Natalie Voelker, contemporary visual artist, painter, muralist, portraits
a photo of the artist Natalie Voelker taken by Max Woltman with her Idiomatic portrait art installation

photo by Max Woltman.

Natalie Voelker

Natalie Voelker is a contemporary visual artist whose works include painting, drawing, mural, and installation art. Her work explores the psychological complexity of seemingly ordinary people, environments, and experiences. Her painting, Davetta, was recently selected for inclusion in the BP Portrait Award Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London. The painting will be exhibited until October, then travel to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, and then to the Ulster Museum in Belfast. Natalie was recently awarded a residency grant from the Helen Wurlitzer foundation for the summer of 2020. In 2018 SOMOS Abq invited her into their fellowship program. Her work has been featured in multiple publications including the anthology, BARED, and the French-English magazine, VolUp. She has produced commissioned works for the Harwood Art Center, 508 Mural Festival, the City of Albuquerque, and various private collections including a recent mural at La Reforma Brewery. In addition to her art practice, Natalie teaches workshops, classes, and individualized private art instruction. She has a BFA from the University of Wisconsin and currently works out of Albuquerque, NM.

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I create emotionally and psychologically engaging portraits of seemingly ordinary people. Using painting and drawing, I investigate the human body as not only a physical form, but also a symbol and the contact site of our human experience. My process often includes spending time with my subject. We visit, I sketch and take reference photos, and the subject has an experience of being seen, recognized, and valued. Back in the studio, I use the physical acts of drawing and painting to synthesize that visual, narrative, and visceral research. Through my search for what is specific and unique about my subject, the familiar and shared is also revealed. My work embraces a lush aesthetic sensibility while at the same time unflinchingly acknowledging the dark and painful aspects of existence. I believe that to be beautiful, work must contain the full breadth of life – the dark as well as the light. Residing in a tension between representation and abstraction, my work reaches toward both physical reality and the subjective ephemeral. It is the material result of an exploratory, process-oriented, approach to art-making and an invitation to participate in a shared recognition of our essential humanity.



2019 Group exhibition, “BP Portrait Award 2019” National Portrait Gallery,  London, UK; Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, UK; Ulster Museum, Belfast, UK

2019 Mural, “Angel of Independence” La Reforma, Albuquerque, NM

2018 SOMOS ABQ Fellowship, Site-specific installation, “Divinely Human: the Three Graces,” Albuquerque, NM

2018 Solo exhibition, “Fortitude,” Harwood Art Center, Albuquerque, NM

2018 Group exhibition, “Stars Gotta Land Somewhere,” We Are This City and Albuquerque International Sunport, Albuquerque, NM

2017 Site-specific installation, “Peoplescape,” commissioned by SOMOS, Albuquerque, NM

2017 Mural, “Perseverance,” commissioned by 508 Mural Fest, Albuquerque, NM

2017 Mural, “La Joya 2017,” collaboration with Reyes Padilla, commissioned by Harwood Art Center, Albuquerque, NM

2017 Group exhibition, “Bared,” The Diamond Shop Gallery, Morgantown, WV

2016 Group exhibition, “Prelude” Harwood Art Center, Albuquerque NM

2016 Group exhibition, “Hand on Albuquerque,” curated by We Are This City, Albuquerque NM

2016 Solo exhibition, “Idiomatic,” 5G Gallery, Albuquerque, NM

2016 Group exhibition, “Albuquerque Abstracts,” William Platz Gallery, SUVA, Albuquerque NM

2016 Group exhibition, “The People’s Show,” 5G Gallery, Albuquerque, NM

2016 Mural, “Loft Mural,” collaboration with Reyes Padilla, private residence, Albuquerque, NM

2016 Mural, “Skinny Dip,” collaboration with Reyes Padilla, Versatile Vitality, Albuquerque, NM

2015 Site-specific installation, “In the Forest of Her Mind,” collaboration with Romy Kegan, Pilar Leto, Leslie Schreiber and the Women in Creativity Collective, Maple Street Dance Space, Albuquerque NM

2015 Group exhibition, “Personal Mapping Project,” The Church: An Art Sanctuary, Cedro NM

2015 Solo exhibition, “Replay,” O’Niell’s, Albuquerque, NM

2015 Group exhibition “In Microscale,” Metallo Gallery, Madrid NM

2015 Group exhibition, Foodie: On Eats, Eating, and Eateries in Albuquerque,” Tamarind Institute in cooperation with City of Albuquerque Public Art, Albuquerque, NM

2015 Commissioned project, “Two Girls,” commissioned by La Familia Teen Clinic, Santa Fe, NM

2014 Commissioned project, “Blue Corn Posole and Anasazi Beans,” lithograph, Tamarind Institute and City of Albuquerque, Albuquerque NM

2014 Solo exhibition, “Momentary Weirdness,” Maple Street Dance Space, Albuquerque, NM

2011 Group exhibition, “Personal Space,” Harwood Art Center, Albuquerque, NM


Torres, Olivia: “Creatives: Natalie Voelker,” Albuquerque the Magazine, March 2017, p. 18-22

Roberts, Kathaleen: “Aesthetic Gem” Albuquerque Journal, February 26 2017, Life in New Mexico p. 6-7

Brown Deskins, Sally (Compiler): BARED: an Anthology on Bras and Breasts, Les Femmes Folles Books, 2017, p. 324-325

D’Amour, Velvet: “Artitorial,” VolUp2 Magazine and BULLETT Media, 2017

Brown Deskins, Sally: “Natalie Voelker, Artist,” Les Femmes Folles, September 30 2015

Oaks, Amanda (Compiler): “Blood Honey by Jess Rizkallah,” Words Dance Publishing, September 29 2015

Obershlake, James: “New Mexico Figurative Artist: Natalie Voelker,”, March – June 2014

D’Amour, Velvet: “Featured Artist,” VolUp2, Summer edition, 2013


City of Albuquerque

Tamarind Institute

La Familia Clinic, Santa Fe

Private collections in the United States, Australia, North Korea, and the United Arab Emirates.


Idiomatic,” limited-edition artist’s book, 2017


University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Bachelor of Fine Arts, 2000

Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Studio Foundations, 1996


©2017 Natalie Voelker