Artist Statement

When I was growing up in the hills of West Virginia during the '50s and '60s, school art programs were non-existent. I remember making my own paper dolls and drawing on the backs of used paper and brown bags. The need to express became a part of life. I was surrounded by untouched nature and colorful mountain people. My mother's music and father's poetry were the life force that set me on the path to pursue the dream of becoming an artist. Today I see the same beauty and spirit in ordinary people living ordinary lives. I am driven to sculpt and paint these unique people. I want to portray humankind in all its colorful innocence: from flea-market vendors to street entertainers.

"An unusually quiet trio of Key West characters cohabits Janice Nicowski's tree house studio. "Flea Market Queen," "Dirty Harry's Girl", "Uncle Bubba" are all life-sized papier-maché figures created by this gifted multi-media artist. They are so life like that a startled policeman, responding one night to an alarm from the unoccupied house, actually pulled a gun on "Dirty Harry's Girl!"

"Seeing the humorous side of life and making people smile is what my art is all about," claims this warm and vivacious native West Virginian. In addition to papier-maché characters, bright paintings line one studio wall reflecting the artist's ironic attitude. ... These paintings exemplify a novel interpretation of ordinary Floridians living their lives and doing their jobs."

Judy Williams, in Solares Hill, July 27,1995, Key West, Florida