NANCY BRUCE ART EXHIBIT: “WHERE WILL WE LIVE: DWELLING ON THE FUTURE” (#ThursdayDoors 24MARCH2022)

Hello readers, today I am sharing art from Nancy Bruce. Her art work is on display at the Glen Allen Cultural Arts Center (here) from March 17, 2022 until May 15th, 2022.

I had the chance to chat with Nancy Bruce during the exhibition opening and she actually has an art piece titled “Door” – so I had to share her work while linking up with Dan’s Thursday Doors series.  You will also notice that there are many other doors appearing in her art. 

Here is the flow of today’s post:

  • Part A: Sharing SIX art pieces from this exhibit

  • Part B: THEME OF SHOW & Tidbits from Nancy Bruce

  • Part C: Extras

PART A: SIX FEATURED WORKS

1) Art Piece Titled “DOOR”

Detail from “DOOR”

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2) Art Piece Titled” DRAGONS ARE UNDER THE CASTLE”

I mentioned to Nancy Bruce that this reminded me of Game of Thrones. She paused, and said,” Yes, I can see that.” However, she aid she was NOT thinking of Game of Thrones with this piece, adding that she still needs to finish watching the series. *** Check out the detail images below to see the fun sketch in the center, the key, and the three grated air vents at the bottom of the castle (for the dragons to get fresh air). Such a clever piece!***

Details from “THERE ARE DRAGONS UNDER THE CASTLE”

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3) Art Piece Titled “STREET ART”

This “STREET ART” piece was popular at the show (even if not in my top likes). Also, it was already sold! My photo is not the best, but this piece did speak to me later. (Or was I primed to like it?) The center of this piece is what delights the viewer. It takes a little while to have that vertical center connect. At first you walk up and feel the two even sides and that nice t-shape near the top. It feels like wood, but it is not. As you view this, the peeling and cracking layers in that center line offer so much enrichment. It reminded me of people and how sometimes you meet them and see their surface stuff rather quickly – and then once you spend time with them you find out more about their layered history and rich details.

4) Art Piece Titled “A HOUSE DIVIDED”

I chose to share “A House Divided” because when I walked up to this piece, I thought of “ROTHKO.” The reason is because when you see Rothko paintings in person, they at first feel like a large blank panel  of color – until you spend time with the art and see the details. “A House Divided” went from what felt like adrak panel with a bit of bottom light to then having had texture, faint variation in color, and then very subtle little houses near the bottom (see detail image below). It also had the textured strip at the bottom, in a lighter hue, breaking the plane. Later, when I learned more about the theme of the show, art works like this began to make more sense. Nancy Bruce likes to advocate for environmental protection issues as her works provoke thinking about how we humans live and connect with the earth. The houses might represent humanity here – and we don’t want to get lost in the vastness with a rotten and polluted earth. 

Detail from”A HOUSE DIVIDED” (note the small houses)

5) Art Piece Titled “CONVEYOR”

I decided to share “CONVEYOR” as one of the feature pieces in this post because it shows so much of Nancy Bruce’s style. This piece shows her strong geometrics, the way she often uses the vertical center as a fun spot or focal point, and then interesting details added near the bottom. In many of her pieces there is that bottom (lower area) object (sometimes playfulness) that provides interest and a grounded feeling. In addition, Nancy is from the Tidewater area of Virginia and so the ocean is a big part of her essence. This piece offers us her sea-themed colors as well as the sandy beach textures that she masterfully produces with paper and recycled materials.

Detail from “CONVEYOR”

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6) Art Piece Titled “BOX CAR HOLDING TRACK”

This piece was another ROTHKO type of vibe and reminded me that art depicts different things to different people. Even representational art is seen through filters and perhaps all the more with abstract art. This “Box Car Holding Track” would fit nicely in a space that wanted a rich, quiet mood with a touch of minimalism. The top to bottom textures and jagged horizontal lines have a “dripping and weathering” feel, which looks different on different days. 

Detail of “BOX CAR HOLDING TRACK”

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PART B: ENVIRONMENTAL THEME OF SHOW

  • Sometimes when we go to an art show, I have already read about the works, the theme, and the artist. This was not the case for this exhibit.
  • We went to this art show rather last minute. I walked into the exhibit NOT knowing anything about the theme or artist (yup, walked right by her name). I am glad for this because it was fun to view the art without being primed.
  • I first thought it was a male artist and maybe someone with a math or accounting background.
  • I then thought the art was made of wood and metal and assumed it was heavy.
  • There seemed to be a door/gate theme and perhaps the artist was featuring openings, community, individual stability, calming geometrics, and little mystery with details that offered us the chance to imagine our own story.
  • I thought maybe the artist was showing variations of narrative – the human experience with layered duality.
  • My husband noted how plain the pieces seemed at first and then the art offered more once you explored. My husband and I were in agreement on our favorite pieces. They were the sand-colored panels with  pieces  of nets.

     

  • Then we met the artist. Nancy Bruce said that she did not have a background in math or accounting. There was no wood used at all; instead, the pieces were made on lightweight canvas and Nancy said that she “uses lots of recycled paper.”  Nancy noted that she used “scraps from wallpaper rolls that often get discarded, or tossed into the attic, after a project is done”.
  • Then we read about the exhibit and the title said a lot: “WHERE WILL WE LIVE: DWELLING ON THE FUTURE”
  • Nancy Bruce is using her art to raise awareness about protecting the earth for future generations. Her show advocates caring for the environment with concerns about climate change. NO MATTER YOUR VIEWS on climate change – I think we can all agree that WE DO NEED TO BE MINDFUL to STOP polluting the earth. Everyone can do their part to make a difference.  Art shows like this allow us to discuss this topic from new angles (and new planes).

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TIDBITS FROM NANCY BRUCE

  • Nancy moved to Richmond, VA from the Tidewater area (about 70 miles east) because her property was slowly sinking. (You can read more about her bio in the Part B section).
  • She has been working on these type of art works for more than 10 years.
  • Nancy said she uses large canvases as the base and then adds various items (often recycled pieces) to create the textures and shapes. The art looks heavy, but the pieces are lightweight.
  • Nancy was not sure if all of her works at the show had splashes of glitter. We actually walked around to see and discovered that almost every art piece DID have a little bit of glitter. The glitter added lightness, mystique, and even a touch of pizazz to the very strong (and sometimes plain) geometrics. It was never overdone (and glitter can be overdone).
  • Nancy Bruce said that her art is not that difficult to store in her home studio (because pieces are lightweight and not made of metal and wood). She noted that someone told her they did not think she could stack them along the wall, but she did. She uses spacers in between and they store very neatly.
  • Nancy said that she does not always do a lot of pre-planning for her works. Sometimes she uses a ruler because she does like the sections to be even or placed a “certain way.” She shared that a patron bought a lot of her art when she had a show in Philadelphia, PA.  Nancy explained, “When we went to help hang the art at the lady’s house, the lady would say, No, I want that piece a little more over there and that one needs to be down a little lower.” Nancy added that she knew EXACTLY how the lady felt because spacing and placement were important to her as well.
  • In the collage below, left bottom, you can see Nancy showing us how she first mentally calculates where she wants sections to end and begin. She might then use a ruler. There is also an image of me with the artist (trying to get more  photos with artists when I have the privilege of meeting them).

Nancy Bruce said that “Sometimes a work of art will come to me in a dream.” The art piece on the right in the collage below is one that came to her in a dream. (I think that art piece had a Native American feather vibe – can you see that?)

Nancy Bruce’s sister-n-law was at the show (she teaches art in PA) and she shared her thoughts on a few pieces (see collage below).

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PART C: EXTRAS

Okay readers, I would normally end the post here – or offer thumbnails. However, the last time I posted about an art show (here with Klpatrick’s fabric art  and here with art from AUSTIN) I had some helpful feedback and realized that some readers want the extras. 

So for those of you that want to see some more examples of art from the show, this part is for you (with some more doors too). Click on the images if you want to see the larger view. 

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Click on the images if you want to see the larger view. 

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If you are in the area and want to check out this exhibit, it is on display at the Glen Allen Cultural Arts Center (here) from March 17, 2022 until May 15th, 2022.

Artist, Nancy Bruce, waving goodbye!

Linked  to Thursday Doors

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55 thoughts on “NANCY BRUCE ART EXHIBIT: “WHERE WILL WE LIVE: DWELLING ON THE FUTURE” (#ThursdayDoors 24MARCH2022)

  1. What a beautiful and interesting post, Yvette! Love the first piece, and also a divided house, and conveyer belt. All very clever interpretations of the subject. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for checking out the post artist Jesh!
      It was a little difficult to select the six feature photos but I wanted to highlight the show’s theme and her variety.
      Hope you are having a nice day!

      Like

    1. Hi Trent / thanks for reading – And I agree that it is interesting to hear from the artists with little details about their work, process, and approach (and all the more when abstract).
      And you know, I sometimes forget about your artist (painting and drawing) side like recently after having listened to music recordings or read some of your fiction! Anyhow – cheers to meeting Nancy Bruce with her uncluttered art pieces aiming for some environmental love

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the way you really have to get close and look carefully to see the little details which yes, is like getting know people as you astutely point out. I’m happy you included the extras because they were some of my favorites, especially the yurt and the one that looks similar but with the gold wall. Really enjoyed these!

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet – thanks for taking the time to view the extras! I feel a little self conscious about making a post too long or too dense (and tried to break the sections up into the three parts to help with that)
      And your comment was similar to how we felt at the exhibit- “plain” and “a lot of negative space” melts into details design with some subtle whimsical notes.
      And glad to share with you especially after you brought so much Chihuly glass art our way recently – some of those shared are still with me!

      Like

    1. Hi Lisa, thanks for taking the time to read. I did my best to make this post flow (I think using bullet points helped) – and hey, the beach-themed colors are right up your alley!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What interesting art work, Yvette. I greatly appreciate the information that you provided for the pieces, as well as the information about the artist. I greatly admire that artists like Nancy use their talent to raise awareness about protecting the earth for future generations. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment and for checking out the art with a message here!
      When she told us she moved because her Tidewater property was sinking – well she was literally feeling the earth’s changes right outside her window!

      I do hope for more folks to step up to protect the earth more (and hurray for Nancy) and I also pray for Ukraine

      Hope your Friday is going well

      Like

  4. Yvette, you are so thorough. I love the way you explain the art pieces and that you spent time with the artist to learn more. I have to agree with your husband that the pieces look rather plain at first, but on closer examination, they become more interesting. On a strictly graphic level, I love the way you divided up the post, using bold print, large photos, smaller gallery photos. Fabulous post.

    Like

    1. Hi Marsha,
      thanks for checking out the NANCY BRUCE art post.
      I am glad it felt “thorough” even if I could not cover all of the art. I left out a piece that felt like a Texas ranch logo and I held back on covering the pieces my hubs and I liked most (just not for today’s post)
      and regarding the sections and dividing the post – I have been working at using the “parts” on and off since my “flash fiction days (2017-2020) – however, as I recently noted to you in one of your March posts – I was inspired by the way you used such clear titles and short sections to allow one to navigate your posts. I even almost mentioned that to a commenter – but you definitely inspired me to make sure the sections had a nice flow (thanks for that) – and glad it worked out here. Because it really does allow a post to offer a lot in a digestible way.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, dividing the post is essential especially in long posts so that people can skim. I have a friend named Nancy Bruce, in CA. She manages the outdoor education facilities for the county office of Ed. It’s a coincidence that both first and last name would be the same. 🧡💜💛💚

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for all the info as well as the photos. I like geometric art, and these are all strong statements. I especially like the contrast between the feeling of weight and the actual lightness of the construction. (K)

    Like

    1. Hello, thanks for taking the time to check out this post – and you noted one of the top experiences we had at the show – and that was what you noted about “the contrast between the feeling of weight and the actual lightness of the construction.” To see the pieces in person really showed some of the artist’s paper skills because she was able to use it to look like wood, metal, etc. In fact, she had one piece that reminded me of a Texas or Colorado ranch logo -(I will see if I have a picture of it) but when you looked closer – it has the shape of a very long tulip in the middle and it looked like it was ivory or made of seashells (yet it was paper).

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jacqui, NANCY BRUCE was new to me also – my husband has a health coach friend with the last name Bruce that lives in PA (where the artist has family living) but I asked if they knew each other and they don’t.

      Like

  6. I don’t know much about art, and I’ll admit that many times I just don’t get it. So I appreciate all the commentary you add for each piece and what you see in it.

    It must be nice to meet the artists at these events – I was excited to read that you thought one of the artists had a background in math or accounting, even though she did not…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jim
      Thanks for joining me with this post
      This exhibit was all one artist, Nancy Bruce, and I did think they had treat math background –
      And even if not – can feel her logical and perhaps strong left brain engagement (even though we always use both the elect and right but varies as to how).
      And I don’t always “get” all art either – hahaha
      But her show did remind me of Rothko’s panels / and some of his “rather plain) panels had the specific function to add interest to a large blank wall (like in an eatery) and so a few of these pieces at her exhibit might be easy to say “yeah – okay – that is Yurt number three – so what” but for someone with the right spot for that kind of art – it could transform the place! Perhaps in a yurt – or someone with a small library and the art like that brings a new location to the wall- or perhaps the yurt with two other pieces in a foyer.
      Well it just reminded me about the function for art can be so simple – to enrich a space – and never want to forget that when breaking dow elements and principles or artist intentions

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was not familiar with Rothko’s panels…

        but yes, sometimes are can enrich a space, even if I don’t know what the artist was trying to say when he or she created it…

        Like

        1. Our local museum has a Rothko panel (in one of my favorite teal color schemes) and I plan on posting it soon- I will link you when if so you can see another example –
          I used to not really care for his panels (this exploration of plain colors) but when I understood the function and then- yes – the time in which he painted them – like 70 years ago – it reminded me that it had a different reception – pour current culture can easily order cheap art or huge photos and posters – but back then – such large panels of color were likely more of a gift
          In my openion….
          And thanks for coming back to comment Jim

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Aletta – that was a good word “under stated” because that is the impression on many pieces and some of them really go on to deliver more and more- with touches of glitter – pulling layers, textures, and small little gems that one sees on a third or fourth viewing.
      Thanks for checking out this post

      Like

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