October 4, 2015: Steel City


Claremont Access Underpass (Steel City), part of Hamilton Series, ink & collage on paper, 8x11". This painting was commissioned for the Hamilton and Burlington Community Supported Art project (2013).

September 14, 2015: BOG: Casino at b contemporary


So this is the Monday after the street festival that is supposed to be reviving downtown Hamilton's economic prospects. Or at least some people would have us believe this. Its was a wet one, and the soggy spectacle was more fun because Casino had a show at b contemporary (above is my contribution to the group show, a small sculpture).

The most fun was Friday's night's construction of the monstrosity, the main attraction, of BOG, our spectacular mess. Using all manner of found materials and cast offs, as well as silly putty (thanks to Steph, brilliant), the night was filled with live sculpture making fun that was both celebratory and also icky and gross. Colin even got in on the action.



I used to find these events bringing people to James Street gave me a sense of a shared experience, that like-minded people were there to seek out new perspectives and ideas. I find that feeling doesn't strike me as often with Art Crawl or Supercrawl in 2015. But maybe its okay we can have a community festival where some people come for the art, and some come to line up at the Coke tasting booth. To each his or her own.

There was still plenty of lovely creative efforts involved (if somewhat sidelined) by the attractions of food trucks and vendors: Tor Lukasic-Foss' Not Psychic booth was brilliant, it was great to see Hundred Dollar Gallery on Cannon as a new addition to the area, Center3 always does brilliant stuff (how about that Becky Katz?), the whirligig show at you me gallery is amusing, and the people of HAVN continue to make my city a more vibrant creative place, loved these back lit tapestries that were on show as part of Corridors. Happy fall everyone.


July 13, 2015: Epigenetic Landscape


The image reveals an "epigenetic landscape", essentially it is a visualization representing gene expression. Pen and ink with digital enhancement. The illustration is for a book by philosophy of biology professor Denis Walsh at the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto.

Client: Denis Walsh, Cambridge University Press.

February 13, 2015: Science and Religion project


I created the logo and visual identity for the research project Science and Religion: Exploring the Spectrum. The design of their print advertising, website, and social media is structured around the theme of evolution and religion refracted through a prism.


Client: Centre for Science, Knowledge and Belief in Society, Newman University.

November 27, 2014: Ebola crisis, The Boston Globe


This illustration appeared in The Boston Globe accompanying an article by Bina Venkataraman discussing why experimental vaccines for Ebola were not available for use in human subjects.

Client: Heather Hopp-Bruce, The Boston Globe

May 11, 2014: Hamilton Arts Awards


I was nominated for a Hamilton Arts Award in the Community Arts category. Thanks friends Amanda Jernigan and John Haney, for nominating me!

September 10, 2013: Darwin's Cyclopean Architect


This week I worked on a project for Paul Thompson and Denis Walsh from the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at the University of Toronto. They co-edited a book of essays about conceptual issues in Evolutionary Biology. One of the articles in the book, "Darwin's Cyclopean Architect", by John Beatty, refers to three photographs of rock formations, and explains how Darwin used metaphors about architecture to explain his concept of natural selection. The publisher, Cambridge University Press, preferred line drawings to photos, so these were the line drawings I produced to illustrate Beatty's essay in the book.



May 16, 2013: Scenes from a marriage, The Boston Globe


The author of this op/ed ruminated on the nuances and well-worn patterns of her own marriage, after watching Ingmar Bergman’s film, “Scenes from a Marriage." This illustration appeared in The Boston Globe on May 17, 2013.

April 8, 2013: Human Trafficking, THIS magazine


Human trafficking can victimize ordinary woman who are forced into sex work in the most ordinary of places, including motels and hotels along highway 401 in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. This is one of the observations made about Ontario's sex trade in an article for the May/June 2013 issue of THIS magazine. This illustration accompanies it.

March 4, 2013: Illness maze, MORE magazine


These two illustrations appeared in MORE magazine in September 2012. The article by Li Robbins was about how we sometimes struggle to be there for friends coping with illness, especially cancer. Working on this piece I definitely thought a lot about the people in my own life who have struggled, and continue to live with the difficult knowledge that they have this disease. Thanks to Associate Art Director Shelley Frayer and Art Director Faith Cochran for their guidance on this piece.



Sylvia Nickerson
Art & Illustration
e: sylvianickerson [at]
h: (+1) 905-522-5604
c: (+1) 905-730-3288
t: @sylvianickerson

A short biography can be found here.

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