Dean Nimmer

Created by Julia and Nick.



Dean Nimmer is a great painter, teacher, writer, and simply a very cheerful man with a good sense of humor. Since Dean was a child, he has always been passionate about art, and he was sure that he wanted to do it all his life. What he did not know back in his adolescence is that he would also acquire a tremendous devotion for teaching, and he definitely did not expect to start writing and find his third passion in that. As he said during the interview “I’m a reluctant writer…I never liked reading or writing”. Now Dean is a proud author of two abstract painting books – “Art from intuition” and “Creating Abstract Art”. His books are different from all the others because in them, he encourages people to feel their artwork and learn to expel from any fears that usually stop painters, rather than providing step-by-step guidelines to teach people his own style; in fact, he wrote his books because there had been no similar art book. Dean provides various advices for the artists, and we think the best one was:


“The only thing that you can do wrong in art is NOT make art. And that’s IT.” – Dean Nimmer.

Dean’s studio is located in the building right next to the Cubit. He finds himself very comfortable in the Holyoke area and loves the view of the Canal he has from his cozy studio. The main reasons for him to continue his career in Holyoke are his beliefs in the emerging art scene, which will hopefully transform the city over the coming decade. Back in the 1880’s it was an industrial capital with large numbers of factories, hydroelectric power stations fed by the canals, and mill buildings; as a matter of fact, Holyoke had more millionaires than anywhere in the world during that time. Things have changed and the industry shifted to different places, leaving all those factories abandoned after their owners went bankrupt. There is a lot of property available for a better use, and since the rent is strikingly cheap, many artists were attracted to the area. The small size of the town and the way the city is set up makes it a go-to for artists. In busy places like Boston or Europe, studio space is extremely expensive, which makes it very selective and privileges the rich artists, making these scenes the “mecca of bohemian art”. Holyoke is much more favorable for artists who are confident about their success, and their contributions can really give rise to amazing changes in the city.


Dean’s influences are the people who have a true devotion for making art; “artists like myself, who paint because we HAVE TO” are the people that inspire him, rather than those who set their main goal as fame or moneymaking. Dean mentioned that if one chooses to associate their life with painting, they do have to figure out an alternative way to make a living. The point for him was never making art for money, however, his paintings attracted attention of a considerably large group of contemporary art-makers and art lovers. He has also succeeded in his teaching career. He has taught art in many places around the United Stated, as well as in other countries like Japan, China, Australia, Spain, Ireland and England. He says that he is addicted to teaching.

“Teaching is something that nourishes me as much as it does students I work with”


The first picture in the gallery below is Dean’s portrait of his alter ego – Unique Frederique. One recommendation for artists that he provided in his book was that if a painter got stuck and frustrated, he could always create an alter ego that would have a different name and would be able to make all the things the artist himself does not or cannot do. An artist’s alter ego can freely make anything that their imagination allows for, and if the works are silly, ugly or pathetic, the artist can always blame it on a non-existent person like Unique Frederique. Ultimately, Dean believes that “what stops people is only themselves”. He hopes he can influence more people by showing them his art, teaching it, and hopefully imparting his philosophies of the inner beauty of life and how to enjoy them. He hopes that his art will make people think and take something out of his paintings, as it is often more than just art – every work has a deeper meaning that every viewer can discover for him/herself.