Nancy Childs | Assurity Life InsuranceJanuary 17, 2018 - March 31, 2018
I was born is Boston in 1951. When I was six, I came by train, with my grandmother to Lincoln. Although my family eventually also came to Nebraska, my grandmother remained an important figure in my life. At the age of five I discovered that I could draw. I attended Catholic school. So we had no formal art instruction, but my grandmother saw to it that I always had art materials and took me to museums. I spent a lot of time at the library after school and had my first solo show at Bennitt Martin Public Library when I was 12.
I started my formal education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. My sophomore year I studied In Rome with St Mary’s College and Notre Dame. I received a BFA with a teaching endorsement in 1976.
Art is the way that I come to know myself – how I process my life.
25 Years ago I was making fans, shields and breast plates – items we use to separate or protect ourselves from the world. As I learned about making paper and printing making, I began to explore how our history impacts our current thinking and decision making. In 1990 I made a series of “Closed Books and Tabernacles,” dealing with spirituality and secrets. These works were exhibited at the Lux Center as part of my Nebraska Young Artist of the Year award. The works turned out to be very revealing. Public response to that body of work caused me to widen my field of reference. My art was no longer just about me. Through the years I have used mixed media to deal with women’s’ issues, religion, addiction and politics.
When I layer texture upon texture. The edges of the images below bleed into the layers on top. This is a metaphor for the past making itself part of the present. We are the sum of our experiences.
I make art to know myself. Reflection on the choices I have made helps me develop metacognition about who I am as an artist at this stage in my career. I have not yet made my best Art.