Nicole Lavelle lives and works in Northern California. Her work engages people, place, paper, language, and landscape.

    She works as an artist and a graphic designer. She collaborates as PLACE TALKS.

    She is a resident artist at the Prelinger Library and a freelance visual designer for large technology corporations and small arts and culture non-profits in the Bay Area.

    Nicole is a former Graduate Fellow and Affiliate Artist at the Headlands Center for the Arts, and a sometimes-instructor of design and research at Portland State University.

    Looking for a design portfolio or writing samples? Email

    Do you like to read CVs? Click here.


    1. The cute political bumper sticker store is now a fundraising machine.

    2. OYSTERS (community publication) It's critical and celebratory, a collection of fragments from friends and neighbors in the western part of Marin County, California. Issue #2 is available for purchase at the Bolinas Hardware Store, Eleven, and Point Reyes Books. OYSTERS has no website but you can order one online here. All funds raised in excess of printing costs will be donated to the two local community land trusts.

    3. The Relation Between Things in a Continuum (essay published and sold by Flower Press.) It's about the magic and grief of growing up in blue-collar San Francisco and now working as a graphic designer for technology corporations. The title is from a Diane diPrima poem about the war against the imagination. It's about art, culture, nativism, corporate sponsorship, gentrification, artist residencies inside the belly of the beast, and other things.

    4. An Incomplete History of Community Publishing at the Edge of the Earth (history museum exhibit and community programming) At the Jack Mason Museum of West Marin History in Inverness, California. And a really sweet series of community programming at the public library, the bookstore, the church hall, and in the archive.

    5. PAPER ROAD (book, installation, performance)

    6. Codes and Questions (essay)

    7. PLANT FAMILY (video, installation, autobiographical narrative)

    9. COMMON SOURCE (public project)

- - - - NEWS! - - - -

March 2020-present

- - - - OLD NEWS - - - -

August 2020
The second issue of OYSTERS is here, available to purchase online at Point Reyes Books and various IRL locations throughout West Marin.

November 2019 - December 2020
I'll present an exhibit entitled An Incomplete History of Community Publishing at the Edge of the Earth at the Jack Mason Museum of West Marin History in Inverness, CA. The opening is Sunday, November 10 from 1-4pm (I think.) Stay tuned, there will be fun programming!

November 2019
Come to Point Reyes Books on Saturday November 23 at 7pm to celebrate the release of OYSTERS, a new publication made with friends and neighbors in West Marin. There will be hot beverages, readings, fiddle tunes, baked goods, and maybe even a slide show. It won't exist on the internet, so get yourself out here to get a copy.

October 2019
I'm so stoked to have been part of the core team to create the End of Life Times for the stellar non-profit Reimagine End of Life. It's a newspaper about death! And life. It emerged during their Bay Area festival in October 2019. Lead editor Chelsea Rushton, art direction and design by moi, epic illustrations throughout by Rob Moss Wilson, and contributions from so many brilliant people including Vanessa Waring, Gabriel Korty, Steve Heilig, Liana Finck, Nat Russell... If you'd like to get your hands on a copy (they're amazing) you can PayPal $4 and your address to and we'll send you one.

September 2019
PLACE TALKS is back for Season SIX, 2019-2020, in partnership with the Prelinger Library, my favorite San Francisco institution. Join us through March 2020 on the third Thursday of the month for a lecture.

June 2019
I contributed writing to Issue #13 of The Changing Times. It's an essay about West Marin for an issue about Orcas Island (I promise it makes sense), mulling on the guest-host relationship as a follow-up to last year's "Codes and Questions" essay published in Issue #4. Bless Corbin LaMont and her special newspaper project. Subscribe here.

May 2019
LAYERS is here! Layers is my new... brand? Lol. Bay Area Clothing for the microclimates of your weird wild life. Aka all the gently used treasures I find in my deep thrifting exploits that I can't keep for myself. Pullover crewnecks! Indigo-dyed socks! Cotton, cotton, cotton. Find the rack (IRL only) at Sea to See in downtown Olema, California.

April 2019
After a year of prototyping and testing, Dropbox Design's Team Toolkit emerged as a downloadable tool. I worked with my favorite collaborator Jennifer Brook on this kit to help teams identify shared values and design their own working contracts with each other.

Spring 2019
I interviewed Mary Welcome for the new issue of Wolfman's New Life Quarterly Issue #4: Correspondence. Read it here.

March 2019
PLACE TALKS wrapped up its fifth season! Stay tuned for new plans.

March 2019
Mary Welcome and I spent two weeks in residence at This Will Take Time.

November 2018
I read some new work at the Bolinas Library on November 13 with my friend Marlee Grace.

September 2018
PLACE TALKS returns to the Prelinger Library for Season 5 on September 27! Join us monthly for Thursday evening talks from some amazing Bay Area speakers.

October 2018
I participated in a panel Q+A about residencies at the book release party for Piney Wood Atlas: Southwest at E.M. Wolfman Books in Oakland.

October 2018
I went to Japan for a design residency called TOKYO SEEDS, hosted by JR East, the train company ("Like BART," I told my dad). It was a place-research project focused on the social mechanics of train stations on the Yamanote Line.

October 2018
I did a project with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy to help visualize the future of public lands in relation to their new Tunnel Top park in the Presidio in San Francisco.

Summer 2018
I taught a course called "Design and Research: Immersive Inquiry and Narrative Form" at Portland State University's Graphic Design program, and was an Artist in Residence at Outlet, a community print shop run by Kate Bingaman Burt in Portland.

March and April 2018
I gave a collaborative performance with Daniel Melo, once at Headlands Center for the Arts and once at CENTER in Inverness. It was called CYCLES. It's about death and the ocean and my words and images mixed with Daniel's sounds and it was pretty epic.

April 2018
I was one of five visiting artists to the Blue Sky Center's inaugural residency in New Cuyama, California, which culminated in a group show in Santa Barbara called SEEING RURAL. The residency was conceived of and facilitated by the tremendous Mary Welcome.

December 2017
PAPER ROAD made it onto KQED Arts' "Bay Area's Best Not-Always-Visual-Art of 2017." Thank you to Sarah Hotchkiss for including me!

December 2017
I contributed some writing to the Wolfman New Life Quarterly Magazine, a new publication that I'm so excited to be a part of. Thank you to Justin Carder. You can get one at Wolfman Bookstore or online.

November 2017
PLACE TALKS took part in a panel at the Common Field Convening in Los Angeles. Our session was called Making Space. The Performativity of Embodied Networks, or the Big Question: Can Third Spaces Benefit from Institutional Structures? and was organized by Liat Berdugo of Living Room Light Exchange. We presented alongside LRLX and Heavy Breathing.

October 2017
I gave a short performance about anxiety, smoking weed, and meditating at E.M. Wolfman No More Cops Free Health Care New Life Quarterly Bookstore as part of the 3x Series, with Matt Carney and Sam Greenspan.

September 2017
I gave a short performative reading called Heaven is a place in California at the opening of The Commons at the Headlands Center for the Arts, with Claudia La Rocca and Marco Lean.

July 2017
PAPER ROAD the book was released by Publication Studio San Francisco at the SF Art Book Fair! I gave a talk called BREATHE FRESH MOUNTAIN AIR: New Age and Leisure in the Emerald Bathed in Blue.

May/June 2017
My project PAPER ROAD was included in No End in Sight, the 2016-17 Headlands Graduate Fellow Exhibition, on view at Embark Gallery in San Francisco. Learn more here.

March 2017
On March 16, PLACE TALKS presented COMMON SOURCE as part of the Live Practices program at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. It was so fun! Thanks to all who participated.

January 2017
I presented poems about the desert / holy words for public lands / writings about feelings in a post-election landscape as part of PLACE TALKS and Wolfman at The Thing Quarterly, with Hannah Klein, Meagan Day, and Charlie Macquarie. It was coordinated by the tremendous Justin Carder.

2015 (This is "very old news" but I really like the article so...)
PLACE TALKS was written about on KQED Arts!

- - - - C-L-I-E-N-T-S + C-O-L-L-A-B-O-R-A-T-O-R-S - - - -

Dropbox, IDEO, Reimagine End of Life, Headlands Center for the Arts, For Freedoms, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Pier 24 Photography, Open Engagement Conference, the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Intersection for the Arts, Southern Exposure, High Desert Test Sites, Epicenter, California College of the Arts, Greenpeace, Jennifer Brook...

CV ~ Archive of work, 2008-2013 ~ Pic