|Nancy Egol Nikkal
tALK tALK Winter-Spring
Welcome to the second email issue of TALK TALK.
This issue includes an interview, a guest column, and shares information about my classes, museum workshops, a studio tour,
and my current studio work.
In the last issue, I wrote about a museum workshop
I led at the Morris Museum in Morristown, NJ. The workshop, offered to area high school students, was held in conjunction
with the museum exhibition ANYONE CAN FLY: Faith Ringgold: A Survey. Selected student works were included in WATCH ME FLY,
a student exhibition at the museum. You can see some of the works in the show, by linking from the 3rd article (below).
Please see my interview of Faith Ringgold, linked
below from article 2. Ringgold was the guest of honor December 1st at the Morris Museum reception, and spoke with great emotion
and eloquence, addressing the students, their families, friends, classmates, and more than 200 high school teachers. In my
interview, I asked Ringgold to return to the themes she addressed at the reception: her strong support for the arts and arts
education (her Anyone Can Fly Foundation), her love of jazz, and challenge to artists to work in series and explore ideas
This spring, I am teaching new classes and workshops,
including another museum exhibition workshop. This one is at the Newark Museum and is titled The New Woman Today: Juggling
the Balancing Act. The workshop is scheduled for Sunday, May 21, 2006 (10-4) and is offered to museum members. I love the
Newark Museum, and this is a very exciting exhibition that includes important 19th century works loaned from major museums
and private collections (including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York). The exhibition is titled OFF THE PEDESTAL:
The Women in the Art of Homer, Chase & Sargent and runs from March 18 to June 18, 2006.
In Article 3 (below) I write about collage and
mixed media workshops and classes I will teach this spring at the Newark Museum and the NJ Center for Visual Arts in Summit,
NJ. These workshops are a lot of fun because collage and mixed media are always fun and accessible to artists at all levels.
Thank you for reading this newsletter. Your
comments are always welcome.
Nancy Egol Nikkal
New Large Works in Oil on Canvas
The Jazz Babies series is growing in number
and in size. There are now 12 oils on canvas, and four more oils in progress. Jazz Babies #10 (seen at right) is 44 by 46
inches. The others range in size from 24 by 16 inches to 54 by 40 inches. The first three in the series included paper and
canvas, acrylic and oil. The newest works include paper, canvas, wood and buttons, acrylic and oil on canvas. They are becoming
very mixed media.
I am still listening to jazz and rag in the
studio as I paint. It is the inspiration for the work.
My favorite CD is still the Branton Marsalis
Quartet performing Romare Bearden Revealed (Bearden's favorite jazz). I listen to two other CDs performed by the Branton Marsalis
Quartet and 3 new CDs - one of early rag titled Masters of the Piano, which includes recordings of live performances by Eubie
Blake, Dill Jones, Teddy Wilson and Claude Hopkins, and 2 new rag CDs - both of Scott Joplin's music - one performed by Joplin,
titled Elite Syncopations, and one titled Joplin: Piano Rags, performed on a concert piano by Roy Eaton. It is so easy to
get into the groove of painting with the music playing.
On Tuesday, March 7, 2006, members of the Greenwich
(CT) Garden Education Center visited studios at my Port Chester, NY studio building (I share a studio with a wonderful sculptor).
In preparation for the studio tour I installed a lot of my new work, including 9 oils in the Jazz Babies series and 4 Cactus
Series collages, which were included because one is a "jive dancer" and is the precursor to the Jazz Babies series, and I
wanted to show the connection.
Studio tours are always a positive experience.
Having studio visitors is always interesting, and organizing, cleaning up the studio, and hanging works on the wall allows
you to see all the work in a fresh new way (which can pave the way to a new burst of creativity).
And, then there's the feedback from the people
who come through on the studio tour. Like most artists, I do a little talk about the work - each piece is typically part of
a series that has a story. Some works (and their stories) resonate with visitors, and some do not, because every person has
a preference for realism or Impressionism or abstraction (or something else). I am always surprised, and think of a studio
tour, from start to finish, as a thoroughly stimulating and delightful process.
Please link (below) to see installation shots
of the studio, friends, and some new collages and Jazz Babies.see more
canvas jazz babies
with Faith Ringgold
Faith Ringgold was the guest of honor and main
speaker at the Morris Museum (Morristown, NJ) reception on December 1, 2005 held to honor high school students from the Morristown
area who were included in the exhibition Watch Me Fly at the Morris Museum. In attendance were students in the exhibition,
their families and friends, the director and museum staff, over 200 area high school teachers and other guests. The evening
reception included the student exhibition Watch Me Fly, Faith Ringgold's exhibition Anyone Can Fly, Faith Ringgold: A Survey,
and the prepared remarks by the guest of honor.
Before she began her talk, Ringgold graciously
sat at a table outside the gallery and autographed book after book and chatted with the people who had come to meet her, see
the exhibitions, hear her remarks and purchase her books. A lot of books were autographed that evening, so many in fact, that
the book signing had to be split into two sessions, one before the talk and one after the talk.
Erin Dougherty, the museum's vice president
of programs, opened with welcoming remarks, followed by comments from Steven Miller, the museum director, followed by student
introductions and comments from Karen Kwarciak, museum educator and the Watch Me Fly program coordinator.
Faith Ringgold was introduced and gave an insightful,
personal and eloquent talk to a very attentive audience. She addressed the young people, encouraging their dreams and creativity,
addressed the teachers, and focused on the importance of art in the lives of all people, especially young people. She spoke
about her career as a teacher (high school and college level) and about her Anyone Can Fly foundation which aims to keep the
reputations of important African- American artists alive and before the public.
Ringgold's remarks were so inspired, and she
was so passionate and eloquent, I determined to ask her to be interviewed for this newsletter. That was my goal.
When she resumed her place at the autograph
table after her talk, and I finally got up to the front of the autograph line, I introduced myself as the WATCH ME FLY workshop
leader, expressed my delight in her talk, told her how important her remarks were, and asked for the interview.
The picture (above) taken of Faith and me that
evening is by George Peirce, a professional photographer and the father of Georgia Peirce, one of the students included in
Visit www.faithringgold.com to learn more about
Faith. She's an important artist and writer. Visit the Anyone Can Fly Foundation web site at www.artsnet.organyonecanfly.
Please use the link below to read my interview with Faith Ringgold.An Interview
with Faith Ringgold
The New Woman Today: Newark Museum, Newark, NJ
The New Woman Today: Juggling the Balancing
Act, is the title of a mixed media workshop I will lead at the Newark Museum (Newark, NJ) on Sunday, May 21, 2006 from 10-4.
The workshop is offered to museum members, and will encourage participants to explore the themes presented in the museum exhibition,
titled Off the Pedestal: New Women in the Art of Homer, Chase and Sargent (see the exhibition from March 18-June 18,2006).
The workshop will include a brief discussion
of the exhibition, and a demonstration of basic collage media and techniques. Many materials will be provided, including reproductions
(photocopies of 19th century women) and other collage media. Participants will have choices: to create a collage memory piece
with personal photos and small embellishments, an abstracted crazy quilt with papers, fabric, photos, and found elements,
or a journal collage with text and images that may be contemporary or historic in theme.
The Newark Museum is a wonderful museum with
outstanding collections. The Off The Pedestal installation is beautiful and the exhibition includes works by some of the most
important American artists of the 19th century. The workshop should be thought-provoking, may be provocative, is certainly
timely (how have women and the way we think about women changed in 100+ years?), should be a creative experience for every
participant, and also a lot of fun.
I will teach a second workshop at the Newark
Museum, titled Painted Paper Collage, on Saturday, April 8, 2006 (10-4) that is open to museum members and non-members and
is my basic collage workshop. This is a workshop for students at all levels: beginners have success and more advanced artists
get to explore new techniques in collage media.
In May and June I will be teaching 2 workshops
and a 6- session class at the Center for Visual Arts - NJCVA - in Summit, NJ.
Embellish Your Image: Portrait in Collage, is
a two-session workshop scheduled at the NJCVA Saturday, May 6 and Saturday May 12 (both days 10-4), and Dimensional Collage,
a two-session workshop, is scheduled at the NJCVA Saturday, June 17 and Sunday, June 18 (both days 10-4). Embellish Your Image
will encourage participants to work with personal materials, including photos, papers, ephemera and found objects. Dimensional
Collage will encourage participants to work with 2D and 3D materials, including found, recycled and personal elements.
The Collage Artist is the title of a 6-session
class I will teach on Wednesdays (9:30 to noon) from April 19-May 22 at the NJCVA. Each class will focus on the ideas, process
and imagery of important collage artists - both historic and contemporary (because collage is very now). Pablo Picasso, recognized
as the first modern collage artist (along with his contemporary Georges Braque) will be the subject of the 1st class. Students
will select the remaining 5 artists from the following: Schwitters, Ernst, Motherwell, Cornell, Tapies, Johnson, Ryan, Ossorio,
Tomaselli, Nevelson, etc. Each class will include demonstration of collage media, tools and technique. Materials and tools
will be provided, but students should also plan to incorporate some of their own media and memories into their works. Participants
will be encouraged to complete a project in class each week, and, if they wish, to work on additional projects outside class.
Class time will include dialogue and critique. Students will receive printed handouts on subjects discussed in class, and
information about internet sites related to the class.
I welcome inquiries for small groups and personalized
classes and workshops, and can be reached at email@example.com. Please use the link below to see some of the exciting works
the high school students created for the Watch Me Fly exhibition at the Morris Museum.Watch
Me Fly workshop & exhibition images
8th International Collage Exhibition and Exchange
The 8th International Collage Exhibition and
Exchange opens April 1, 2006. The brick and mortal show (in NZ), and the web show at http://outofsight.co.nz includes more
than 100 artists from the US, Canada, the UK, Continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the Middle East.
I love the concept of the exchange - each participating
artist creates 13 little original works of art mounted on 8x10 inch museum board and sends them out into the universe - to
Dale Copeland in New Zealand - Dale receives and sorts the works, selects the exhibit and exchange, and circulates the work
Dale creates the digital files and web site
for the exchange (the cyber show at her web site). She is incredible and we all bless her. All communication is by email.
We get email updates on how many artists participate and where they come from. Last year's virtual show drew more than 1 million
visitors (hits), plus national television coverage in New Zealand. It was a phenomena.
It was exciting to be working in tiny collage
for this project, especially since my recent work has been so focused on oil on canvas in large format. I titled the tiny
collages Block Party #1-#13 (because they're all variations on blocks). The interesting thing is, they are all related to
the Jazz Babies visually, and have inspired me to bring collage and mixed media back into the oil paintings. It seems everything
is becoming collage.
Tiny collages rule: The day the Greenwich (CT)
Garden Education Center toured, 8 tiny collages were sitting on a side table in the studio. Jazz Babies oils, Cactus collages
and one abstract landscape Cactus hung gallery style on the walls. I prepared remarks about the works and how I work in series.
And what a surprise - I didn't get too many questions or comments about the paintings, but did get comments about the tiny
collages sitting on the table. And now they are all in New Zealand, waiting to be sorted for their trip back to who knows
where. I won't know where until I get a a return packet of 10 collages from the other artists in the exchange, and I get a
list from Dale of the artists (and institutions) that got mine.
More exhibition news: In December 2005 I was
part of a 3 person faculty exhibition at the NJ Center for Visual Arts in Summit, NJ. It was the inaugural show in the new
upstairs galleries at the Center.
Because I teach collage workshops and classes
at the NJCVA, my section of the exhibition included Cactus series collages. And, because one work in the show included Cactus
4-7 (the precursor for the new oils), I included the first three small oils in the Jazz Babies Series. I was very pleased
with the show and the reception (and especially pleased at how well the two series and two media looked together).
From May 4 to 29 I will participate in a gallery
tour titled Art to the Avenue 06 in Greenwich, CT, organized by the Greenwich Arts Council. Jazz Babies will be on view. I
have paintings and mixed media prints in a gallery in Dallas, Texas, have been asked to send collages to a gallery with locations
in Florida and California, and hope to be asked to exhibit soon in gallery shows in Connecticut and New York City.
Please visit the virtual exhibition for the
8th International Collage Exchange at http://outofsight.co.nz. If you are an artist, especially one who works in collage,
I encourage you to enter the exchange next year. To see images of the collages I did for the exchange, please go to the link
collage exhibition and exchange
Decorating With Art
by Carole I. Newhouse, Newhouse Associates,
Newhouse Associates was called to Atlantic City,
NJ to consult for a client who had purchased a penthouse apartment on the beach. He was a bachelor who had furnished the apartment
and now was looking to complete the interior. We spent time looking at artwork as well as the space. He decided on the artists
that he wanted to collect and was particularly interested in the work of Nancy Egol Nikkal. I took photographs of the living
room and dining room and drew up a plan of the apartment.
Upon returning to New York I immediately visited
Nancy's studio and set about selecting the appropriate artwork. I also commissioned two paintings, one for each side of the
entertainment center; the same size, related in color palette and style but different in design. In all I selected 17 pieces,
including paintings and works on paper.
When all of the works of art were ready I returned
to the penthouse and set to work. Two days later the living room and dining room were completed except for a sculpture which
was ordered for the wall.
A satisfied client responded to a new environment
with joy. By educating clients about different kinds of art, taking into consideration style, color and medium and then getting
their input, it enables us to make decisions about which artists to include and which works of art. Art communicates who you
are and what is unique about you. It is a crucial element in completing a space. When a painting or sculpture is added to
a house or office, you create a dwelling or space with character and a new dimension of emotion and personality.
Carole Newhouse is an art consultant, curator,
writer , sculptor and photographer. She works with interior designers, decorators, galleries and with private collectors.
Carole can be reached at 212-628-2611.See more