The work I make explores the abstract language of maps and the disparity between how a map depicts a place and how that place is experienced when we move through it, experiencing it with all the senses simultaneously. I am continuously drawn to the aesthetics of cartography and employ similar bold color and geometric shape in my work. However, more intriguing to me are the limitations of what the map reveals of a place. My work often combines satellite imagery and topographic maps of places with tracings of tiny details discovered while walking through and experiencing places firsthand. I play with the hierarchy of information, making streets or political landmarks but tiny markings below gigantic shapes that represent the unnoticed cracks or human-made markings found on the side of a building or in a sidewalk. I create drawings, paintings, objects, fiber art and installations that aim to convey the multi-sensory experience of moving through a place.
Nicole Penoncello, born in Torrington, Connecticut, is an artist based in Portland, Oregon. Nicole Penoncello earned a BFA in Sculpture from James Madison University, and an MFA in Contemporary Art Practice from Portland State University. She has exhibited her work in galleries and art festivals nationally including recent exhibitions at the Cleveland Institute of Art in Cleveland, Ohio, and the 12x16 Gallery in Portland. Additionally, she holds a K-12 teaching license with an endorsement in Visual Art and has taught art to all ages of students. She currently teaches Visual Arts at Buckman Arts Focus Elementary in Portland.