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About Spirit Eyes Arts   ~   Artist's Statement  ~  Nicole Stephens
nicole stephens photography
Three holiday gifts stand out from childhood; an Easy-Bake oven, a “Hep-Cat” guitar, and my first 35mm film camera, a Mamiya/Sekor. The first two sparked my lifelong love of cooking and music, but photography has endured as my loyal partner despite all the things that come to pass in a lifetime, and helps me to ask: Who came here before us? What meaning endures fleeting beauty? Which Spirits lie deeper- behind the tangible, physical aspects of a place or object? And, simply, Did you see that!?!

Photography is an artistic communication, impervious to language or literacy barriers. It doesn’t just document; through captured moments, we extend our interpretations to the world. It also provides for internal dialogue – stillness, reverence; a form of meditation. It invites us to hear the music within as it strikes a chord we might not have known was there, allowing us to revisit as we wish.

Lush woods, vibrant streams and the animals that called these places home in gorgeous small town Somers, NY instilled my fascination with nature. Seeing their images magically come back to life as I developed film and prints in our high school darkroom was pure magic! Packing my camera and biology degree, I left behind tri-color peak weekends. I awakened one June morning to the mystical monuments, monsoons and mountains of New Mexico. The Spirit of Place turned my first visit to Albuquerque (“…just for the summer”) into an enchanted 33 years of residency.
I moved to a digital SLR in the late 90’s and digital darkroom several years later. Photography has been a fun and patient companion as I delved into my full time
career in cancer research. Whether shooting landscapes, events or portraits, the magic remains.

Here, landscapes take my breath away; here, Spirits past whisper their truths and ask us to remember; here, ever-changing scenery invites us to recall that life goes on - within us and without us.

From Illusions, by Richard Bach:
The simplest questions are the most profound:
Where were you born? Where is your home? Where are you going? What are you doing? Think about these once in a while, and watch your answers change.

Exploring the Spirit behind what we may not see at first glance, what we may not hear or understand until we slow down and really see - remains my inspiration. I hope my images speak to you, challenging the illusion that we are somehow separate... and unconnected.

Please indulge - I would love to "see" what you think!



(Red Rock Rally - Grants, NM)
"Float Like a Butterfly"

Judge: Herschel Mair, Santa Fe, NM,

(Summer Monsoon - Albuerquerque, NM)

Judge: Pete Myers, Santa Fe, NM,

SECOND PLACE (Old Railyard - Albuerquerque, NM)
"Jason Pollock's Bathroom"
Judge: Dana Foy, Alburquerque, NM,

SECOND PLACE (South of France)
"Reaching Her Crossroads"
Judge: Gail Yavonovich,

HONORABLE MENTION (Dance Hall, Gruene, TX)
"Welcome, Y'all"
Judge: Kyle Zimmerman,


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