Artist Nikkolas Smith Engages Serenbe Community in Ten-Day Residency with Art Farm
Mar 20, 2024
Nikkolas Smith, Vanessa Crocini, and their son Zion at Art Farm

Artist Nikkolas Smith Engages Serenbe Community in Ten-Day Residency with Art Farm

Art Farm recently hosted celebrated artist Nikkolas Smith for an immersive ten-day residency in Serenbe, during which he led several events to engage and inspire community members of all ages. Nikkolas Smith is an illustrator and “Artivist” known for his vibrant and powerful compositions that address contemporary social issues. As an illustrator of color, he is focused on creating art that can spark important conversations in today's world and inspire meaningful change towards social justice and equity. His children’s book The Artivist was a USA Today Bestseller, and his works have been featured and shared worldwide as well as a part of important campaigns for social justice and health equity organizations. His art has been shared on social media by Michelle Obama, President Joe Biden, Viola Davis, Rihanna, and more, and featured in publications such as TIME Magazine, People, BBC, CNN, and NBC.

Nikkolas, accompanied by his wife and manager Vanessa Crocini and son Zion, resided in one of Art Farm’s artist cottages from March 8-17. During his first weekend in Serenbe, Art Farm hosted a free open “Mix and Mingle” in his pop-up studio in the Mado neighborhood and a book signing in partnership with Hills & Hamlets Bookshop to offer opportunities for him to meet and engage with Serenbe residents and visitors. The events drew an enthusiastic crowd of all ages, eager to converse with Nikkolas and learn more about his work and artistic career.

Art Farm also partnered with Terra School at Serenbe to program interactive lessons with Nikkolas for young learners. During his visit, students of all ages participated in workshops led by Nikkolas about love, artivism, and acceptance. They contributed to the creation of Terra School's inaugural mural, named "Terra form,” which translates to "a deliberate transformation, with the goal of supporting human life.” Inspired by the change that children hope to see in the world, each classroom was asked to think about what they would like to see on the mural. Nikkolas then took their ideas which ranged in topics from cleaning up litter in forests and oceans, to equality and love for all, and created a concept for learners to paint. Over the span of three days, nearly every student helped paint the mural alongside Nikkolas.

Nikkolas also led a free drawing workshop for children open to the public, completed several new works including canvas paintings titled “Diaspora” and “Contemplation,” and was a featured guest on the Serenbe Stories podcast. Art Farm at Serenbe is thrilled to have collaborated with this incredible artist and provided a platform for him to share his meaningful work with the Serenbe and surrounding communities. 

View photos from Nikkolas’ residency below.