Sunday, June 27, 2010

Interview with Artist Nancy Frankel

In her solo show, Summer Steel +, Nancy Frankel’s new steel sculptures combine the interplay of space and form, delicate balance, and playfulness. Also on display are her fired clay reliefs, which grew out of an experience two years ago in a Plein Air group with Russian and Bulgarian artists in Bulgaria.

June 23 - July 17, 2010. To see Water Falls and Nancy’s other wonderful work on display, drop by Studio Gallery during one of the receptions and talk with this wonderful artist who has given so much to the local arts scene.

First Friday Reception (as part of the Dupont Circle Galleries openings): July 2, 6 - 8 pm
Reception: Friday, July 9, 6 - 8 pm
Artist's Reception: Saturday, June 26, 4 - 6 pm

Q: What's your favorite work from the show and why?

A: Usually my favorite piece is the one I’ve just finished but that isn’t the case this time. The frame for Water Falls had been given to me in the past and had been in my studio for a year. I like that it’s using color, and that it’s curvilinear. Water Falls wasn’t created in the typical way I work -- I didn’t plan it ahead of time, and I had to create it by bending and curving the steel then attach the steel to the frame. I had no preconceived idea about what it would look like completed. My steel pieces have to be thought out ahead time, even though when working with wax and playing with sketches I can be spontaneous until something takes hold. Once I get the specific idea down, I then have to be very careful about the model. With Water Falls, I could take a very different approach.

Q: What kinds of opportunities have you had as artist in the DC area during your career?

A: I’ve been in DC a long time -- 40 years -- and have been active as an artist with several organizations during this period. I’ve been with Studio Gallery since the 1980s, and it’s been a great place for me to connect with other artists and get good exposure. Here, there is no dictation about what to display or what sells. I’m also a part of the Washington Sculptors Group, and they exist to provide opportunities to show and make connections. I’m also a member of a group of women artists who meet once a month -- the First Sunday Group. It’s a fluid group with a solid core.

Q: If you could wish for one major change in the local art scene, what would it be?

A: The DC art scene’s shortcoming is the lack of attention to given to arts and lack of respect for local artists. The local papers often ignore local artists. Maybe this lack of interest is due to the fact that we’re surrounded by national galleries and also how close we are to New York. I wish people would pay attention to the vibrant art scene here, which unfortunately seems mostly underground.

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