The Art Gallery at Rivier University presents “Figures of Grace: The Art of Sylvia Nicolas”


Following the recent installation of the Blessed Anne Marie Rivier sculpture at Rivier’s Heritage Plaza, The Art Gallery at Rivier University is honoring the artistic legacy of its sculptress, Sylvia Nicolas. “Figures of Grace: The Art of Sylvia Nicolas" spans a variety of media and techniques and includes preliminary sketches Nicolas made for the Blessed Anne Marie Rivier statue. The exhibition is on view now through November 20, 2015, at The Art Gallery. In addition to weekday showings, the public is invited to an evening show and reception for the artist on November 19 from 5 - 7 p.m.

A native of Holland and a long-time New Hampshire resident, Nicolas comes from a family distinguished by five generations of artists. Mentored by her renowned parents, and having further studied extensively in Europe and the United States, her resulting versatility as a painter, mosaicist, costume designer, stained glass artist, and sculptress merges with her keen observations of human nature. Her works reflect the passions, psychology, and humor that she perceives in life’s changes of fortune, both the intricate affirmations and the startling contradictions.

Her sources range from ancient myths to biblical narratives to threads of family lore. “I feel very much in tune with the history of civilization that is interwoven in this constant fabric  . . .  of which I am a part,” says the artist, “It is people I am concerned with,” she adds. “I am a storyteller.”

Nicolas_Meditation2Sr. Theresa Couture, Director of The Art Gallery at Rivier University, comments, “Looking at a solo exhibition as varied as this one, one cannot help but notice that no matter what her medium, Sylvia Nicolas works with confidence and sureness. Focused on single moments that encompass spans of lived time, and merging that with a watchful eye for how space and light seem to devour the shadow, contour, and dynamic line of her forms, she achieves balance among recognition, a sense of mystery, and obvious affection. This seems to invite viewers to imagine the stories that might have propelled her characters into being.” 

The exhibition is free and open to the public.The Art Gallery is located in Memorial Hall on the Rivier University campus at 420 South Main Street in Nashua.Regular open hours are listed below.The Art Gallery is accessible by elevator and six low steps.


Monday/Wednesday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.    Tuesday 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.   

Thursday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.    Friday 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.   

For other events related to this and future exhibitions, please visit the Gallery’s website at