Rebecca Nase Chomyn
This sculpture was a collaboration by Rebecca Nase Chomyn and Nicoelle Danielle Cohen, two college friends who graduated from Pratt Institute. Both artists worked together to design the sculpture, Rebecca fabricated it out of metal, and Nicoelle painted it. This is the first 3 dimensional collaboration for these two, as they usually create and sell their own art. This particular piece is an off shoot of ideas from the Healing Hearts Project that Nicoelle created and continues to display throughout the states. That project was a reaction and a kind of healing from the horrific gun shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, FL (Nicoelle’s former high school). Both projects are designed to help bring awareness to gun violence, an unnecessary evil. We need to spread love, not hate. There is so much to love in this beautiful world, and sometimes people need a little reminder. Be kind, be well. Peace and Love.
Rebecca was raised in Vermont. In 2003, after having majored in sculpture, and earning her BFA with honors from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, she returned to her familiy’s home in Arlington, VT. With her foundation securely in place, she yearned to explore the country and expand her artistic potential. She traveled across the states, selling her metal work in a few craft fairs along the way, and ended up settling in Sonoma County CA. There, she worked in an industrial design metal shop called Tuell and Reynolds, as a fabricator. Through a mutal acquaintance, she met Al and Judy Voigt, the founders of the Voigt Family Sculpture Foundation. Rebecca was offered and accepted a position on their ranch as a personal welder and sculpture installer/custodian for their foundation. She met and built sculptures with/for various famous artists such as Charles Ginnever, Peter Forakis, Robert Ellison, Bryan Tedrick, and more. In addition to building sculptures for the Voigts, she also created artistic doors, gates, huge roof like trellises, stairs, window frames, wine racks, shelving and repairs on machinery. Rebecca built sculptures and wall hangings for her own clients, wineries, galleries and even Burning Man. After meeting her husband and having two girls in CA, the Chomyns decided to move back to VT to raise their family.
The metal work that Rebecca creates varies from functional to beautiful, to fun. Nature’s beauty is hard to compete with, so in most of her work she has started from a natural idea and built something new. She takes the hard often masculine material of steel and bends and curves it into a softer more playful and feminine piece of art.
Rebecca’s artistic talent transcends the metal arts. She draws, paints in watercolors, and acrylic, as well as produces one-of-a-kind seasonal chalkboard drawings at the Essext Resort and Spa in Essex, VT. Rebecca has also illustrated a children’s book “Who Paints The World?” written by her mother Lesley Nase.
To find Rebecca’s work you can go to her website www.vtsteel.com , her Etsy@vtsteellady, Facebook@vtsteellady, Instagram@vtsteellady. Or in person you can visit the Artist in Residence Gallery in Saint Albans, VT, Milton Artists Guild in Milton, VT, The Art Hound Gallery in Essex, VT, The Essex Resort and Spa, in Essex, VT, and The Kitchen Table Bistro in Richmond, VT.
Nicoelle Danielle Cohen has a BFA from Pratt Institute with a major in Sculpture and a concentration in Jewelry Design and Painting. She has been working as an artist in her studio at her home in Hollywood, Florida for the last 7 years. Before that she was located in NYC and will be moving back to NYC in August 2021. Nicoelle is available for commission paintings and you can see her most of her work on her website, Instagram page and Facebook page. Her work is inspired by her love of nature, music and color.
During her time in Florida, between taking care of her 9 year old son and painting and selling her work, Nicoelle started the Healing Hearts Project after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida, her alma mater. Nicoelle felt the urge to take action with art and asked friends on Facebook to make handmade hearts to help spread love to families and victims of gun violence and to discuss common sense gun control. Three years later and Nicoelle now has over 1,600 handmade hearts made from people from all over the country, even Tanzania and Scotland. She has displayed the healing hearts installation and has done heart making workshops in Denver, Co; New Orleans, La; Chicago, Il; Burlington, Vt and all over Florida. She has done heart making and heart painting workshops with the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas a number of times over the years and has worked with the family members and victims of the shooting. There has been numerous shootings since the Parkland shooting and although the Healing Hearts project will not end gun violence it has helped many heal, from the simple act of making the hearts to those who are viewing the hearts joined together as one big heart installation. The healing Hearts Project started as an idea for one heart installation with 422 hearts that Nicoelle collected to display at the March For Our Lives protest in Parkland and has grown and turned into so much more and continues to grow.
This is the GoFundMe page for the Healing Hearts Project if you would like to make a donation. https://www.gofundme.com/f/q87bs-healing-hearts-project-2?fbclid=IwAR2I1_NU11dYFdKSRBfz-1K-bfsvxlOaz1unyo0DC1MdNrbkSRfHnlaI8k8