Don Nice was born in Visalia, California in 1932. After receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at the University of Southern California, Nice earned his Master of Fine Arts from Yale University School of Art in New Haven, Connecticut. He taught at the School of Visual Arts in New York City for many years. Since 1982, he has been artist-in-residence at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. He lives and works in Garrison, NY.
Nice gained recognition as a New Realist painter in the early 1960s. Realistic renderings of packaged and processed items are very large, detailed studies of the optical image. Close-ups of light reflections on plastic wrap or glass reveal a beauty even in commercial objects. His illusionistic still lifes are artificial arrangements of food and grocery items or synthetic objects such as tennis shoes. Nice’s recent work continues the depiction of single items, often combining media and including new subjects.
Select solo exhibits presented since 1980 include “Peaceable Kingdom, Beasts and Demons” at the Newport Harbor Museum in Newport Beach, CA, Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, and the Palm Springs Desert Museum; “Views Over America” and “A Feast for the Eyes” at the Museum of Modern Art, NY and “Animals! Animals! Animals!” at Stamford Museum in Connecticut. Nice won the Ford Foundation Purchase Award. Noteworthy commissions include the wall murals at National Fine Arts Commission in Lake Placid, NY and the Art in Architecture Project at the Veterans Administration in White River Junction in New York.