Central Coast artist, designer, and college professor Nancy Jo Ward will be featured at an upcoming Los Angeles Center for Digital Art (LACDA) exhibit. Her collection, “Relevant Fictions,” comprises more than sixteen pieces of post-internet art that combine design and technology and remix imagery sourced from the Internet and personal photography. Her works are dramatic and focus on engaging images of female forms in swirls of intermeshing color and superimposed patterns.
Digital art came about in the 1970s. It flourished as an art form with the development of sophisticated computer applications and collaborations between computer scientists and artists. Post-internet art is a response to the impact of the Internet on art and culture. Artists reappropriate images from the Internet and with the use of computer technology, impose his or her vision by remixing and regenerating images.
“My interest is in figurative media art with a hybrid approach,” Ward states. “I create, collect, and remix digital images. Mostly, I enjoy the process of seeing and drawing and experimenting with algorithms to explore emotions, light, and texture using digital tools.”
Her background includes the creation of fine art as well as extensive work in the design of logos, wine labels, apparel graphics, and packaging. Her in-depth knowledge of print technology and commercial art production is an asset in her fine art practice.
Describing her digital art-making, she says, “Almost all of my work is printed on Epson printers with archival inks. The prints on archival rag papers were worked back into with soft chalk pastels and metallic foils. The prints on aluminum were worked back into with oils or acrylics. Several were printed onto 100% silk Georgette with a dye sublimation process. I have also printed onto crystalline coated polymer sheets and display those in LED lightboxes.”
Ward has a BFA, with honors, from the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and an MFA, with distinction, in Fine Art Digital from the Camberwell College of Art in London. She also attended the Cleveland Institute of Art for two years. She has participated in artist residencies in Spain, Italy, and England during her sabbatical from Hancock College, where she has been on the faculty for twenty-two years.
Her work has recently been on exhibit in Europe at the Arte Firenze, an exhibition in honor of Leonardo da Vinci in Florence, Italy. Those pieces were selected to be shown in Athens, Greece, as part of the First International Biennial. They will be displayed at the Institute of Italian Culture Institute of Athens, December 5 to December 15.
Based in Santa Maria, on California’s Central Coast, Ward currently teaches art and design at Allan Hancock College.