A Professor Emeritus at Sonoma State University, Nugent is also a highly respected American Artist. He has participated in over 100 solo exhibitions and 580 group exhibitions throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and South America. Since receiving his Master of Fine Arts Degree in painting from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1971, he has been awarded numerous grants and awards including a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship, a Tiffany Foundation Fellowship, a Fullbright Travel Grant and a California Arts Council Grant for his work in Brazil.
Nugent lives in Santa Rosa with his wife Lynda. They have three daughters Erin, Georgina and Rebekka. They are avid bocce ball players and make yearly sojourns to Brazil; the inspiration for much of Nugent's art.