Bringing It All Back Home: Solo Exhibition Reflects Painting Alum’s Roots
Nicolas Sanchez’s art has taken him all over the world – Shanghai, Beijing, the Dominican Republic, New York City – but now the KCAD alum (’09, Painting) is preparing for a special exhibition that will bring his work to a place it hasn’t been since he moved to The Big Apple in 2011: back home in Lansing, MI.
Running the entire month of February at Gallery 1212 Old Town (1212 Turner Street, Lansing, MI), Homebound is an impressive body of Sanchez’s work, stretching across the mediums of oil painting, pastel, charcoal, and colored ballpoint pen. Drawing on the bi-cultural experiences of his youth, Sanchez’s art explores the concept of inheritance.
“It’s this idea that personal identity is lost in the preservation of an ancestral legacy and created as that legacy begins to influence and shape the present,” he says.
Sanchez working in the studio during his time in the Dominican Republic
Penny Collins, one of Gallery 1212’s managing partners, says the homecoming angle will make for a very special exhibition. “I love the idea of having a young artist exhibit their work, especially with people who have watched and helped him grow as an artist from a young age. Nicolas’ art speaks to many people and will definitely be remembered.”
Gallery 1212 is not far from Haslett High School and Lansing Community College, where Sanchez was a student. Both campuses bear his artistic mark: a 7’x18’ mural hangs in HHS as a parting gift to his fellow 2002 graduates, and a 5’x15’ mural he created in tribute to Cesar Chavez is housed at LCC. But in his travels since then, Sanchez has carved out an impressive professional resume while strengthening his artistic identity.
Sanchez posing in front of a mural he created in Haslett, MI
“I felt like just being in NYC exposed me to so much,” says Sanchez. “I can see how easily my work can take me around the world, and that just blows my mind.”
Now, he has an opportunity to share his growth and his success with those who have supported him from the beginning. It’s something that many artists never have the chance to experience, and Sanchez knows how special that is.
“Cycling my work back home really puts everything into perspective,” he says. “It’s a reminder of who I am and where I've been since moving away. I couldn't have made it to this point without my friends and family in Michigan.”
Sanchez back in his KCAD days, busy creating