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*Washington Glass School Blogpost (10/1/2012)*
Nancy Donnelly Solo Show at Foundry Gallery:
New Glass, With Drawings: New Work by Nancy Donnelly
Wednesday, October 3 - Sunday, October 28, 2012
Opening Reception: Friday, October 5 from 6 - 8 pm
This solo show of Nancy Donnelly’s glass art, including sculptural pieces and drawings in glass and on paper, depends on color and light for its effects. The show includes abstract glass plants and flowers, with prints and drawings that look almost casual but have relaxation, joy and a sense of humor at their center.
Over the last 18 months Nancy has put her artistic practice under the microscope. Nancy's glass is bigger and she includes her works on paper. She's incorporating aspects from in her current activities in her imagery, such as traveling in Thailand.
Earlier this year, DC Arts critic, Lenny Campello said of her work : 'Nancy Donnelly's new work takes the color stripes from the canvas of the 1960s giants of DMV painting and re-invents it in a fresh new approach to a 21st century dialogue in glass and concrete' In her work, Nancy strives for something like realism, but with respect for abstraction.
Trained as a painter, Nancy discovered glass as an art medium a few years ago. For her artworks in this show, she she is consciously bringing drawing and painting back into her work, working bigger, and melding glass with other materials, as well as making more art on paper. She describes her work as "trying and trying to say something without words."
*Dcartnews.blogspot.com, Wednesday, May 19, 2010*
I'm hearing good things about the Nancy Donnelly and Jill Finsen show at City Gallery, 804 H St NE in DC.
Nancy's glass bird forms in colors, are now swooping around the gallery, the egg shapes, also in colors, are lit from below and are quite beautiful while Finsen continues her exploration of color in some beautiful paintings. Jill Finsen will be at City Gallery Saturday May 22 and Saturday May 29. All photos by Pete Duvall.
*Letter to the Editor, Washington Post, May 8, 2010*
washingtonpost.com > Opinions > Feedback
Regarding Blake Gopnik's essay on the Niki de Saint Phalle exhibit along New York Avenue ["Taking it to the streets," Style, April 28], I wrote:
Our Puritan history would seem to propose that every action be directed at improvement and self-education, with an eye to salvation. Niki de Saint Phalle, it must be said, does not speak to a Puritan tradition. There is much more in her art of a striving toward joy, an interest in conveying lightness of being or what -- pleasure? happiness? Do we have a word for "having a good time"?
The first Saint Phalle I saw was the odd, delightful, moving, splashing fountain figures near the Pompidou Center in Paris. Then, a large exhibit at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nice, France, out on the terrace and all about the place. Finally, a huge, midnight-blue, sparkly, flying female figure swooping down from the ceiling of the Zurich train station, arms wide to embrace us below.
So what is worth doing? Is there room for delight in the vocabulary of art? Perhaps. Sometimes perception is actually bigger than the current vocabulary of criticism. Not everybody wants always to be striving for a leg up, or to express anger or despair. Other sides of human experience are also valid, and a great relief.
Nancy Donnelly, Washington
*Artist Portrait: by Jim Magner, Hill Rag, June 2009*
A Capitol Hill artist and writer, Jim can be reached at Artandthe City05@aol.com
Nancy Donnelly is constantly reaching for meaning as she models and casts each glass sculpture—shaping a vision with her fingers while questioning the purposes as well as the forms that evolve through each step of the process.
Glass is just glass regardless of how pretty it is. It’s imagination wrapped in meaning that turns it into art. It’s the reaching for that meaning that makes the artist.
Glass itself holds much of the mystery. Nancy has to arrive at a mutual destination with the materials, which are both limiting and freeing. She is on a magical mystery tour, discovering the secrets of color as applied to glass: How green glass neutralizes the red hue of copper and lets the gold tints come through. And how painting on the back of the glass reveals the molded images from behind, using the glass surface as a canvas.
This is a natural approach for Nancy who began painting in the mid-90s, attending art schools in Seattle. Holding a PHD in Anthropology, she took a structured approach, studying the craft of painting and the science of color. Five years ago, she took a class at the Washington Glass School…and found her heaven.
Nancy continues to paint—she contributed two panels to fill the window spaces at the Eastern Market after the fi re— but finds glass, even more than painting, a melding of the technical and the emotional. “They have to come together.”
Schools can teach technique and craft, but only the student can supply the content. That is the essence of Nancy’s art: It’s in the reaching for meaning and creating a narrative.
The future for Nancy Donnelly? She is moving to standalone 3-dimensional figures, which are more sculptural— where you can extend your own sensitivities in an exchange with the substance of the figure.
Nancy is showing this month at Artomatic (on the 9th floor, just off the elevators).
About my Tall Blue Dress, by Lenny Campello, blogpost:
Yesterday I told you about my jury duty at CHAW, and the winning piece by Nancy Donnelly... it is titled "Tall Blue Dress." It is steel and glass.
And yet another piece of evidence of the terrific new glass revolution taking place in the nation's capital greater area.
Someone should go and buy this piece; the opening reception is Oct. 11 from 5-7PM.