Gronvold Roller

and through

Paintings by Nichole Gronvold Roller

October 24, 2020–February 7, 2021


Midwestern landscape and architecture are not unfamiliar themes for visitors to DuMA. The uniqueness of our natural and man-made scenery inspires many artists. Illinois artist Nichole Gronvold Roller is no exception, though her irregular polygonal canvases and abstract kaleidoscope imagery might deceive the casual viewer by concealing the familiar Midwest themes that inspired them. The artist's style encourages a closer examination. Those who stop for a longer look will find that the artist has made a deep and considered examination of our region. This exhibition includes twelve new paintings and is organized by the Dubuque Museum of Art.

Artist's Statement

How do we see or don’t see? What does it mean to examine, or view ones’ surroundings with or without a fresh vision? Images may become mundane with the familiarity of repetition, resulting in a neglected or unnoticed importance and significance. The process of looking and experiencing my surroundings is an essential element for my art-making method. My abstract paintings are built upon a catalog of daily experiences within a framework of looking up, down, and through as I navigate throughout the day. My world is contradictory to its vastness of space and smallness of being overlooked.

In my geometric abstractions, I seek to depict both the tangible and visual interpretations of my daily viewings. In my most recent work, my curiosity about how the landscape has been altered through the conditions of urban and rural planning has shifted my practice. The architecture found in both rural and urban settings can either be in harmony with its natural environment or a disjunction of space; both are inspiring. I am attracted to aerial views of cultivated farmland and urban landscapes because of the appealing geometric patterns. The overlapping and intersections of these areas are the most exciting for me; specifically, next to an untamed land.

Artist Biography

Minnesota painter Nichole Gronvold Roller received a B.F.A. in Art Education from Minnesota State University at Moorhead, an M.A. in Art Education from Boston University, and an M.A. in Painting from Bradley University. In addition to being an artist, Nichole is a full-time high school art teacher in Tremont, Illinois where she has been teaching for the past twenty-two years. Nichole lives in Illinois with her husband and three children. She is represented by BoxHeart Gallery Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and James May Gallery, Algoma, Wisconsin.

Recent group and solo exhibitions include “ALMOST 17 & # WE'RE STILL HERE” BoxHeart Gallery, (2018), "International Juried Show" Beacon Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts (2018), SuperFine! Art Fair NYC” New York, New York with BoxHeart Gallery (2018), "Obscure Space" Contemporary Art Center, Peoria, Illinois (2018), "13th National Juried Exhibition" Axis Gallery, Sacramento, California (2018), “Above Ground" BoxHeart Gallery (2018), "Revolving Doors" Appleby Gallery, College, Jacksonville, Illinois (2019), "TWOgether" Jan Brandt Gallery, Bloomington Illinois (2019), "SUDDEN CHANGE OF WIND" James May Gallery,  (2019), "New Optics" The Painting Center, New York, New York (2020) "A Few of Our Favorite Things" BoxHeart Gallery (2020) "Nonobjective" Contemporary Art Center, Peoria, Illinois (2020) "Ensemble: Together Again" The Painting Center (2020), and McLean County Arts Center, Bloomington, Illinois (2021).

Nichole's paintings have been featured in art publications such as the Inside Publications (Sacramento, California); Peoria Journal Star; Utrecht (Brooklyn, New York); Dick Blick (Galesburg, Illinois ); Grafix (Maple Heights, Ohio); and Wall Street International Magazine (Budva, Montenegro).

Bio Image

Works in the Exhibition

Docent Video

Artist Talk

Activity Sheet

Sponsored by:

Cottingham & Butler

Organized by the Dubuque Museum of Art