Artist Spotlight: Nancy Hicks

WBCA artist Nancy Hicks will be teaching a brand new virtual class on relief printing this August. They are a new face at the art center, and bring with them experience in printmaking, videography, and performance art. “Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be an artist in some way,” they said. “I was always inspired by the artists in my family.” Nancy moved from Houston to Minneapolis to pursue their BFA at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) to study art. There they found an artistic community in Minneapolis through fellow students and professors. 

After entering MCAD as an illustration major, Nancy turned their focus to printmaking, papermaking, and bookmaking. “I realized I loved the tactility of papermaking,” they said. “As soon as I changed my major, I found that I was immensely drawn to the medium of printmaking partially because of its historical connection with political action, dissent, and protest. As a queer and Trans Non-binary person, political dissent is tied with my identity, and as an artist it became impossible for me to separate my experience from my practice.”

In their work, Nancy uses tools, architectural spaces, and their body to examine the effects of pain through sculpture, video work, and material. How do these ideas coalesce? “As a Trans Non-Binary person, my identity is politicized,” Nancy said. “My identity is under debate at dinner tables and within the supreme court. As a white person, my whiteness protects me in many ways from violence perpetrated against Trans Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. With these thoughts in mind, my work focuses on investigating historical violence exerted in the space of architecture and tools and their effect on the marginalized body.”

Education has always been intertwined with Nancy’s practice. Through their work with an artist collective (The People’s Library) and other art educators over the past six years, Nancy has been working towards making art accessible for all. “These groups and individuals (specifically Candice DavisKehayr BrownNico Sardina) have been vital to my growth as a person, artist, and an educator,” Nancy said. “Education has provided an amazing way for me to connect with others across the experience of art.” You can find Nancy’s work on their website, and follow them on Instagram.

You can find more info about Nancy’s relief printing class at WBCA here

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