I am inspired by the beauty and complexity of the world around me and how the physical infrastructure we have created shapes our experience of the world. Through my work, I aim to capture the poetry of everyday life, the resilience and strength of the human spirit; and the wonders of human engineering.

I am often drawn to bridges as a subject matter because they represent so much more than just a physical structure – they symbolize the idea of connection, of crossing over from one place to another, of bridging the gap between people and cultures. They represent part of what makes humanity great – our ability to work together, to overcome obstacles, and to create something that is greater than the sum of its parts. These triumphs of engineering can endure for centuries or even millennia, yet they are susceptible to the same forces of time and nature that shape our own existence. The decay and decline of these structures over time reflect the fragility of our own existence. There is beauty in the marks and remnants of survival, the fleeting moments of the here and now, and the wonders of human engineering that endure for centuries.

Before the pandemic, I was painting scenes from everyday life. However, the global crisis gave me a new sense of purpose. I felt a need to create a record of this moment in time, to capture the beauty in the mundane and familiar, and to give a voice to the people and places that often go unnoticed. Whether it’s the way the light falls across a quiet street or the expression on someone’s face as they go about their daily routine, I am always searching for these moments. To me, the subjects of my paintings are a reflection of humanity as a whole, rather than just individualized identities or monuments.

In the end, whether I am painting a bridge or a person, a building or a landscape, I believe that art has the power to capture the essence of our humanity – our resilience, our strength, our creativity, and our capacity to connect with others. I hope to inspire others to see beauty in the most ordinary of moments and to celebrate the power of art to capture our shared human experience.


Nicole Maye Luga is an American landscape painter who works mainly with oils in a contemporary traditionalist style.  She studied painting at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where she earned a four- year diploma in painting, she also completed their Master’s Program, earning her MFA. 

She lived in Albania for some time, where she found a new appreciation for landscape painting.  Returning to Philadelphia, she became a member of The Philadelphia Sketch Club and The National Association of Women Artists based in New York City. 

Nicole’s work has received numerous awards and is in collections worldwide. She has exhibited in national juried shows, and museums including the National Midyear Exhibition at the Butler Institute of American Art for four consecutive years.  Additionally, Nicole was a semi-finalist in the Art Renewal Center’s -16th International ARC Salon Competition.  She has exhibited with The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Fellowship Annual Juried Show since 2019 and won the Caroline Gibbons Granger award in 2021.  Nicole recently had a solo show at the Crary Art Gallery, a museum in Warren Pennsylvania.

In 2024 she will have a solo exhibition at The FAN Gallery in Philadelphia.  Her work has been published in the International Artist Magazine – “How to Paint Your Favorite Subjects” book.  One of Nicole’s paintings was recently purchased for The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Fellowship Permanent Collection.  She will be exhibiting at the Ohio Arts Council Biennial in 2023.

Nicole is represented by the FAN Gallery in Philadelphia, PA.