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 Nancy N Erickson  (21st century)

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Lived/Active: Montana      Known for: drawings, quilts, fiber art

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Bear Series #144: Milky Way Companions
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Nancy Erickson is a pioneering artist who has been making remarkable fabric constructions, quilts, paintings and drawings since the 1960s. She and her husband Ron live in a mountain canyon near Missoula, Montana, where they are surrounded by the deer, cougars, and bears who have lived there for centuries.

Erickson holds a degree in zoology as well as an MFA in painting, and much of her work speaks to the dignity and integrity of individual wild creatures, whom she views as our equals. Working out of her home base at Dancing Rabbit Studios, Nancy paints, draws and sews works that explore relationships among humans and animals as we compete for living space. "All of the quilts," she explains, "point out the importance of community in a future time, and to an acknowledgement of the bears, ravens, cougars, and wolves as powerful elements in life. These individuals act as familiars, or spiritual guides in the lives of humans, and it is they who reestablish communities and retell the old myths. These works attempt to respond to the loneliness we all experience and to indicate possibilities for the future with all of us together."

Of her quilted works, Nancy says, "The commonly accepted name now is art quilts, but for a while I called my pieces 'quilteds' to emphasize my methods. These pieces are painted and stitched as quilts, added to and backed as quilts, but they are really layered, stitched paintings, hence 'quilteds.'" Although she began making square and rectangular pieces, forms common to both traditional quilts and paintings, she has experimented with a variety of asymmetrical forms, and many of her recent 'quilteds' take the shape of the cougars, wolves, and women they portray. "In the mid 1990s I worked on quilted pieces that showed bears in caverns or in rooms formerly occupied by humans and covered with cave drawings of early animals," Erickson explains. "The bears wander through these environments, teaching their cubs about history." In this new series, Felis..., the ancient history is imprinted on the cougars; the cougars are freed of caves and rooms, and they move freely on the wall."

Erickson's work is represented in the collections of the Museum of Arts & Design in New York, the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, the Institute and Museum of Fantasy and Play in Princeton, New Jersey and numerous other institutional and private collections. Since 1965, examples of her work have been included in more than 500 exhibitions in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, the People's Republic of Chin , German , the Cape Verde Islands, Niger, Burma, France, Costa Rica, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Her Felis Forever (1) was named “Best of Show” at Quilt National 2002, and her Pleistocene Memory took the 2006 Best of Show at Quilts=Art=Quilts.


About Her Work:

......“In mature, wise, and loving work Nancy Erickson invites us to embrace the color, light, physicality, and varieties of lived existence. She calls on us to imagine the otherness and dignity of non-human beings. She invites us to embrace and fully inhabit our place in the long, long history of mammalian life on earth.”?--Margaret Kingsland, Ph.D. consultant, critic and curator 

...”Dignity and beauty do not exist in the abstract. Dignity and beauty belong to individuals, and this is as true of nonhuman animals as it is of human beings. In Nancy Erickson ‘s work, each animal is honored as a unique individual with her or his own facial contours and expressions, body language, activity, ‘attitude’ “... ?  --Deborah Slicer, Ph.D. ,M.F.A, associate professor of philosophy at The University of Montana where she teaches environmental ethics.

    •    Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Minneapolis, MN
    •    University of Idaho, Moscow, ID
    •    Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, Golden, CO
    •    American Craft Museum, New York City, NY
    •    Chester Fritz Memorial Library, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND
    •    Institute and Museum of Fantasy and Play, Princeton, NJ
    •    Missoula Museum of the Arts, Missoula, MT
    •    Washington State Art in Public Places Program
    •    Best Products, Inc., Richmond, VA
    •    Holter Museum, Helena, MT
    •    Skyloom Fibres, Denver, CO
    •    Saint Patrick Hospital, Missoula, MT
    •    Hyatt Hotel, Beavercreek, CO Pencil Points Co., Tokyo, Japan
    •    The Society for Contemporary Crafts, Pittsburgh, PA
    •    The Blue Mountain Clinic, Missoula MT
    •    The Children's Theater Collection, Missoula MT
    •    The University of Montana Museum Collection, Missoula, MT
    •    City of Seattle, Portable Art Collection


Biography from Missoula Art Museum:
Nancy Erickson was born in the Midwest and raised on a cattle ranch in Livingston, MT. She holds a BA in Zoology and MS in Nutrition from the University of Iowa, and an MA and an MFA from The University of Montana.

Her drawings and quilted works have appeared in over 500 exhibitions nationally, most recently a national fiber work invitational in Raleigh, NC and the Museum of Art and Design, New York City.

Erickson’s works reside in 19 public and many private collections.

She is a full-time studio artist in Missoula.

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