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Meet Nichole Galicia – Philanthropist, Model and Art World Muse
A chat with Nichole about The Orchid Foundation and about being an inspiration thief
Philanthropy 05 Oct 2021
Image of Nichole Galicia by Udo Spreitzenbarth 

Meet Nichole Galicia, woman of many talents.
Nichole’s career began as a fashion model in Europe at the early age of 13 and later she took up acting, notably being handpicked to star in films such as Django Unchained and Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood by the acclaimed director Quentin Tarantino. Most recently she has a recurring role on Taylor Sheridan’s highly anticipated Mayor of Kingstown and is the lead in a thriller called Shimmer.  On top of her Hollywood career, Nichole is an avid art lover and art collector who has amassed an impressive personal collection.
However, the role that is most important to Nichole is her work as a mentor and philanthropist. Nichole founded The Orchid Foundation with a mission to mentor disadvantaged high school girls on their way to college. The foundation offers college prep, career days, financial literacy and coding lessons, tutoring, and most importantly sisterhood.

Here we chat with Nichole about The Orchid Foundation, alongside their Artists For The Orchid Foundation fundraiser, that will end on the 10th October.

Hi Nichole, what is your connection to the art world?

I’m a spectator, an admirer, and an inspiration thief. This is my connection to the art world. And according to Thomas Houseago I’m his muse :).

Image by Udo Spreitzenbarth 

Can you tell us more about The Orchid Foundation?

The Orchid Foundation (www.theorchidfdn.org) is a mentorship program for underserved girls to and through college. I do everything in my power to help my Orchids get the well-rounded foundation it takes to make it in the world. We have the best tutors in the industry, we have a financial literacy program where I teach all of our girls how to buy stocks, an arts program, all our girls learn how to code through our partnership with Codecademy and the individual lessons we get from Kayla Brown and Casey Tirshfield, our incredible board has made a away for each Orchid to have paid internships at their firms at companies like VINTUS imports, Epoch Investment Partners, Givsly and Lowenstein Sandler. We do community service as a group and so much more. I have a tremendous amount of my help. I could not accomplish any of this without my incredible board of directors. The Orchid Foundation is small by design. My goal with The Orchid Foundation is to go deeper, not bigger. I know each of my girls personally, most have been with me for seven years. All of our major donors are in touch with our girls and understand exactly the impact of their generosity (be it financial or in kind). We are supported by mentors like Robin Albin, Tracey Heaton, Lee Leuder, Lauren McCallum, Emily Bergl, Ty-Ron Mayes, Josh Wexler. We could not exist without the generosity of Chris Pine, Ed and Betsy Zimmerman, and Gustav Christensen. Philipp Hensler has made his entire firm at Epoch an invaluable resource to us in too many ways to mention here, Coller Capital has been our ride or die since day one. The Orchids call Taylor and Nicole Sheridan “Uncle Taylor and Aunti Nic”. Fashion designer Carmen Marc Valvo gifted all the Orchids with prom gowns. Thomas Houseago is moving mountains to make sure our fundraiser is supported. Basically what I’m saying is we are blessed and grateful.

Lorna Simpson,Typical, 2019, Collage on paper, Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth, Photo: James Wang. Retail Price: $30,000 – Estimate: $25,000-35,000

You are now in the process of organising a fundraising auction for the foundation. When will it take place and what will you be auctioning?

With the assistance of artist Beatrice Scaccia our fundraiser, Artists For The Orchid Foundation, is September 26th through October 10th on VU (www.VUgalleries.com) we will be auctioning art with 100% of proceeds going towards college scholarships. We have some world class artists supporting our Orchids like Lorna Simpson, Kara Walker, Thomas Houseago and Ed Ruscha.

Image by Udo Spreitzenbarth 

Can you tell us more about your art tours with The Orchid Foundation?

They are epic, juicy and designed for teenagers who do not like art. It’s OK you can gasp at that thought. Yeah most teenagers are not begging me to take them to a museum during spring break. I make it mandatory that each Orchid spends 50 hours touring or studying art before graduating out of The Orchid Foundation. We have two art historians supporting us, Kent Alessandro and Emily Sachar, president of Heart of the Art NYC. We regularly take POPS tours (Privately Owned Publicly Shown) through the city, we do art history lessons with Kent and Emily, we have gone on guided museum tours with artist Virginia Inés Vergara, we have visited the studios of artists Derek Fordjour and Manolo Valdes, we debate The Art of The Steal and whether Dr. Albert Barnes’ collection should be on view in Philadelphia. You know regular cultured girl stuff.

You are an accomplished art collector, philanthropist, model and actor. What traits got you to where you are today and what advice would you give to people for being successful?

Grit and my big brain got me here. I’m proud to say that everything I have I earned, manifested, fought for or created myself. My advice for being successful is fourfold: do your research, work scared, it’s not that serious and no just means try again tomorrow.

Lauren Halsey: Funk Upon Uh Time (somewhere, somewhen else, us), 2007, blueprint.

As someone who supports women, who are some of your favourite female artists?

There are incredible Black female artists who are changing the fabric of culture right now that are finally getting SOME of the respect and attention they deserve. There are many female artists that I love but I’d like to draw attention to this group in particular that represent a generational reckoning and have created and are creating extraordinary bodies of work: Betty Saar, Lauren Halsey, Karon Davis, Lorna Simpson and Kara Walker. What are your future goals for the foundation? In the very near future I plan to add boys to our Orchid family. My long term goals are to eliminate the college debt of each of my Orchids.

How can people get involved and support The Orchid Foundation?

We are always looking for new mentors, career day hosts and companies looking to hire Orchids as interns. 100% tax deductible donations can be made to us by following this link HERE. Also please follow us on instagram @theorchidfdn and @officialnicholegalicia

More information about the Auction for The Orchid Foundation: Artists  for the Orchid Foundation

The second annual benefit  Auction for The Orchid Foundation: Artists  for the Orchid Foundation is hosted on the platform VU

The 2021 benefit continues the momentum built in the previous benefit auction. A phenomenal group of artists have come together to help this amazing group of young women. The selection was curated by Nichole Galicia and Beatrice Scaccia. 

Full List of Artists:

Aaron Parazette, Alessandro Teoldi, Alexis Duque, Alfredo Jaar, Beatrice Scaccia, Becky Brown, Charles Lutz, Charlotte Fox, Elaine Reichek, Emily Noelle Lambert, Francesco Simeti, Francessca Lalanne, Glendalys Medina, Hanae Utamura, Ingrid Roe, Jamie Scholnick, Jay Elizondo, Juanita Lanzo, Kara Walker, Kim Dingle, Leeza Meksin, Leonardo Drew, Lina Puerta, Lionel Cruet, Lisa Corinne Davis, Lorna Simpson, Lucia Love, Man Bartlett, Marianna Peragallo, Marnie Weber, Michael Kelly Williams, Michela Martello, Nicole Franchy, Pepe Coronado, Polly Apfelbaum, Rusudan Khizanishvili, Sophie Kitching, Stefan Janoski, Thomas Houseago, Toshiaki Noda, Valentina D’Amaro, Verdiana Patacchini, Virginia Inés Vergara.

“The Orchid Foundation is a mentorship and scholarship program for underserved girls. We choose girls who are excelling in their academic and extracurricular pursuits to help fill the resource gap presented by their socioeconomic backgrounds.  Our mission is to mentor these girls to and through college.  We are small by design, going deep rather than broad.  We touch the lives of our “Orchids” with personal care, educational support and a broad-minded view of the world with designs to foster leaders for tomorrow.  These “Orchids” are 14-22 year old powerhouses who deserve the opportunities and success they are working so hard to attain.”

You can check the online auction and bid on the works at this link:


You can simply donate to help the girls here:


The online fundraiser will be up until October 10th. 

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