Nicole “Nico” Holderbaum’s artwork is ubiquitous in Jacksonville. With murals everywhere from the beaches to Arlington, north, south, east, and west, the artist long ago went all-city.

As prolific as she’s become with her vibrant large-scale works, though, Holderbaum’s perhaps just as well known for the collaborative nature with which she undertakes her varied projects. Last year, Holderbaum and an all-female crew of 10 local artists completed a mural at the Paws Dog Park in Jax Beach. Plans for an install at Springfield’s Citi Teen Center involve nearly a dozen young artists. And for the recently finished mural on the newly named College Park shopping center, Holderbaum corralled eight local artists and had each of them tackle a letter to spell “Arlington” in a work that turned out as colorful and diverse as it was ambitious.

Holderbaum’s newest project, while similarly large in scale, might be even more ambitious. For her latest undertaking, the artist collaborated with a team of more than a dozen female artists on an install that is truly out of this world.
“The overall theme for the mural was Cosmic so outer-space and other-worldly,” says Holderbaum of the install that got underway in May on the walls of the Main Street Quick Stop located at 1255 N. Main St. in the Historic Springfield . “We  have a unifying background color that ties the whole project together. It is a fade of colors from purple to blue to resemble a night sky or outer-space colors. We also had a color palette that we all used. The background and matching color palette really ties the whole production together.” Outside of a unifying theme and color palette, each artist was afforded her own individual space to showcase her distinctive creativity.
Holderbaum says her desire for collaboration is born from experiences as a young artist, working her way into finally being invited to join a collective of all-female graffiti writers, the Far & Few Crew. “Our society fosters insecurity and competition between women, and I really liked the idea of bringing women together as a way to overcome that. Through our mural productions we develop our own personal connections while inspiring those watching in the community to change their perspectives on their own relationships with other women.”
After getting an all-clear from the building’s owner, Petra, Holderbaum put out an all-call for female artists. Her team for the project is comprised of 12 local artists other than herself (Jasmine Aldershoff, Elena Ohlander, Julissa Marie, Morgan Badz, Perla Reyes, Barbara Hionides, Addie Gibson, Tatiana K, Tabitha Skye, Biscuit, Gabi Corley, Déja Anderson), one of whom is a member of the US Navy stationed here in Jax.
“I’ve been really driven to organize projects that actually empower local artists and genuinely invest in our local arts and culture community, because there simply are not many opportunities for local artists to advance their careers here in Jacksonville,” Holderbaum says of the motivating factors that led her to this most recent project. “I wanted to be the person I needed when I was building my career, and start offering opportunities to young artists as well as bringing the art community together to strengthen ties, catalyze collaborations, and unite our city.”
In addition to the mural install, Holderbaum and her team have produced the Cosmic Crystals zine as way to both document and raise funds for the project. The zine includes work-in-progress photos, background info on the project, coloring pages and a sticker, as well as a profile of each artist involved. “Each one of these artists is a role model and a source of guidance, inspiration, and hope to many,” Holderbaum says. “I wanted to widen that range of impact, and develop ties between this project and the community so I thought it was important to put together some sort of documentation that could be distributed to the local neighborhood and beyond to share the story of the mural. “
To get a copy of the Cosmic Crystals zine, contact Holderbaum via email , Instagram, or Facebook. You can also donate directly to the project through Venmo (@Nicosuavalicious), Cashapp ($nicoart), or Paypal (nicosuaveart@gmail.com). All of the funds are collected and distributed via Holderbaum’s profit organization Painted Inc., which supports ongoing and future projects such as the Citi Teen Center mural project.