Friday, June 12, 2009

Nancy Nichols...

I've been selecting and creating exhibitions for—one or both of—the galleries of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago, for the past nine years. I love what I do but there is a downside… I find myself wanting to own many of the pieces that I select for exhibition. Pieces included in the “From Nature” exhibition—currently on display at Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago—are no exception.

The show was created as a benefit for the Ragdale Foundation and The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago was committed to acquiring one of the pieces for inclusion to the school's Permanent Collection. We eventually purchased three. Selecting the work to be added to the school's collection was a challenge. And while making those selections, I found myself drawn to an intimate piece that I wanted to personally own. It was the rich and beautiful oil painting by Nancy Nichols titled “skull study with weeds” [shown above]. I made the purchase.

A little background... Nichols has worked as an Assistant Professor of Painting at Indiana State University since 2004. Her work is represented by Susan Maasch Fine Art in Portland, Maine, and Halcyon Contemporary Art, in Terre Haute, Indiana. Take a few minutes to check out her work. She has produced some beautiful things.


  1. Now the question is where shall you hang the lovely selection? This is a little haunting but peaceful, kind of a "rest in peace" piece.
    Art, it speaks loud, in a soft voice.
    Thanks for sharing!


  2. I tend to surround myself with work that "speaks to me". The kind of image that you think about repeatedly the next day—or weeks—after you first see it. I believe this piece is going to be hanging in the country house just steps away from our elaborate gardens. There is something amazing about watching the natural cycle of a garden's growth. For me, Nichols' beautifully-painted image [the digital version doesn't do it justice] is a reminder of the circle of life and the anticipation of spring and rebirth.

  3. Beautiful show. I love the one you purchased for yourself. I look forward to seeing more....