Information about the exhibition
Nick Simko (he/they) is an artist, educator, and activist. Nick uses lens-based imaging to examine normative frames of reference while imagining new possibilities for how one may author oneself on their own terms. Nick’s work has been exhibited at museums and galleries throughout the United States, and in 2019, he was awarded a ONE Archives Foundation LGBTQ Research Fellowship. He is the Chair of the Society for Photographic Education (SPE) Pride Caucus, which serves LGBTQAI2S+ students and faculty nationwide. Nick holds an MFA in Photography from the University of New Mexico and a BFA in Art History from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Nick is Photography faculty at Santa Rosa Junior College in California and a faculty member of the International Center for Photography in New York; previously he was Assistant Professor of Photography at Fort Hays State University in Kansas.
In 2019 I moved from urban New Mexico to rural western Kansas for a teaching position. During the years I lived in the Midwest, I went on walks around my neighborhood and photographed three subjects throughout the seasons and at different times of the day: a fortress-like church, an American flag, and a mural of a rainbow ending in the sea. I found resolve in revisiting these subjects over and over again, while also capturing the shifting light and changing sky in each photograph. The subjects I photographed came to be emblematic of my relationship to Kansas as a queer outsider; the distant church represented the close-knit Christian community while the flag in context reflected the conservative political landscape in which I was living. The mural and its idyllic sweetness, on the other hand, mirrored my personal hope to one day live and work in a community where I felt I belonged. These three interwoven typologies are both documents of a place and of a specific moment in my life; one of solitude, contemplation, and hope for better days ahead.