Darcy Nicholas is a leading contemporary Maori painter, sculptor, writer, curator, events manager, and commentator on Maori issues. He has exhibited throughout New Zealand, Australia, Africa, United States, France, Britain, Canada, and been part of several major group exhibitions, which have toured internationally.
In 1984 Darcy won a Fulbright Cultural Award to observe African American and Native American art movements. He has since been responsible for several major cultural exchanges between Native American and Maori Artists. In 2009 he was given a citation from the United States Ambassador in appreciation for his contribution towards relationships between the United States and New Zealand. In 2005 he won the Creative Wellington Award, and in 2010 was awarded a QSO for services to Museums.
Darcy's work is vibrantly contemporary whilst retaining an underlying spiritual mana reflective of the artist's ancestry. There is a 'looking back', a respectful remembrance of times and personalities gone by. His paintings unite past and present, Pakeha and Maori - they are works of drama and harmony.
Darcy was responsible for the conception and oversaw the development of the Pataka Art Museum in Porirua City. He was the General Manager from it's opening in 1998 until retiring in 2012. His work is collected both locally and internationally.
In November 2013 Darcy Nicholas was awarded the Te Arikiniui Te Atairangikah u at Te Papa. This is the premier award of Maori Arts. Darcy is currently working on a 1.7 meter bronze sculpture for Wellington's War Memorial Gardens.