The Ohio Artist Registry (OAR) is an exciting opportunity for artists to share their work, connect with the creative community, and establish an online presence—all on a free, virtual platform! The OAR encourages artists working in all art forms, throughout Ohio and beyond, to create a profile, which allows them to better promote themselves and their work. Being listed in the OAR provides artists with new opportunities to share their work with clients, galleries, patrons, and audiences. For more information, contact Kathy Signorino, artist programs director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 614-728-6140.
Nancy Azara is an artist and feminist educator best known for her large-scale wood sculptures and mixed media collages. Nancy developed, and continues to work in, a distinct style of sculpture – found wood, carved, ornamented and mounted. Instinctive chip carving peels off an outer layer of wood, reaching for an essentialized raw experience of the body, of the limbs, exposing flesh and blood. This work explores life cycles, utilizing the metaphor of tree for personhood. Egg tempera, often in reds and pinks, and aluminum, palladium, gold gilding recover these exposed layers, exploring folkloric stories of women’s roles, goddess imagery, ancient symbols, mystic spiritual traditions and affirmation of female self.
Nancy continues to make and exhibit work from her studios in Tribeca and Woodstock. She is constantly challenging herself and her community in quarterly intergenerational feminist dialogues, (RE)PRESENT, an outgrowth of NYFAI, The New York Feminist Art Institute, a school she co-founded in 1979. Here, she formalized automatic journal drawing for a class she taught called “Visual Diaries, Consciousness Raising Workshop” as a way to access the unconscious. This method quickly became popular as a feminist consciousness-raising technique and was embraced in the nascent feminist art community in New York and with groups like Redstockings.
Photo Credit: Grace Roselli, The Pandora’s Boxx Project
Nancy holds annual workshops, teaches, and mentors other feminist artists, sustaining a unique visual, experiential and pedagogical artistic practice which remains informed by the body, nature, spirituality and her experience as a woman. She is the author of Spirit Taking Form: Making a Spiritual Practice of Making Art available through Red Wheel/Weiser.
I make collages, prints, banners, and carved and painted sculptures that record a journey of ideas and memories around the unseen and the unknown, reflecting on time and mortality through facets of my personal history. I juxtapose real tree limbs and vines with arboreal imagery—including renderings of witch hazel and rhubarb leaves—using them as stand-ins for my own presence, and as expressions of the dogged persistence of life.
Processes of pressing and rubbing, cutting and pasting, scraping and gouging are evident throughout the finished images and objects. I often balance instinctive marks against more considered decisions, arriving at a dynamic interplay between the deliberate manipulation of materials and the operation of chance. The heraldic banners, which suggest clothing or birds’ plumage, can be exhibited indoors or outdoors, where they are continually reshaped by the elements.
In my recent “Crow and Sandal” series of works on paper, the recurring motif of the crow acts as a symbolic messenger and metaphorical self-portrait, while the sandal (which in Hinduism represents a realization of the spiritual) functions as a symbol of the infinite. Here, as in other works, the images’ repetition suggests an attempt to examine and suspend their power in time and space.