General information about me

Nancy J. Blum received her B.S. degree in Art from the University of Wisconsin Stout in 1979 and her M.F.A. in Ceramics from Louisiana State University in 1982. She started a teaching career in 1983 at UW- Stout in the Art & Design Department in Menomonie, WI where she has lived mainly since. Recently Nancy has been juried into “CraftForms 2008” the 14th International Exhibition of Contemporary Crafts at the Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA. winning a “Visionary Excellence Award”. Previously Nancy has received other international, national and regional awards for her sculptures. She has exhibited her work in the US, Germany and France.
She has had many opportunities from early on in her career to travel and live in Europe. Presently she and her husband own a house in Southern France in which they live and work periodically as artists.

Artist Statement
I have always been inspired to create art based strongly on being a female, probably as an aid to help me understand my experiences growing up since the 50’s. Playing with Barbie’s, being influenced by fashion, trying to understand women’s beauty rituals and the history of roles women have played over the years have left deep impressions on my thoughts and senses. These experiences many times are mixed feelings, which have surfaced in my work as opposites and contradictory forms and materials. Many of my sculptures have an essence of a womb and yet are both female and male, hard and soft, smooth and furry, pink and blue, thoughts about love and hate, pain and pleasure, yes and no, yin and yang.

     “I remember always working with contradictions and contradictory forms, which is my idea that life - the whole absurdity of life - everything has always been opposites.”
                                    Eva Hesse, artist

I am always challenging my sense of material and how materials work together to create interesting tensions, memories and emotions. I assemble my new sculptures with materials that I have collected over the years. Sometimes I use old sculpture parts from my earlier pieces and sometimes I use recycled objects that I have found in junk shops or garage sales. Other materials are based strongly from processes like glass blowing or weaving that I love to interact with.

The “Champagne Girl” series is based on my experiences of celebrating life as a woman. They are based on abstracted portraits of my female friends who seem to love champagne as much as I do. These sculptures are almost bottle size and at the same time evoke a history of  “a love of playing with dolls, a love of being female.” The champagne corks are from bottles that I have shared with my friends. The gum wrapper chain was a material that has many childhood memories and associations for me.