Alumni Success

Ellen McCord, Professional Artist

“I started out as a Physical Therapy major at Nicholls and enrolled in an art studio as an elective. A year later I was a full blown Art Major. Nicholls Art Department gave me the tools to channel my creative talents into a thriving art career. I have sold and exhibited my Paper Pulp Paintings all over the United States. Today, my art is my full time job.”

Ellen McCord has a B.A. in Art from Nicholls State University, served as a past director of the South Louisiana Center for the Arts in Houma, has taught art privately in Lafourche and Terrebonne for more than five years, and has been involved in numerous public art projects and grants. Ellen’s work has been featured in several publications including POV, Arts Council of New Orleans, and Houma Today. Currently, she is a full time artist selling her pulp paintings throughout the United States.

Beau Raymond, Studio Manager at John Creek Arts Center, Georgia

“The education I received from Nicholls State University and in the Department of Art not only shaped my career, but it also made me who I am as a person, a teacher and a member of a community who strives for excellence and faces challenges head on.”

During his graduate studies he curated an exhibition for NCECA (The National Council on the Education of Ceramic Arts) Conference in Philadelphia, PA. He earned his Masters of Fine Arts Degree and was accepted as a Resident Artist in Roswell, GA. Since that time he has taught courses in Ceramics and 3D Design at Georgia State University and Kennesaw State University. He is currently the Clay Studio Manger at Johns Creek Arts Center in Johns Creek, GA and continues to exhibit his work locally and nationally.

Mandy Buisson Holloway, Mandy Lens Photography


Mandy Buisson Holloway is a practicing professional photographer in Thibodaux, La. She founded her studio, Mandy Lens Photography, upon graduation from Nicholls.

“I would like to thank Nicholls State University for giving me a strong foundation in fine arts as well as strengthening my love for photography,” Holloway says. “The art curriculum constantly pushed my creative talents to higher levels. The supporting faculty and staff shaped and molded me as they well equipped me for the outside world. I owe my success as a photographer to God, my family and the Nicholls Art Department.”

Mark Olivier, Kern Studios


Mark Olivier is the prop shop manager for Kern Studios in New Orleans, handling some of the largest art projects in the world. Kern Studios creates parade floats for Mardi Gras, Nickelodeon and Universal Studios as well as themed entertainment worldwide.

Olivier is also the assistant to the vice president of construction and design, managing 15 painters, sculptors, papier mache artists, fiberglass workers, mold makers, hard coat specialists and project managers. He attributes his success to the education he received in art history, design, drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, photography, teaching and critical thinking at Nicholls.

“The instruction I received from the Nicholls art program has more than prepared me for my career in the art world,” Olivier says.