If you have had the opportunity to walk by the gallery, you are probably already familiar with Nancy Selvage 's work. In the spring of 2013, she worked with the College and landscape architect Michael Radner to dramatically redesign our Employee Recognition Garden. As part of the project, which included landscaping and tree plantings, Selvage developed the garden sculptures to honor and commemorate faculty and staff years of employment and service to the college.
Selvage developed her concept for the garden as a "metaphor comparing long service employees to vessels that contain and nourish growth." Throughout the design and fabrication process she collaborated with Linda Danzell, Tafa Awolaju, Kathleen Hancock, and engaged students in Marisa Millard's Design Studio Course to design the typography on the engraved granite bases.
In this and other public projects such as Hydro, a public art project for the Hamilton Canal District in Lowell, Massachusetts, Selvage takes care to develop her ideas in response to the character and context of a specific site. She writes, "As a public artist, I am committed to a period of thorough research in order to understand the potential and full significance of each new project, phases of subconscious incubation and synthesis for developing expressive visual ideas (in actual and 3D computer models), collaborative working relationships, and creating environments and objects that engage the public in a discovery process."
Her public commissions, installations and private work often include perforated stainless steel, but she is comfortable working with a variety of materials, including clay and perforated aluminum.
Of her personal work, she writes, "Sculpture is the medium through which I embrace and cope with the complexity of life. By altering and concentrating the experience of space and substance, I attempt to see more intensely, coalesce moments of clarity, and discover new means of communication."
Sculpture is the medium through which I embrace and cope with the complexity of life. By altering and concentrating the experience of space and substance, I attempt to see more intensely, coalesce moments of clarity, and discover new means of communication. I work with a variety of materials to create environments and objects that engage the viewer in this exploration process. The context in which I am working mediates the physical quality, emotional response, and significance of each piece.
Nancy Selvage received a BA in Art History from Wellesley College and an MFA in Sculpture from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University. Her artwork has been recognized by numerous reviews and supported by various grants, residencies, and awards including a Massachusetts Artists Foundation Sculpture Fellowship and two Massachusetts Arts Council New Works Commissions.
Selvage exhibits her work at Boston Sculptors Gallery and in numerous national and international venues. Clients for large public art commissions include the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts; Keene State College, New Hampshire, the National Park Service, Grand Canyon; and the North Carolina Zoo.
Her educational career includes a long tenure as Director at the Ceramics Program at Harvard University and guest teaching at Massachusetts College of Art, Ewha University in Seoul, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and Rhode Island School of Design. As an honorary professor at Tohoku University, Japan, she has contributed an art/science perspective to a variety of interdisciplinary, international conferences.
Nancy Selvage's Website