A native New Yorker, Nancy has had an accomplished creative life in chapters - born in Manhattan, raised on Staten Island, Tottenville High School; Moravian College, BA in English and Religion; Bethlehem, PA; a Master's in Illustration from Syracuse University.
She has lived in Bethlehem, Springtown, and Philadelphia,PA; Bloomington,IN; Manhattan, NY. This past Summer, 2014, Nancy returned to Philadelphia from Manhattan to live and work.
Always contented in her own company, she hasn't changed much that way since childhood.
Recent solo exhibits of paintings and illustrations in Manhattan were at the Society of Illustrators, New York, NY, December, 2010 and The National Arts Club, New York, NY December, 2009 where she is an artist/exhibiting member. She is also long-time member of the Author's Guild and Graphic Artist's Guild.
Starting out professionally, Nancy was a newspaper designer at Indiana University, Bloomington,IN for the School of Journalism 1975-77. Then she was a graphic designer, editor, illustrator at Temple University's publications office in Philadelphia, winning an encouraging assortment of design awards there, 1977-81. Nancy also did television commercial storyboards for Young & Rubicam Advertising and Zanders Animation Studio, New York, NY 1977-78.
From 1982-91, she freelanced for Lafayette and Muhlenberg, and St. Francis deSales Colleges, doing publications as she did at Temple; working as well for Lehigh University and Penn State, Allentown on several successful projects. Nancy's most recognizable work from the 1980's was for Donegal Square, a lovely Irish Imports store in Bethlehem, PA doing all their print advertising.
She was a featured muralist for Musikfest in Bethlehem, PA 1985-87, and showed paintings locally there now and then. She returned to painting in earnest doing large oils and watercolors in the late 1980's. In an inspired decision, she attended Syracuse University 1992-94 on a grant to do her graduate work in Illustration.
Also from 1982-94, she restored her home, an 1838 stone farmhouse outside Springtown, Bucks County. Nancy did her own carpentry creating exterior doors (still in use), cabinets, and shelving; sewed all the drapes and slipcovers and household upholstery; painted self-designed period stenciling, a wall mural, and exterior projects; and gardened having an herb, vegetable and annual gardens of zinnias and roses. A dedicated cook at that time - she regularly smoked fish and fowl, canned garden vegetables - and absolutely loved creating farm-to-table meals well before it was a commercial endeavor familiar to many now. Her recipe boxes and books are filled with her recipes for brines, braisings, breads, and menus from that era.
Her early childhood experience working in a family-owned florist in New York for many years on holidays, gave her ingrained hands-on design and color skills she uses to this day.
Nancy's studies at Syracuse, however, were the key to her validation as an artist.
In January,1995, Nancy moved back to Manhattan. She initially worked at The Society of Illustrators as a research librarian in the archives from 1993-1996. Nothing she wanted professionally went as hoped or planned as a book illustrator/designer. With tedious pavement-pounding to introduce her picture books to publishers, she got one book published with Macmillan. The rest of her books, unpublished, are still in their respective portfolios to this day.
During this time she started to build a private collector base for her oil and watercolor paintings. Nancy regularly attended life-drawing classes at the Society of Illustrators and downtown in the West Village at The Spring Street School. Life-drawing was always a strong suit of hers, whereas the business skill of selling art was not and still is not.
Returning to her college publications expertise, Nancy worked as the Chief Editor/Writer of the alumni Prattfolio 1995-97 at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn. She also did freelance storyboards for Jim Henson Studios for movie and television show development; and for The New York Post as a freelance photographer, 2003-2006.
Nancy was a participant in the World Trade Center Memorial Competition in 2002 and has a featured Artist's Registry photography portfolio on the World Trade Center Memorial Museum web-site. She is also one of the original invited artists to join the Saatchi Gallery, London website in 2007.
Now back in Philadelphia, the newest chapter, her creative life has come full circle. Her best work as a painter, illustrator, and photographer is ahead of her. Her new home, Cogshill, the historic residence built by the pioneer commercial illustrator, Jessie Willcox Smith in 1915, is currently being restored by Nancy to landmark status to reflect its' honored and creative past.
Nancy's work as an artist promises to be inspired, productive, and fulfilling no matter what the future holds in store for her. The studio where she now works has an inspired history where she can now leave her very own indelible mark for the rest of her life.
- December, 2014