Lenné Nicklaus-Ball, who was born in Pittsburgh in 1951, had a strong, early interest in art that was encouraged by her family. As an elementary school student, she was recommended by a teacher for the Saturday art classes given at the Carnegie Museum of Art, which she attended for a number of years. Nicklaus-Ball went on to attend Carnegie Institute of Technology, transferring to Bowling Green University in Ohio where she received a BFA in Graphic Design in 1973. After graduation she moved to Los Angeles to work the graphic design department of a large supermarket chain. In 1976, the artist moved to St. Pete Beach, FL to take care of her grandparents who owned a hotel there. With her brother and sister, Nicklaus-Ball eventually assumed the management of the hotel.

Nicklaus-Ball’s early art training, concentrating on life drawing and representational painting, proved formative in the landscapes, drawings of trees, and flower paintings that she made over the next twenty years. She also developed an interest in Abstract Expressionism, especially in the work of Pollock and de Kooning, and in the paintings of Picasso. Commissioned to paint a number of portraits, Nicklaus-Ball often depicted the subjects in the nude (at their request) and rendered them abstractly. Beginning in 1976, she began producing a series of gestural abstract paintings accented by neon lights.

In the late 1990s, Nicklaus-Ball started to make beaded handbags, that were marketed quite successfully. During this period, she also started working with a ceramicist, learning how to throw, hand-build, carve, and glaze a wide variety of vessels. Nicklaus-Ball’s involvement with the crafts of beading and pottery was augmented by a 2004 trip to South Africa, where she saw examples of the traditional art of decorating ostrich eggs.

That year also marked the passing of her favorite grandmother, who died at the age of 91. Peg Nunn had been very active in the social and charitable life of St. Petersburg. Dressing with a real sense of personal style, she loved clothes and jewelry. As a tribute to her grandmother, Nicklaus-Ball began embellishing ostrich eggs and their stands with the costume and vintage jewelry that she had owned. Each egg in the P. Nunn Collection, lavished with pearls, cut glass, or feathers, and accompanied by found objects, takes on a specific theme, like that of a fancy dress ball. Ranging from underwater, to an icy nest, to the grazing of butterflies, these settings are both whimsical and surreal, evoking a dream-like sense of fantasy.

Nicklaus-Ball’s contribution to the “Tampa Bay Tour of Turtles” has been permanently installed in North Reddington Beach. Her decorated version of a 3'x4' butterfly is to be part of 2005 exhibition and auction for the St. Petersberg Holocaust Museum. The artist’s large scale painting, part of a collaborative art and poetry project, will be installed in the Tampa Airport in February of 2006.


  • 1973 BFA Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio
  • 1967-1969 Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Elected Memberships

  • The Arts Center, St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Outdoor Arts Foundation, Tampa, Florida
  • Suntan Art Center, St. Pete Beach, Florida

With "Air Born" before The Big Art Show in Tampa.