Wk 15 – Artist Conversation – Nancy Young

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Exhibition Information

Artist: Nancy Young
Exhibition: As the Crow Flies
Media: Ink, Paper, Metal, Wood, Silkscreen, Stencils,
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dutzi Gallery
Website: Artist has no website at this time.
Instagram: Artist has no Instagram at this time.

About the Artist

Nancy Young is a graduating CSULB student who will receive a BFA in Printmaking this semester. After leaving school when she was younger due to mental health issues, Nancy returned to school to pursue her passion. Although she does not plan to make art her career, she believes that everyone can benefit in significant ways from an art education. Nancy currently works as a data programmer in Orange County. Her art is inspired by her personal experiences, particularly those in which she experienced sadness and struggle.

Formal Analysis

Nancy’s exhibit As the Crow Flies features pieces that integrate a variety of formal elements. Perhaps most notable about her pieces is their sense of rhythm. Her illustrations of landscapes and birds integrate a variety of textures, shapes, and lines that converge to create a sense of movement. The use of both jagged and sinuous lines to create images of crows create beautiful cadence. Nancy’s tendency to completely fill in the backgrounds of her illustrations also creates rhythm in the pieces, as such backgrounds are often textured, involve sinuous patterns, and ultimately complete the piece as a whole. Nancy’s etchings provide vivid texture to her illustrations that contribute to their depth and dimensional appearance. The neutral, muted tones featured in her pieces prominently provide them with a melancholy or peaceful feel.

Content Analysis

The use of crows as the theme of Nancy’s exhibit is derivative of her personal association with crows. Nancy expressed that her turbulent journey through life, in which she has faced a multitude of experiences, has led her to identify her life with that of crows’, as they, too, fly from place to place. Nancy feels that she is like a crow in that she journeys to and from her life experiences. She noted that she feels especially akin to crows as she prepares to graduate, and leave CSULB for her next life experience. In addition, Nancy uses the crow to represent departure in the form of death. Her experiences of sadness and grief, especially that in which she lost her husband, inspired this symbolism. Ultimately, the crow serves as the perfect symbol for Nancy’s journey through life, and for her personal feelings of grief.

Synthesis / My Experience

I truly appreciate Nancy’s art and the immense amount of thought and emotions she evidently put into creating it. Like Nancy, I also feel that humans are a bit like birds in that they journey from place to place. I find it so brilliant how Nancy utilized the crow as a symbol for both her own life and for the concept of death. I also really love the variety of materials and techniques Nancy used to bring her ideas to life. I feel that her pieces have a beautiful sense of rhythm, and I really loved seeing her etchings integrated into her prints. Overall, I feel Nancy’s art was beautiful and serene. Despite her many tribulations, I believe her pieces showcase the peace that she has found within herself.

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