Nick KlineCreative Director, Express NewarkFounding Director, Shine Portrait Studio

Image: Founder/Director, Nick Kline. c/o Shine Portrait Studio


Nick Kline (Born 1968, Spring Lake, NJ) is a visual artist who works in photography, artists’ books and socially-engaged art. His ongoing project, SHINE Portrait Studio, Newark, NJ,  opened in 2017 and is based at the site of James Van Der Zee’s first photography job, and dedicated to his legacy. With SHINE, Kline shapes residencies for visiting artists and curators that culminate in exhibitions, performances, publications and a range of public programming.

From 2015 – 2016 Kline worked on Stripes for St. Joseph, a project that expanded from an installation using a former Catholic Church, an important symbol in a historic community being gentrified, to deep community organizing, photography and performance. This project was exhibited by Site:Lab and Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park during ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, MI. Hyperallergic Magazine listed Stripes for St. Joseph in the Best of 2015 Top 10 Exhibitions Across the USA with other Site:Lab Rumsey St. projects. Stripes for St. Joseph was also Finalist, Juror’s Prize Installation category, for the 2015 ArtPrize.

Selected Solo and Two-Person exhibitions of Kline’s work include: Center for Design, University of Quebec; Berlinskej Model; Momenta Art; Open Source Gallery; Occurrence Gallery; Project For Empty Space; ProsjektRom Normanns; Uno Art Space; and Vaste et Vague Art Center. Selected Group exhibitions include: Smack Mellon; Cuchifritos; Hirschl Contemporary; Allentown Art Museum; Silver Eye Center for Photography; Center for Book Arts and Media at Columbia College, Chicago; Minnesota Center for Photography; and University of Connecticut, Storrs and Stamford, CT. His socially engaged GlassBook Project has been exhibited in Museum of Art of Puerto Rico; Museum of American Glass; Grounds for Sculpture; Shakespeare Theater, Harman Center for the Arts; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, SAMHSA, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In 2014 Kline created Boys’ Shirts a Printed Matter Inc., Window Installation that corresponded with the release of his collaborative artists’ book, He. In 2013 Kline was commissioned by UNTITLED. Art Fair to creat an artist’ publication for that years Art Basel. His book PhotoGrid documented the construction of the foundation of UNTITLED’S. exhibition tent on Miami Beach. Kline has had his work published by Schlebrugge Editor; Endless Editions; As We Try and Sleep Press and others. His artist’ publications are in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harvard Art Museums, Getty Research Institute, Artexte, Banff Center, Saxon State Library – Dresden University. Selected reviews and features include The New York Times, Time Out NY, Artnet News, Lapiz, FotoTeknic Magazine, NY Arts Magazine, Frankfurter Rundschau Magazine, HYCIDE and Performance Research Journal. In 2012, Karen Irvine, Chief Curator and Deputy Director of the Museum of Contemporary Photography and Alexander Campos, Executive Director and Curator, Center for Book Arts New York, wrote introductory essays for two of Kline’s exhibition catalogs.

Kline is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including artist residendies at Artexte, Montreal, Canada; and the Center for Contemporary Arts, Prague, Czech Republic. He received a City of Newark, NJ Creative Catalyst Grant Award for SHINE Portrait Studio (2020); Rutgers University Research Council Grant (2020); Book of the Year Award, NATT and DAG Magazine, Norway (finalist) (2012); Committee to Advance Our Common Purposes Grant Award, Rutgers University-Newark, NJ (2012); Foundation for Contemporary Art, Emergency Grant Award, NYC (2011); Letter of Recognition, GlassBook Project, U.S. Congress, Victim’s Rights Caucus, Washington, DC (2011); Grant, Office of Women’s Health, US Dept. of Health & Human Services, Washington DC (2011); Ambassador Award for Education, NJ Governor’s Council on Mental Health Stigma, Trenton, NJ (2010); Chancellors Award for Community Engagement in Undergraduate Teaching, Rutgers University-Newark, NJ (2009).

Kline is the Creative Director of Express Newark, a Center for Socially Engaged Art and Design, and Associate Professor, Photography at Rutgers University-Newark, NJ. He received his MFA, Photography from Cranbrook Academy of Art and his BFA, Photography from the University of the Arts.