Arts + Culture » Visual Art

Nicole Tufts shares Bubblegum & Bruises

The artist and entrepreneur wants to bring out the kid in you—on Nocturne and always.

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Exhibit 117,
Skosha Experience Store, 5553 Clyde Street


Bbblegum & Bruises is an art exhibit and interactive storytelling event developed by the former co-owner of Riot Snack Bar and Vandal Doughnuts—two eateries that were designed to tempt your inner child. 

"I think that's pretty much what I want to do, is to bring out the childishness in adults," says Nicole Tufts. "I think if you look at some of the things that I did when I was in business, that's sort of what I did: I always focused on trying to make adults feel like children. I really am very passionate about that."

After selling Vandal Doughnuts in February, Tufts took the summer off—sort of. She started making art: mural art, graffiti stuff, spray paint on canvas and paint cans. She sketched memories from her childhood in Bayside. She asked other people to share their memories of being a child, and she sketched those too. When she decided to do a show, the combination of spray paint sketches and interactive storytelling just seemed to pop.

"It's one of those things that whenever I mention some of my stories, usually the first thing that comes up is people want to bring up theirs, or it sparks a memory," explains Tufts. "So I want people when they come in to have their memory sparked—and I want them to be able to add to the environment of the piece."

Tufts wants to inspire attendees to tell their stories, and she has a few zingers of her own in store. 

"I was actually kicked out of church camp when I was a kid for explaining how alien spaceships work to camp counsellors," recalls Tufts. "And I wouldn't take off my headphones because I thought that I was communicating with aliens through them."

"I was a really weird kid," she confesses. "Really, really weird."

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