career afforded me the rare opportunity to meet and work with artists in the most challenging locations in the world. I experienced their physical environment, limitations, and boundless ingenuity as they created profound works of art. It awoke in me the strength to overcome the challenges one faces as an artist and push forward to test the boundaries of nature and the human condition. Their dedication and passion, demonstrated in extremely difficult situations, inspired me to push my boundaries and thoughts about art and to make my dream a reality.

Developing countries taught me that artists can thrive in chaos. I saw lawless driving, haphazard development, frantic activity at public markets, and simply the lack of adhering to rules. This experience allowed me to look past the chaotic characteristics, to focus on the geometry and vibrant sense of colors and textures within the physical environment. Forms and hues calm the senses and allows beauty to emanate from the chaos; they lift one’s mood to see possibilities and the future. Pushing the limits of forms, color combinations and textures, my work captures and expands on these themes.

My belief in collaboration and participation influenced how I set up Art-Niks as a business. While some people may not consider themselves artistic, in the right environment and with coaching, they can articulate a sense of beauty, form and function. In my Open Studio, I will meld my experience with your desires to create unique treasures.

Suzanne Reed wearing a helmet

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.


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