Carla Nickerson: Pecan Street Festival Featured Artist

A seventh-generation Texas Renaissance Woman, Carla has worked as a film/tv/theatrical actor and multi-media artist for over 30 years. As a child, she and her siblings loved to experiment with vocal harmonies and produced/recorded audio comedy skits as well. She loved to draw and design clothes for her dolls, creating her first machine-sewn items at age 11.

In middle school, Carla joined the band as a trombonist, but ditched the instrument after freshman year for drill team, choir, the school newspaper and a myriad of other interests which culminated in her being named “Miss Taylor High School” — the first African-American to win the honor.

caranickersononsoulcitiWhen plans to join the Army and “see the world as a warrior” fell through due to her braces (considered a pre-existing condition), she looked to her parents alma-mater and enrolled at Prairie View A&M University. She planned to study journalism, but quickly switched to fine arts with a specialty in advertising illustration. Carla dusted off her trombone skills and played with PVAM’s “Ocean of Soul” marching band, earning the distinction of being the first female trombonist in the school’s history. In her senior year, she was bitten by the stage bug after two performances with the Charles Gilpin Players.

After graduating, Carla worked as an art director and graphic artist, while actively pursuing fine arts and theatre. She began amassing numerous regional awards for the latter, but avoided juried exhibitions.

After marrying and becoming a mom, Carla’s inner-warrior reappeared, prompting her to apply to the Austin Police Academy just weeks before reaching the cutoff age for applicants.


Read the full profile on the Pecan Street Festival Website. Now in it’s 36th year, Pecan Street Festival takes over 6th Street all day this Saturday and Sunday. 

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