Nanci Hersh: One

Nanci Hersh


Beneath the Surface


Artist's Biography

From my first pale pink padded diary, complete with lock and key at age 11, to my current bold expressive mixed media paintings, collages and sculptures, my compulsion is to chronicle, gain understanding and find connection in the everyday. Relationships, experiences, dreams and stories of love, and loss; both letting go and losing, are interwoven and explored.

The overarching theme of my art is a very personal narrative about home and family, a space for the tangible and intangible to coexist. The materials I work with vary. Paint, graphite, ink, encaustic, collage and found objects are entangled or layered to give shape to energy and emotion and get to the heart of the experience and explore identity as a woman, an artist, a wife, mother, daughter and citizen who is deeply concerned about our fragile, troubled and beautiful world.

Lines, patterns and assorted textures are the threads of my work to hold and capture what is fleeting; time and memory. Memories of the colorful and dazzling hats from my family’s millinery shops growing up, family pets, genetic breast cancer, aging, my meditation and spiritual practice, and the peace and healing I find in nature, particularly near water, all flow in and out of my work. A body of work punctuates a chapter in my life. And while this may be linear, images and materials often circle back to dialogue or respond to the work of art at hand. As I am drawn to the flotsam and jetsam that wash ashore found on my walks along the beach, this ongoing conversation is both deliberate and accidental, with the intention to find grace and beauty in our ephemeral lives.

Nanci is a professional mixed media artist, illustrator, educator, arts advocate and administrator as Executive Director of the Delaware Institute for the Arts in Education.

Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States including “Eons Beyond the Rib,” at Seraphin Gallery in Philadelphia, PA, “Navigation Puzzle,” at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, “Paper Work”, at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie and “The Demoiselles Revisited” at Francis M. Naumann Fine Art, NYC, along with solo exhibitions in PA, NJ, DE, and Hawaii. Nanci has received numerous honors including three purchase awards from the State Foundation of Culture and the Arts, Hawaii and three Leeway Foundation Art & Change Grants. Her work is included in the Public Collections of Johnson & Johnson, Herspace Breast Imaging, Leland Portland Cement, and OSI Pharmaceuticals to name a few

With her cousin and author, Ellen McVicker, Nanci illustrated and co-created the children’s book
Butterfly Kisses and Wishes on Wings: When someone you love has cancer… a hopeful, helpful book for kids. Having sold over 10,000 copies in English and now with a Spanish edition, Nanci and Ellen were invited in 2015 to participate in 798 ICAF, International Children’s Art Festival in Beijing, China in 2016.

Selected Exhibitions

Solo and Two-Person
Nanci Hersh at The Mill, The Mill Space, Wilmington, DE

Up for Air, Blue Streak Gallery, Wilmington, DE

Nanci Hersh, Mala Galleria, Kennett Square, PA

Catch & Release, Project Space Gallery, Wilmington, DE

Catching Up, two person exhibition, Transformations Gallery, Metuchen, NJ

Walks thru Life: Shoe Portraits, Paper Market, Kennett Square, PA

Slowing Down to Catch Up, Fashion Center 38th St. Window, New York, NY

Nanci Hersh: The Making of a Book, Middletown Township Public Library, Middletown, NJ

Life is but a Dream, Gallery on Grant, Deal, NJ

Ranch Camp Series, The Pegge Hopper Gallery, Honolulu, HI

Streetwise, Gallery at Hawaii Loa College, Kaneohe, HI

Chester County Studio Tour

Evening of the Arts, Historic Kennett Square
Curator: John Baker

Mixed Media, Blue Streak Gallery, Wilmington, DE
Curator: Ellen Bartholomaus

Black & White, Gallery 37, Milford, DE

Navigation Puzzle, Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, DE
Juror: Bridgette Mayer

Mala Galleria, Kennett Square, PA

Beyond the Thread, Revisited, Gibby Center for the Arts, Middletown, DE

Eons Beyond the Rib, Seraphin Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Paper Work, The Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie, Trenton, NJ
Curators: Elise Mannella and Gabriel Romeu

Five in Fiber, Gallery 37, Milford, DE
Curators: Marcia Reed and Deborah Johnson

Small Format Group Exhibition, Alfa Art Gallery, New Brunswick, NJ
Curator: Galina Kourteva

United We Stand: Fall Art Salon, Alfa Art Gallery, New Brunswick, NJ
Curators: Galina Kourteva and Vesslin Kourtev

Willow on State, Kennett Square, PA Curators: Sandy Mayer and Hillary Sculthorpe

The Herspace Collection: Art & the Breast Cancer Journey, Gallery on Grant, Deal, NJ Curators: Dr. Beth Deutch and Toby Shylit Mack

For Love Not Money: A Global Mail Collaboration, Tallinn Print Triennial, Estonia
Curators: Eileen Foti and Eve Kask

transFORMation, Bucks County Community College Artmobile
Curator: Rebecca Kelly

Summer Exhibition, Gallery on Grant, Deal, NJ
Curators: Arlene Mollow and Clare Boren

The Demoiselles Revisited, Francis M.Naumann Fine Art, New York, NY
Curator: Francis M.Naumann

I Will Survive, AtlantiCare Women’s Health & Wellness Center, NJ
Curator: Dorrie Papademetriou, Exhibitions Manager, Noyes Museum, Smithville, NJ

Print and Papermaking Possibilities: Traditional Methods and Recent Innovations, The Visceglia Gallery, Caldwell College, Caldwell, NJ
Curator: Kendall Baker

Home Grown, Arts Guild of Rahway, NJ
Curator: Eileen Foti
Recuerde*Remember: An Altar Show, The Pegge Hopper Gallery, Honolulu, HI

Visual Poetry, Stedman Gallery, Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts, Camden, NJ

Two Plus One, Mitchell Sanborn Gallery, Keyport, NJ

Diving Into Digital, Bergen Museum, Paramus, NJ
Curator: Natalia Kolodzei

Breast Cancer: An Artist’s View, Gallery 1978, Springfield, NJ
Curator: Clara Manheim

As She Sees It; 8 Artists, Pierro Gallery of South Orange, Baird Center, NJ
Curator: Susan Napack

Art of Survival, Herspace, West Long Branch, NJ

Loss (and Found), Installation, Count Basie Theatre Window, Red Bank, NJ

Small Impressions, Printmaking Council of NJ

2004 Small Works Invitational, Prince Street Gallery, New York, New York.
Iron Works, Anne Reid Gallery, Princeton Day School, Princeton, NJ. Curated by John Goodyear.
National Printmaking 2003, The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ

Working in New Jersey: Prints and Multiples by Fifteen New Jersey Artists, The Chubb Atrium Gallery, Warren, NJ
Curator: Donna Gustafson

46th Annual National Juried Print Exhibition, Hunterdon Museum of Art, Clinton, NJ

New Members Show, City Without Walls, Newark, NJ
Curator: Stephen Sennott, Director

Northeast Prints 2001, Ben Shahn Galleries, William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ

Humanity, Printmaking Council of New Jersey, Somerset, NJ

Recent Works: Brown, De La Garza, Hersh, Laredo Community College Teaching Gallery, Laredo, TX

Contemporary Collaborations: The Artist and the Master Printer, Sheehan Gallery, Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA Curator: E.Foti

Heart of the Matter, The Pegge Hopper Gallery, Honolulu, HI
Curators: A.K. Blackburn and Karen Hong

Night, Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, New South Wales, Australia

Hands Across the Water: Heads Across the Sky Hawaii/ Australia, Leeward Community College Foyer Gallery, Honolulu, HI

Powerful Images, Krasdale Gallery, New York, NY
Curator: S. Balka

Uncommon Threads, Sleeth Gallery, West Virginia Wesleyan College, Buckhannon, WV
Curator: Eileen Foti

Artist's Bibliography

Professional Artist June/July 2015. Cover Art, color reproduction

Rosenberg, Gigi "Your Website: A Virtual Place to Call Home," Professional Artist Magazine June/July 2015. Color reproductions

Gaw, Richard "Nanci Hersh: Artist and Survivor," Landenberg Today, Spring/Summer 2014, Cover Feature, color reproductions

Daino, Michelle H. "Together Again," Home News Tribune, September 17, 2013, color reproductions

Hearn, Kerin "Nanci Hersh; The Siegel JCC Artspace," Jewish Voice, April 2013, color reproductions

McCloy, Frank, Interview, WCHE FM, Chester County, PA, October 24, 2013

Gaw, Richard "Small Things with Great Love," Chester County Press, PA, October 23, 2013

Nash, Catherine M.F.A., Authentic Visual Voices: Contemporary Paper & Encaustic, Nash /Renfrow Productions, 2012

Naumann, Francis. M. Les Demoiselles Revisited, Catalogue, color reproduction, 2007

Cattaui, Jennifer "Art Stars," M.A.R. Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 2, pg. 84-91

"The Demoiselles Revisited," Francis M. Naumann Fine Art, November 16-December 21, 2007, catalogue, color reproduction

DeNicola, Linda "Celebrating the light within," The Hub, July 5, 2007

Zeaman, John "Exhibit keys in to computer creations," The Record, April 21, 2006

Krengel, Sharon "Images of Inspiration," On the Run Magazine, Fall/Winter 2006/2007. Feature article

Allen, Lynne & Phyllis McGibbon, The Best of Printmaking: An International Collection, Rockport Publishers, Inc. 1997. pg. 115

Professional Experience

University Experience
Adjunct Professor, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ

Adjunct Professor, Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ

Adjunct Professor, Chaminade University, Honolulu, HI

Executive Director, Delaware Institute for the Arts in Education (DiAE), Wilmington, DE

Interim Executive Director, Delaware Institute for the Arts in Education (DiAE), Wilmington, DE

Instructor, Center for the Creative Arts, Yorklyn, DE

Teaching Artist, Delaware Institute for the Arts in Education, Wilmington, DE

Juror, Regional Annual Arts Exhibition, Center for the Creative Arts, Yorklyn, DE

Guide, Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, DE

Instructor, Delaware College of Art & Design, Wilmington, DE

Teaching Artist for Contemporary Connections Program, Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, DE

Keynote Speaker "Cancer thru an Artist’s Eye," Riddle Memorial Hospital, Media, PA

2006, 2008
Panelist, New Jersey State Council on the Arts for Artist in Education and Arts and Humanities Grants

2006, 2005, 1999
Visiting Artist: Printmaking, paper making, book arts, drawing, La Pietra, Hawaii School for Girls, Honolulu, HI

2005, 2004
Co-Curator, Art of Survival, Herspace, Long Branch, NJ

Teaching Artist, Young Audiences of NJ and Eastern PA

Teaching Artist with Community Connections, A partnership between Monmouth County Arts Council and Young Audiences of NJ, Mural project

Adjunct Professor, Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ

Administrator, Brodsky Center (formerly Rutgers Center for Innovative Print & Paper)

Manager, Pegge Hopper Gallery, Honolulu, HI

Awards and Honors

Artist-in-Residence, New Castle County Correctional Center. Worked with residents, staff and community to create 16’ mural in facility

2016, 2013, 2010
Leeway Foundation Art & Change Grant

Commission, Created painting for the Wilmington Flower Market, Wilmington, DE

Pennsylvania Council of the Arts Project Stream Grant

Illustrated, co-created and published award winning children’s book, Butterfly Kisses and Wishes on Wings: when someone you love has cancer... a hopeful, helpful book for kids

Best Practices Award for residency with David K. Brearley High School, Kenilworth, NJ

Best Practices Award for residency with H.W. Mountz School, Spring Lake, NJ

NJ State Governor’s Leader in Arts Education Award


University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI

Study Abroad, Washington University, Santa Reparata Graphic Art Center, Florence, Italy

Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY