July 15, 2022—The Miller Art Museum in downtown Sturgeon Bay is pleased to introduce its 2022 Dome House Al & Mickey Quinlan Artist in Residence, Nicole Shaver.

Shaver Nicole Headshot 2The residency, now in its second year, is administered jointly with the Quinlan/Wagner family and carries on the original intent of the Dome House, as visioned by Al Quinlan, to serve as a creative haven for living artists. The program advances the museum’s mission to expand its role in education and to shape and influence the artistic development and growth of artists in the area. Milwaukee-based artist Nicole Shaver was selected from a pool of 24 applicants by the program’s Artist Selection Committee. In addition to being awarded an unrestricted $500 stipend, she will receive access to time, space and resources to advance her work at the iconic Door County structure.

“I have a specific interest in the human relationship to place: humanity's active role in construction, destruction, and idealizing landscape. I believe Door County should not be seen as something set apart from civilization, instead, depicted as place humanity fundamentally alters and continues to shape. I am curious about documenting the Boreal Forest through the lens of the Anthropocene and how that information is dispensed, whether in part truth or full fantasy,” says Shaver.

Shaver grew up along Lake Michigan, where she skipped rocks and watched fishermen gut salmon as a child. Largely inspired by ideas of place and belonging, she researches geographical sites and employs them as metaphorical compasses to navigate the space between reality and fantasy, the banal and the sublime.

“While my concerns lie within concrete science and the threats of Climate Change, I investigate and create within an innately curious, observational and playful scientific method. This involves collaboration with local scientists, visitors, found materials: man-made detritus and geology. I rely on collected specimens, historical research, and spatial interaction as semiotic compasses to help navigate the undiscovered identity of the Dome House,” she continued. “During my residency, I will create visual landscapes that combine reality with impression, providing a framework that empathizes with the transitioning landscape. Through my artist body and influenced by immersive surroundings, my output is a record employed through interdisciplinary media: installation, performance, printmaking, photography, and sculpture.”

Shaver received her BFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her MFA from the University of Iowa. She has attended artist residencies in Colorado, Iceland, North Carolina, Ohio, Portugal, Vancouver, and Wisconsin, while exhibiting widely throughout the United States and Scandinavia. Her work has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and published in “New American Paintings” and “Studio Visit Magazine.”

While still in its infancy, the 2021 program solidified its place in the Peninsula’s cultural landscape and the impact for the participating artists was tremendous.“I can’t imagine a more significant experience. Professionally, the credibility of having a museum-sponsored residency is a milestone—and I was really impressed with the heart and leadership of the Miller Art Museum. Through this residency, I was able to clarify the narrative for an ongoing series and envision new directions for my work. It helped me think more expansively,” says 2021 Resident Artist Amy Usdin (Minneapolis, MN).

“We are excited to build on the success of our inaugural year and couldn’t be more enthusiastic to welcome Nicole to Sturgeon Bay come August,” says Elizabeth Meissner-Gigstead, executive director of the Miller Art Museum. “Nicole brings a unique skill set and expansive experience that will be of value to her as a professional artist and, in turn, to our community of artists. We also plan to expand on our goal of building the Dome as a resource for the local artist community and will welcome Hans Nelson, a wood and linoleum relief printer based in Sturgeon Bay, to work alongside Nicole as a visiting artist. We very much look forward to sharing more details of the programming opportunities as they unfold in the coming weeks,” Meissner-Gigstead concluded.

The application-based program invites early to mid-career level Midwest artists to Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula to reside for an 8-week period at the 5,073-square-foot Dome House and allows artists to focus in the areas of creative development, fellowship, sense of place, learning and community.

Nicole Shaver
is a Milwaukee area-based multi-disciplinary artist who creates in her rural studio in Saukville, WI. She creates artwork that is inspired by ideas of place and belonging. She researches different geographical sites and employs them as metaphorical compasses to create landscapes combining reality, fantasy and memory. Her sculptures are geologically and industrially influenced; a conglomerate of natural and man-made, plastic yet polished, navigating a space between a banal rock and a sublime ruby.

She is a recent finalist for the Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellowship for Individual Artists and currently serves as Operations Manager for the Milwaukee Artist Resource Network (MARN) where she manages key daily operations in support of all initiatives across the organization including the communications for membership correspondence and centralized information. She is committed to the artistic community in southeastern Wisconsin, regularly exhibiting and joining together area creatives. In addition to her work with MARN, Nicole is also an artist in residence at Studio 224, a collaborative printmaking and photography space in Port Washington. She is also a founding member of the Rural Midwest Artists Cooperative, a new group of Midwestern art folx organizing and exhibiting together.

The Door County landscape has long inspired artists of all disciplines visiting or residing on the Peninsula. The Miller Art Museum’s permanent collection reflects this history with the nearly 1,500 works it holds, comprised of many of Door County’s most celebrated artists, past and present. Its Dome House Al & Mickey Quinlan Artist Residency seeks to further broaden this scope and allow a new generation of artists to discover and immerse themselves in the amazing creative playground that is the Door Peninsula.



Go To Top