Niki Lopez is an Afro-Latina, Queer, Interdisciplinary Visual Artist, Curator, Activist, Social Practitioner, Cultural Programmer, Mother, Art teacher and an award-winning Graphic Designer. Lopez is best known for her vibrant color palette, masks and a collection of works dealing with some of her trauma and healing through the arts. She was inspired to create “What’s Your Elephant,” a movement that creates a safe space and uses the arts to address the unspoken.
Niki was the 2019 Co-Grand Marshall of Wilton Manors/Stonewall Pride as the ‘Future of Advocacy’
Lopez has been nominated for the 2020/2021 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow Recognition and is a 2020 recipient of Broward County’s Arts & Culture Visionaries Award by ArtServe.
Lopez hosts and produces “The Circle” a weekly Facebook/Youtube live – video podcast sharing stories of our creative community, activists & social entrepreneurs.
Lopez has been curating and programming avant-garde art shows and creative events since 2008, including her signature annual art exhibits at Fort Lauderdale’s 1310 Gallery. Her work is accessible to the general public but her focus has been on underserved communities, LGBTQ communities, BIPOC and youth within the DJJ- Juvenile detention centers. She also uses her creative and graphic design skills to work with the local underserved communities in partnership with the Housing Authority of Fort Lauderdale and the LA Lee YMCA.
Known for her community spirit and advocacy, Niki has donated artwork for fundraising initiatives over the years to support various causes such as World AIDS MUSEUM and Educational Center, HRC- Human Rights Campaign and Equality Florida.
My project “What’s Your Elephant’ is ‘creative conversations around the unknown’. The mission of this project is to provoke awareness and facilitate discussions unveiling unaddressed topics including, but not limited to: gender, discrimination and abuse. WYE works with the public, at risk groups and communities. The value of a share & engaging the masses will demonstrate how the creative arts can assist in self-healing, bring awareness, and strengthen communities. Along with this project is my personal body of work in a series titled “I AM THE ELEPHANT” which includes multimedia installation art- I am sharing my own ‘elephants’ of being a survivor of child molestation, growing up in a religious cult and exploring the concepts of masks & identities.
My intentions for #whatsyourelephant is to create a safe space where I can share and bring awareness. If sharing my elephants empowers even one person to consider their choices and its impact, speak up when they see an injustice or be a voice for the many who are still living in fear & denial…my job is done.
“It’s about acknowledging the elephant and owning it, so that it doesn’t define you.”