Video: Nicolina Leaves a ‘Fiery Heart’ for the East Village

The artist Nicolina Marie Johnson – known to the neighborhood simply as Nicolina – always comes to mind this time of year: Last year, The Local filmed her painting holiday art on the window of the Bean’s former location (her art also graces the coffee shop’s new Second Avenue outpost).

This weekend, the East Village resident of six years will head back home to Seattle, where she’ll host a Hearts of the World workshop – part of a project that she started with the Lower Eastside Girls Club in 2010. From there, it’s off to South America, where she’ll paint a mural with teenagers in Valparaiso, Chile and host Hearts of the World workshops in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. She’ll return to the East Village in the spring to resume her work with the Free Art Society and begin planning the Mad Hatter Tea Party in Tompkins Square Park.

Before taking off, Nicolina and her colleagues created what might be described as a goodbye painting to the neighborhood. The Local stood by as she installed it on her block, on Second Street near Avenue A.