Fostering Passions: Nicole Royse wants to share her love of art |
Fostering Passions: Nicole Royse wants to share her love of art

Fostering Passions: Nicole Royse wants to share her love of art

Submitted photo

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski | September 3, 2021

Art is important to Nicole Royse.

As the owner of Royse Contemporary in Old Town, she works to engage students who stop by her gallery, as well as her three children.

“It’s something my children love, and it’s important for the community, especially with COVID,” she says.

“It brings some hope and light into the world. It reminds us of all the good things going on in the world.”

Royse is preparing to celebrate her gallery’s fourth anniversary on Thursday, September 16, with a small reception. It is also presenting its “Summer Spectacular,” which highlights a wide variety of mediums, including painting, drawing, mixed media, photography and sculpture.

The artists featured are connected through their original styles, captivating work and stories.

“It is my honor to work with this talented group of artists, focusing on each artist’s energetic styles, eclectic imagery and brilliant color palettes celebrating our four-year anniversary,” Royse says.

The exhibition features work from James Angel, Angel Cabrales, Charmagne Vasquez Coe, Cam DeCaussin, Gennaro Garcia, Cherie Buck-Hutchison, Peter Brian Klein, Marilyn Szabo, Daniel Shepherd and Casey Wakefield, as well as special guest artists Fausto Fernandez, Fred Tieken and Scott Wolf.

“With such a variety of work, there is something for everyone, and I am truly thrilled to bring such proactive work and a stellar collection with such energy for our four-year anniversary.”

The “Summer Spectacular” is on display through Saturday, October 2.

Royse formerly curated art for the Monorchid and several other Downtown Phoenix galleries.

“I was with Monorchid for almost six years,” she says. “Then gentrification took over. The condos and restaurants came in, and it was less about art. Scottsdale has always had a very supportive weekly art walk.

“In Phoenix, art walk is once a month, on First Fridays. It’s not enough time for people to really support the arts. I looked at a lot of different areas for my gallery. It’s been really nice here. We have a weekly art walk. I’m bringing contemporary art to Old Town Scottsdale.”

Royse says she is seeing a slow transition in Scottsdale away from Western art.

“New gallery owners are coming in and different business owners,” she says. “A lot of young professionals are starting to collect.”

It’s important not to be intimidated by collecting, and to visit art galleries, she says. Royse Contemporary works with local artists with whom she always wanted to work.

“It’s been a fun transition up to Scottsdale,” she says.

Royse did the best she could during the pandemic, which started during her prime season. She pivoted to bringing art to her clients. She curated artwork, loaded her car, hung artwork, helped frame it and “do the whole deal.”

“That’s how I was able to maintain for my artists and space,” she says. “I had private appointments, which were very limited, with clients I knew. I’m already a caregiver, so I was extra careful and cautious.”

A former arts writer and artist, the Chandler resident’s skills are limited to painting walls and finishing projects with her three children.

Royse was not raised around the arts. She picked up on it on her own to escape her tumultuous childhood.

“When I decided to go to college, it was something I enjoyed,” says Royse, who studied art history at ASU. “I didn’t want a studio degree. When I finished my degree, contemporary art was buzzing in Downtown Phoenix. I wanted to help artists.

“I’d help them do social media, improve their websites and get more exposure. I continue to do that. It’s just through my gallery space now.”

Also with Royse Contemporary, she invites students to visit her gallery so she can try to keep them interested in art. Royse hopes they will love art as much as she does.

“A lot of times they pick my brain as they explore the gallery,” she says. “I had a group from the University of El Paso recently. They were doing a Bisbee residency and they came down to Scottsdale. It was great.

“I like to foster people’s passions.”

Royse Contemporary

When: 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays

Where: Marshall Square Complex, 7077 E. Main Street, Suite 6, Scottsdale

Info: 602-810-3449,, appointments available