Palm Beach Rising: Nicole Henry

Photography by Robert Nelson


Nicole Henry: the Culturist

As a child, Miami native Nicole Henry fell in love with art and turned it into her life’s work. The art enthusiast opened her first gallery in 2006 in Palm Beach Gardens and five years later relocated her business to West Palm Beach. Nicole Henry Fine Art specializes in emerging markets and blue-chip contemporary art, but her gallery isn’t the only local landmark she has created: Having witnessed Miami’s cultural scene grow with the introduction of Art Basel, she wanted to bring a similar transformation to West Palm Beach. Last year, she organized the Canvas Outdoor Museum Show, a two-week arts festival that infused the city with public murals, installations, and events. The second-annual show will be held November 11–20 and, Henry hopes, will continue to serve as a prominent catalyst for the city’s growing art scene.

Her early art interest: My parents used to take me to museums, and I was the only kid who would sit under a painting and just stare at it in awe.

Favorite medium: Ceramics.

Happy hour bar: Wine Scene.

Beach spot: Juno Beach.

Music playlist: Coldplay is my favorite band, but I listen to mostly EDM and hip-hop.

Dream dinner date: Sir Richard Branson. I admire him. I love how he has taken his money and power and used it for the greater good of mankind.

Her outlook on the local art scene: West Palm Beach is going through a huge cultural growth spurt. I feel it will be the next big art scene in the United States.

Best part of her job: It doesn’t feel like a job. I am passionate about infusing art into the community, because it increases cultural awareness, stimulates the economic growth, and sustains thriving communities.

What to expect from Canvas this year: We’re going to do more of a festival event in one of the big parks in West Palm Beach with a big musical act, a fashion component, and a lot of sponsors.

Bucket-list item: To take my kids out of school for six months and travel around the world with them.

Guilty pleasure: Cristal Champagne.

What she would title her autobiography: My Life Is a Canvas.

Her philosophy on charity: One of the most important principles in the way I live my life is giving back. There’s always got to be a bigger purpose than just me.

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