Nirvanna Lildharrie
BAC Student

How did you arrive at the Brookline Arts Center?
I was looking for something special to get my boyfriend for his birthday. He’s also a creative, and we both happen to be huge fans of the 1990 romantic fantasy thriller, Ghost. When I found the BAC’s Ceramics Date Night on The Boston Calendar, naturally we had to sign up! That event was not only super fun, but a great way for me to get to know the Brookline Arts Center. I really loved the space and its array of community-based art programs. I had only ever taken art classes at the SMFA, and thought it would be fun to try something different. I’m currently enrolled in the Methods in Painting class with Julianne Martin. Our class is an extremely supportive community of artists with very different styles. These folks have been helping me grow so much.

Tell us about your background. How did you become interested in art?
The summer before my freshman year of college, I got a job mixing paints in a fine art supply store in DUMBO, Brooklyn, New York. My mom was helping with the company’s books part-time and that’s how I got the gig. I fell in love with the texture of the oil paints – mixing colors with a palette knife and carefully placing them into the bottoms of the tubes. When I got to college at Tufts, I decided to take a beginner’s painting class to try my hand with the medium. I and my peers really liked what I was making and I was having a lot of fun with it… The rest is history!

What passions do you bring to the BAC community?
I’m passionate about human emotion, gender, spirituality, and nature. These motifs are very apparent in my art. I hope to show this community an up-close and personal snapshot of something they’ve seen or felt a million times before. I want people to hone in on an experience and feel it all over again in a different way. To pause moments in time and cherish them. I have a lot of stories, and a unique and life-loving perspective to share.

What do you enjoy most about the BAC?
I have really enjoyed networking with other BAC artists, both in-class and online. It’s really easy to have imposter syndrome as an artist. Sometimes I’ll be making a painting and beating myself up inside, thinking, “You’re a mediocre artist! Who are you fooling?” However, while I may never be able to paint a Rembrandt, I will always be able to paint a Lildharrie. In my art and in life, I strive to express, not impress. At the BAC, I’ve met so many real people who also happen to be artists. Everyone has their own “art handwriting” and it’s all important, and it all needs to be seen, and it’s all beautiful. I also really appreciate the BAC itself for following my work online, showing my pieces in the student gallery, and giving me the opportunity to talk about what I’m doing with this post. Thank you very much!

What was your favorite childhood art project?
As a child, my favorite thing to draw were mermaids – I was totally and completely fascinated by them. I also liked to draw portraits of my dad, who was the perfect caricature with his curly black hair, thick eyebrows, big lips, and rectangular glasses.

Who are some of your art heroes?
I love Picasso. I have his “Mediterranean Landscape” hung over my bed. Frida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keefe give me life. I’ve also been learning about some more contemporary artists in my BAC Methods in Painting class. Julianne has introduced me to the works of Zoe Hawk, Heidi Hahn, and Maja Ruznik. I’m crushing on these ladies hard. They are very inspirational!