Nikki McComb, 16 X, 2017, digital photography, dimensions vary.
Nikki McComb, 16 X, 2017, digital photography, dimensions vary.

Nikki McComb talks about the #ENOUGH campaign and what it means to be an artist.

How would you describe the work that you do? Why photography?

I use real stories and real people to share messages to the public that are often left unattended. Photography is something that visually moves people, bringing humanity back into the conversations, data, and statistics.

Can you talk more about your #ENOUGH campaign? Has it made the change you were expecting when you began? What can the public do to help expand the project and get illegal firearms off the streets? What’s next for the project?

#ENOUGH is a photo campaign to share, create, and raise awareness about the issue of gun violence in Minneapolis and surrounding areas. By partnering with groups such as Protect Minnesota, Art is My Weapon, Protect Your Crown, and Everytown for Gun Safety, the messages can clearly be spread through art and collaboration. In 2018 there will be three new exhibitions added to an ongoing series under the umbrella of the #ENOUGH campaign titled Human BEING. This series will bring humanity back to the conversations surrounding continued gun violence, domestic abuse, and mental health issues such as depression, suicide, eating disorders, and bipolar disorder. All human beings have the right to tell their stories the best way they know how. This series will allow real people who are suffering from or who have survived the aforementioned issues the opportunity to provoke new conversation and to display their resiliency and tenacity through my lens.

Nikki McComb, #ENOUGH

The Issue at Hand, 2017, digital photography, dimensions vary.

How has your work in youth and family achievement, as well as a mentor, behavior specialist, and art teacher influenced your artistic practice/choices?

My previous work experiences have provided me the real and clear understanding of the disparities our community is facing and the issues that need to be addressed creatively.

What advice has influenced you or your art making?

I do not really have an answer to this as I learn new things all the time. By looking at and evaluating images by other artists I am always getting advice about my own work. I am always analyzing things I see and hear.

Can you talk about your studio process?

I am a very wildly creative mind. My studio process is never the same for each project and would be difficult to describe.

"I try to place creativity on all things I do."

Can you talk about how the fellowship has been going for you so far?

It has been an amazing opportunity that has allowed me to connect with wonderful creatives who have been very supportive of me and my work. It has allowed me to enhance my own creative process and ability and operate my studio from home.

What’s it like having a Jerome cohort of all women?

Seems pretty normal to me.

Nikki McComb, Let Me Live, #ENOUGH

Let Me Live, 2016, digital photography, dimensions vary. 

I understand that you are now in charge of overseeing the Art is My Weapon project through Pillsbury United Communities. How is that going so far? What can the public expect for the exhibition in 2017?

The Art is My Weapon project is amazing. I am working on hosting two or three exhibitions, one in 2017 and two in 2018. More details are forthcoming. We will also have artists’ work placed at different community events within the North Minneapolis Community.

What does being an artist mean to you?

Being an artist means living daily creatively; every single thing I do, I look at in a creative way. I try to place creativity on all things I do. It really is the only way I know how to thrive.