Artist Interview: Nicole Northway

Nicole Northway may be a superhero. She is the founder and owner of One Strange Bird, a professor at DePaul University and Columbia College Chicago, she has her own jewelry and clothing line, and is a highly accomplished artist. Nicole received her MFA from the University Of Illinois at Chicago and since then has been rocking the Chicago art world with her paintings; exhibiting works at esteemed spaces such as the Next Fair at Art Chicago and the Thomas McCormick gallery. Her artwork transports audiences into a world of brights color and other-worldly images (and very very tiny brushstrokes.) Nicole's eye for beauty translates to the unique items that can be found at One Strange Bird. She carefully chooses each work and knows the story of all of the artists.

Whether teaching or running the store Nicole's wonderful personality is what makes people remember One Strange Bird. It is the place for to find one uncommon artwork, learn a new skill, and most importantly, feel welcome to make artwork in a creative and energetic space. 

2. Diary of Shipwrecked Sailor

What is your name?

Nicole Northway

What’s your favorite color?

All of the colors!!! (But mainly hot pink)

What’s your current studio jam?

Jay Z, Biggie, Bach, Led Zepplin, MIA, I’m all over the place

Who’s art are you digging lately?

Olaf Hajek

What’s on your summer reading list?

Finishing one of the 12 books I have started

What’s your favorite place in Chicago?

My bed

What’s your hidden talent?

I’m not good at hiding anything.

What’s your favorite YouTube video?

Anything that involves bulldogs on trampolines

What is your favorite class to teach and/or what class would you like to take?


Okay, let’s get serious…

What’s role at One Strange Bird?

Boss Lady


How would you describe your artwork?

Punk rock neo shamanism

How does your art relate to your work at One Strange Bird and vice versa?

Lately, all the art I have time to make is while teaching!  Aside, I have been incorporating much more collage in my work since teaching mixed media classes.  In general I think teaching 2 hour classes has challenged me to create paintings in my studio much more quickly. 

What type of art do you want to try?

I would like to design a line of stationary products inspired driven my interest in illustration.

What publication do you see yourself in a few years from now?

I would love to be in all the art magazines! 

1.I put a spell on you


Find out more about Nicole Northway on her website and see her work in person at tonight's opening reception for "We're All In This Together," from 6:00-9:00.