Sammie Nicely

Atlanta, GA | In Memoriam

Artist Statement: As an artist, my work is an extension of myself and helps me to better understand my cultural heritage. It is a crucial means of self-understanding. I see art as the medium through which such understanding can be attained. I create art for self-satisfaction and a way of communicating with others. My art serves as a common ground for communication where each person has to bring their own identity into play in order to appreciate my work.

Obituary. Sammie died May 23, 2015.  Sammie Nicely was born in Russellville, TN. He received his B.S. degree in art education from Middle Tennessee State University with graduate studies in sculpture at the Arrowmont School of Art and Crafts in Gatlinburg. Nicely worked in a variety of media. His pit-fired ceramic masks fused Native American and African art traditions and techniques to create visual images inspired by ritual and everyday life. Nicely had extensive experience as a master teacher with a vast array of populations. Although Nicely lived and worked in Atlanta, GA, he maintained strong ties with Eastern Tennessee. He co-founded the “From Africa to Appalachia Foundation” which is dedicated to exposing African African American visual and performing art to people in Appalachia. Since 1986, the foundation has presented an annual celebration and exhibition at the Rose Center in Morristown, TN.

Exhibiting Member from 1997-2015.