Nicholas Trace | St. Lawrence University Art and Art History

Nicholas Trace

Nicholas Trace

Class year: 
Art & Art History (studio)
Manorville, New York

My hometown is Manorville, Long Island, New York. I grew up in the heart of suburbia and have two younger siblings. I started becoming interested in fine art in high school, 9th grade I started doing stage productions and musicals, but by the end of 11th grade I knew I would prefer creating art as opposed to acting. I had enough time to complete a J.M.W. Turner mural in one of the hallways of the school. I completed that mural with the only person from my school who also went to SLU, and the reason I wound up there as well. Casey Pitcher, class of ’17. I fell in love with print making senior year of high school. We had a printmaking class at our high school that never ran due to lack of interest, and the teacher, Mrs. Dorsey, let me take some supplies at the end of my Senior year to play around with. I made some abstract Picasso-looking portraits and realized that I could make them perfect sticker sized. The other thing I truly love more than anything about printmaking is how all you really need to do is make a basic sketch on the block and just start carving. As long as you trust yourself and pay just a bit of attention the whole time, the block virtually prints itself. You might wind up with something a lot different than what you imagined, but I've have ten times more happy accidents than real mistakes. 

I would be lying if I didn’t say my brain really does revolve around art almost 90% of the time. However I certainly don’t always have the drive to be working in the moment. Of course I have other, non-art related work to be doing, and some other hobbies, like being a part of Laurentian Singers and skiing. I’m a big fan of the German language, (hence the minor). I also like to travel whenever possible, to nowhere specific.

My last project was a series of eight linoleum block prints, roughly 4x5 inches, and I printed them directly onto blank stickers. I did black and white portraits of some of my closest friends. The idea was to distribute the stickers as far away as I could, so maybe people would see them and think: “Hmm, who is this person? I wonder what their story is.” I highly recommend that any student at SLU take a class with Melissa Schulenberg. She is of course the best. If you show interest in what is going on in the class, she will give you everything you need to excel, she is fully open to experimenting. Rrecently I finally began to crack the code of using oil paints, which is very exciting for me. The depth and range of colors is often so much better than acrylic; which are a little more opaque and harder to work with for longer amounts of time. I love painting abstract, and I’ve got some ideas in my back pocket to work on in a potential independent study senior year.  I’ve also applied for a fellowship to do a month’s worth of study in Berlin over this summer. It would allow me to study street art and political stickers in a real way, and give me an extra month of speaking German, too. Hopefully I get the grant! 

For the future career plans, I think I’d honestly like to work doing poster design, not digital but lithography and physically carving blocks. Of course, that would just be my day job. I plan on painting and continuing to create work and get featured in known galleries someday.