Grace Nickel was born in 1956. She earned her BFA in Ceramics from the University of Manitoba in 1980; Museology Studies certificate, University of Winnipeg in 1981 and; MFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2008. In the summer of 1999, she was invited to the 9th National Ceramic Conference in Perth, Australia. There she demonstrated her work in paper clay as well as presenting work of Manitoba's ceramic community.
In 1991 she discovered paper clay while at the Banff Centre. Since that time she has employed that material to create sculptural ceramics. She has developed a number of architectural installations, including the Meditation Window at the St. Norbert Arts Centre in Manitoba, and Sanctuary, NCECA in Minneapolis, USA, 1995. Nickel completed a number of site-specific commissions, including tile installations and sculptural lighting for public and private architectural spaces. In 1999 she created a tile triptych to honour of the hosting of the Pan Am Games that was subsequently exhibited at Winnipeg City Hall. She created a work for the entrance to the Beechwood National Cemetery in Ottawa, Ontario.
Nickel teaches ceramics full-time in the School of Art of the University of Manitoba.
Nickel's work has been exhibited in the United States and overseas in Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Taiwan, including,
- Unity and Diversity Cheongju International Craft Biennale, Korea
- Northern Lights/Southern Exposure, Perth Galleries, Perth, Australia
- Inaugural Exhibition The Canadian Ceramic Museum, Fuping, China, 2007
- Earth Matters NCECA Invitational Exhibition 2010, Philadelphia
and in Canada, solo exhibitions at,
- A Quiet Passage, solo exhibition, Winnipeg Art Gallery, 2002
- Mary E. Black Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 2008
- Gallery in the Park, Altona, Manitoba 2009
- Arbor Vitae, solo exhibition at the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery in Waterloo, ON, 2015, at Actual Contemporary, Winnipeg, MB, 2016, Disjecta Contemporary Art Centre, Portland, OR, 2017, and the Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery, 2018
- Eruptions, solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Burlington, 2019
In Canada her work is included in the collections of:
- The Claridge Collection, Montreal (1989 to 2015)
- Winnipeg Art Gallery
- Government of Manitoba art collection
- Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
In addition her work has been acquired by:
- National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan
- Museum of Modern Ceramic Art, Gifu, Japan
- Taipei County Yingge Ceramic Museum, Taiwan
- Bronze Award, 2nd International Ceramics Competition 1989, Mino, Japan.
- Judge's Special Award, Sixth Taiwan Golden Ceramics Awards, Taipei, Taiwan
- Inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 2007
- Glen R. Brown (2012), "Grace Nickel, Clay and Light", pp 47–52 in Anderson Turner ed., Ceramic Art: Innovative Techniques (Ceramic Arts Handbook series), The American Ceramic Society, 136 pp, ISBN 1574985299, 9781574985290.
- Patricia Bovey (2007), "Grace Nickel", in Ingeborg Boyens ed., Encyclopedia of Manitoba, pp 498–99. Winnipeg: Great Plains Publications, ISBN 1894283716, 9781894283717.
- Helen Delacretaz and Grace Nickel (2002), Grace Nickel: A Quiet Passage, Winnipeg: The Winnipeg Art Gallery, 32 pp, ISBN 0889152179.
- "RCA Biographical Note". Archived from the original on 24 August 2010. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "Biographical information". Archived from the original on 16 May 2011. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "City of Winnipeg Pan Am Games Art". Archived from the original on 12 March 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- Beechwood Commission[permanent dead link]
- "Faculty Directory". Archived from the original on 6 April 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- Awards, Collections and Exhibitions
- Delactretaz and Nickel (2002), Grace Nickel: A Quiet Passage
- "Grace Nickel: Arbor Vitae". Galleries West. 18 May 2018. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
- Haggo, Douglas (15 September 2019). "Regina Haggo: Natural forms inspired Grace Nickel's return to vessel forms". The Hamilton Spectator. ISSN 1189-9417. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
- Charles Bronfman’s Claridge Collection Auction: Part V: Decorative Arts. Toronto: Waddington's. 2015. p. 44.
- "G-91-158 Vessel Grace Nickel". Winnipeg Art Gallery. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
- "2002-44 abc Terminus Ultimus Grace Nickel". Winnipeg Art Gallery. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
- "Artefacts Canada". Government of Canada (database search results). Retrieved 13 December 2020.
- "Works > Column With Bowl II". New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum. Retrieved 11 December 2020.