The Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild introduces the Byrdcliffe Forum, a series of free virtual talks beginning in July 2020. The talks will take place every two weeks on Monday at 5:00 pm on Zoom.

Woodstock Masters: Nancy Azara
Thursday, January 14 at 6:00 pm

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 991 8427 9072
Passcode: 933633

Nancy Azara will be interviewed by curator and art historian Sara Lynn Henry on Zoom. A brief Q&A with the audience will conclude the approximately 50-minute talk. The event will continue the Woodstock Masters series of artist interviews that, along with author talks and panel discussions, fall under the collective title Byrdcliffe Forum.

Nancy Azara is an artist and feminist educator best known for her large-scale wood sculptures and mixed media collages. Nancy developed, and continues to work in, a distinct style of sculpture – found wood, carved, ornamented and mounted. Instinctive chip carving peels off an outer layer of wood, reaching for an essentialized raw experience of the body, of the limbs, exposing flesh and blood. This work explores life cycles, utilizing the metaphor of tree for personhood. Egg tempera, often in reds and pinks, and aluminum, palladium, gold gilding recover these exposed layers, exploring folkloric stories of women’s roles, goddess imagery, ancient symbols, mystic spiritual traditions and affirmation of female self.

Nancy continues to make and exhibit work from her studios in Tribeca and Woodstock. She is constantly challenging herself and her community in quarterly intergenerational feminist dialogues, (RE)PRESENT, an outgrowth of NYFAI, The New York Feminist Art Institute, a school she co-founded in 1979. Here, she formalized automatic journal drawing for a class she taught called “Visual Diaries, Consciousness Raising Workshop” as a way to access the unconscious. This method quickly became popular as a feminist consciousness-raising technique and was embraced in the nascent feminist art community in New York and with groups like Redstockings.

Nancy holds annual workshops, teaches, and mentors other feminist artists, sustaining a unique visual, experiential and pedagogical artistic practice which remains informed by the body, nature, spirituality and her experience as a woman.

Sara Lynn Henry is an independent curator, art writer, and Emerita Professor of Art History and N.E.H. Distinguished Teaching Professor of Humanities, Emerita, Drew University. She has curated major thematic exhibitions, including Labyrinths of the Mind (2019, Kleinert, Woodstock, NY); The Animals Look Back at Us (2013, Kleinert, Woodstock, NY and the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center, Brooklyn, NY); I am the Cosmos (2010-11, N.J. State Museum, Trenton, NJ); Midnight Full of Stars (2008, Visual Arts Center of NJ. Summit, NJ); and As if Alive: Animate Sculpture (2000, Visual Arts Center). While at Drew she curated several one-person and collection shows, e.g. those of Joyce Scott, Lila Katsen, Hsu Dan, George Gross Prints, and the Nancy Graves Collection. Her art writing includes essays and talks on Robert Kushner, Ellen K. Levy, Millicent Young, Suejin Jo, Alice Neel, and Grace Bakst Wapner. As a scholar she has published widely on Paul Klee.