A native Washingtonian, Nancy Bocek began her artistic journey with a bachelor’s degree in art history from Reed College. At work in Palo Alto, California, after graduation, Nancy accelerated her craft as a studio potter with a love for throwing on the wheel and a passion for functional design. Back in the Northwest at last, she expanded her practice at Pottery Northwest with increasingly sculptural pieces, often melding the functional with the ornate utilizing molded elements to create art vessels.
Nancy took time away from her practice to raise her family in Seattle. In 2012, she entered Gage Academy of Art and began sculpting in earnest under the instruction and mentorship of sculptors Michael Magrath and Tip Toland. As Atelier monitor she gained valuable experience working with artists and models. Nancy graduated from the Magrath Atelier in June 2019 having completed an extensive set of benchmarks and capped by an independent project.
The following year, based in her Seattle studio, Nancy was mentored by artists Kimberly Trowbridge, Klara Glosova and Michael Magrath in a Gage Academy post-Atelier seminar. Nancy set herself a project to narrow her field of vision to black clay and orange underglaze, the human figure and the spike form in order to isolate the beauty and meaning that each brings to the table.
Nancy’s exploration continues finding meaning through uncommon symbols, the beauty of the human figure and her curiosity about who "we" are.
Opening on September 15, 2021, Nancy's "Hard Rain" will be a Shunpike Storefront Project installation in Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood. Her vision of black clay spikes falling above a tumbled aggregation of black clay forms marked with expressive human figures will be a kind of wordless prayer that even if our world is in chaos and pandemic, our better nature will exert its fragile yet persistent strength.