About the Artist
Nancy Lunsford (b. 1950, Greenville, SC) works in a variety of media including painting, drawing, collage, printmaking, photography, video and multimedia. Lunsford's work is personal and eclectic, primarily based on memoir. She generally structures her work on the aesthetic of traditional folk genres. The sources of her imagery include traditional Appalachian quilts, folk patterns, religious iconography, daily ritual and her own major life passage events.
Lunsford lived for extended periods of time in Indonesia and Turkey, which were pivotal years in her development as an artist. In Southeast Asia she studied Indonesian wayang (shadow theater) and textiles. Lunsford helped publish and illustrate a series of guidebooks for the National Museum of Indonesia. In Turkey, Lunsford exhibited with Urart Galery in Ankara and wrote art criticism for the Turkish Daily News. She continues her association with Apel Galeri in Istanbul.
Lunsford’s abiding interest in shadow theater led her to Karagoz, (Turkish traditional folk shadow theater) and Metin And, an authority on traditional folk theater, who encouraged her interest in Karagoz and urged her to experiment with new media in developing modern shadow theater. Lunsford’s contemporary shadow theater production “Golgeli Oyunu” was staged at the British Council for the first Sanart Arts Symposium in 1992.
In the early 90’s Lunsford ran Wisteria Artspace in Brooklyn where she curated regular exhibitions and performances, including shadow theater. She collaborated with Jill Reinier of Flying Bridge Community Arts and Peggy Swain on shadow plays based on Caribbean folk tales. During this time Lunsford expanded her writing and performance skills by studying comedy with Rob Weinstein, which led to a stint as a stand up comic. Lunsford also studied sculpture with Paul Lucchesi in Italy and later created and exhibited sculpture in Vallauris, France.
Lunsford began her art career in Nashville Tennessee doing portraits, courtroom sketching and illustrations. She also sang, performed and wrote songs with her family. Lunsford continues an ongoing interest in literature through her Thousand Haikus project, a contribution to an award winning collection of essays “Tales from the Expat Harem, Foreign Women in Modern Turkey” and a personal memoir that is taking nearly as long to write as it has been to live it.