NIC grad finds their path through the Fine Art diploma

NIC alum Gabrielle Moore with two of their pieces that are currently on display at the Lewis Centre in Courtenay. On left: “West Coast Jazz Hands”, 2019, screen print. On right: “Wiz Kids,” 2019, screen print.  Photograph by Caresse Nadeau.

NIC Fine Arts graduate Gabrielle Moore, is pursuing a new passion and career path after discovering their artistic abilities at NIC.

Moore, a high school graduate from Georges P. Vanier Secondary in the Comox Valley, started in NIC’s general studies program.

“I immediately started taking classes at NIC after graduating from high school, but I had no idea what my focus should be,” they said. “I took a variety of courses to try to figure out what I wanted to do.”

Outside of their time at NIC, Moore was introduced to the fine arts community through full-time summer employment at the Comox Valley Art Gallery, where they learned how to install exhibitions, and take care of many aspects of work in a professional gallery.  

“I hadn’t realized that I could take fine art courses, without being in the actual program,” said Moore. “At the time, I was struggling to figure out what I should be doing with my life. I was experiencing depression. It was my partner that suggested that I take a printmaking course.”

NIC’s Serigraph Printmaking course (FIN 217) with instructor Sara Vipond acted as a turning point, encouraging them to register for the Fine Arts Diploma and start working as a screen printing apprentice.

“I fell in love with screen printing! It ended up having a transformative effect on me,” Moore said. “After my first year of studies, I began working at Wachiay Studio, a screen printing shop on the unceded traditional territory of the K’ómoks First Nation. I started as a summer student and have been employed there ever since. I am now the head printer at the studio,” said Moore. Their talents and skills in printmaking also opened up numerous opportunities to work for the Comox Valley Art Gallery conducting printmaking workshops and demonstrations.

Moore participated in many opportunities open to fine art students, including on-campus student exhibitions, a group showing at the Comox Valley Art Gallery and, in their final year at NIC, Moore was featured in a solo exhibit at Courtenay’s Lewis Centre.

While a student at NIC, Moore also joined the Comox Valley Printmakers Association, which allowed them to access NIC studio space and printmaking equipment. Moore has been printing their own works for over three years now, earning recognition in the program for their involvement in the arts community and approach to learning. 

Moore graduated with honours and a scholarship from the NIC Fine Arts Diploma in 2021. They are now taking online courses towards their Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) University with a major in interdisciplinary arts, specializing in sculpture, new media and printmaking.

“Gabrielle's dedication, curiosity and experimental approach to their art practice made them an outstanding student in the Fine Art program,” said Elizabeth Russell, department chair, NIC School of Fine Art. “It has been exciting to see how Gabrielle has used their knowledge and creativity in sculpture and printmaking to find meaningful employment and further educational and exhibition opportunities in the art community.”

Moore acknowledges the role the NIC Fine Art program has played in their development as an artist and individual.

“My experience at NIC opened up opportunities that I never thought were available to me. The professors were very encouraging in the Fine Art program. The courses allowed me to create in new ways. I felt empowered to look at identity from different perspectives. This has led me to explore gender expression and personal identity in my art practice. I think fine art courses often have a transformational effect on people’s lives.” 

For more information on NIC’s fine art courses starting in January, visit


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