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Nancy Azara is an artist who has exhibited her sculpture and collages in New York City throughout the U.S. and abroad. Her work is carved, assembled and painted wood often gilded with gold and silver leaf and encaustic as well as mixed media collages. (Her mixed media collages, mylar, paper, paint and sometimes wood chips, are about time in relation to memory and personal history. Curator, critic Leonie Bradbury describes them as mixed media collage drawings seamlessly combining a contemporary printmaker’s aesthetic with organic mark making.)
Nancy speaks about her sculpture: I have been carving sculpture in wood for a long time. It has felt like a good “fit” for me as I have always admired trees and I often even as a child felt that they held a metaphor for my experience of life. Most recently my work has been about the cycle of time, about the death of my mother, about the birth of my granddaughter and my own life cycle.
Azara has exhibited her work in one person exhibitions such as: Passage of the Ghost Ship: Trees and Vines at The Picture Gallery at The Saint-Gaudens Memorial in Cornish, NH (2017); Tuscan Spring: Rubbings, Scrolls, and Other Works, curated by Harry Weil at A.I.R. Gallery in Dumbo (2016), I am the Vine, You are the Branches at St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church, Brooklyn Heights, NY; Of leaves and vines . . . A shifting braid of lines at SACI Gallery in Florence, Italy in 2015. Group exhibitions include: On Knowing Unknowing: A Material Narrative, curated by Zahar Vaks at Ortega y Gasset Projects; So Much, So Little, All at Once, organized by Yevgeniya Baras at Regina Rex Gallery; Allegory of Leaves at New Jersey State University; Atwater Art Gallery in Rhinebeck, NY; Pseudo Empire, Brooklyn, NY; Gallery Sensei, NYC; Scripps College in Claremont, CA and at the Asya Geisberg Gallery in Chelsea, NYC. Earlier one woman exhibitions: Donahue/Sosinski Art, the Andre Zarre and A.I.R. Galleries in New York City; at the Froelick Gallery, Portland, Oregon; the Tweed Museum in Duluth, Minnesota; Rudolph E. Lee Gallery in Clemson, N.C., the Gwinnett Fine Arts Center in Duluth, Georgia and the traveling Rutgers University exhibition, How American Women Artists Invented Post-Modernism. She was the featured sculptor at the SANYI Museum NANCY AZARA in Taiwan in 2008.
Azara has recently written an article for The Brooklyn Rail “The Language of Art is Still Defined by Men”. Her book Spirit Taking Form: Making a Spiritual Practice of Making Art (Red Wheel/Weiser) explores issues of art and spirituality. She has an essay, “In Pursuit of the Divine” for The Kensington and Winchester Papers: Painting, Sculpture and the Spiritual Dimension, (Onerios Books).
She was a founder of the New York Feminist Art Institute (NYFAI) in 1979, where she was on the board and taught a workshop called “Consciousness Raising, Visual Diaries, Art Making” for many years. She has had residencies in both the United States and Canada and in Europe, and India, most recently at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship, Umbertide, Italy; Bogliasco Foundation, Genoa, Italy; Chikraneketan in South India (state of Kerala) and La Macina di San Cresci, Greve, Italy; and is on the board of the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, Woodstock, NY and teaches workshops and classes on art, feminism and spirituality.