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On the Next Level: Nancy Natow Cassidy

On the Next Level is a series of interviews that features artists of the Art Nxt Level academy. The artists share their stories of how the academy has impacted their careers as well as share the exciting projects they have been working on. These artists have made the most of their experience and have taken their careers to the next level. In this article painter Nancy Natow Cassidy shares her latest accomplishments in her art career. 

In 2021 you had group shows, solo shows, installation projects, and art walks. Looking back, what was your favorite project of the year and what do you hope or plan to do more of this year? 

Nancy: I think my favorite project of the year was my Tar Lines Installation, because it was something I had been seeing and thinking about for a long time, and thanks to collaborative effort, was able to make a reality. It was wonderful to see people interacting with the piece, especially after being in lock-down for Covid.  I also really loved the experience of the Opening of my solo show, because we had been in major lock-down, and the gallery wasn’t even sure we would DO an opening, but then right at that time, people were able to be vaccinated and the world opened up. The opening was the beginning of summer, so people were itching to get out and it was glorious.  This year I would love to do another show or installation, and am currently working on a large 112” x 78” painting commission, with a smaller companion piece.

Congratulations on your acceptance into the “What is Love?” show at the ARC Gallery! The piece “Midwest Rainforest” as well as many other of your paintings carry the theme of your love for nature in the midwest. Has your environment always been a guiding source of inspiration in your art? 

Nancy: Thank you. Yes, being out in nature has always inspired me.  Being inside too long, I begin to feel stuck, so I’ve always made a point of getting out to water, forest preserves or parks to experience the ever-changing light, reflections and organic shapes. As a dancer, I literally feel the energy of those shapes and colors coursing through my body and try to translate that onto canvas or paper.

When did you discover the Art Nxt Level Academy and how has it been able to give an edge to your art career? 

Nancy: I think I discovered Art Nxt Level about a year ago. I had gone out to California 2 years ago and gave myself a self-directed art sabbatical. After that experience I decided that it was time to focus on my own artwork and get serious about having an art career. I found Art Nxt Level and really appreciate Sergio’s energy, enthusiasm, generosity and information, and discovered that being part of an art community was something I didn’t know I was missing. When I was asked to have a show last year, the information about press releases was so helpful. And more recently I was asked to submit a proposal for a large painting commission. I reached out to the community for language on how to write the proposal, and another artist generously shared what she had successfully used, which I took and edited to my specifics and got the commission!

What about the way you approach your art career has changed since joining the academy? 

Nancy: While I’m still working on it, it has helped me feel like a professional artist, and I think just that shift in thinking has been the biggest change.

Do you have any additional thoughts or comments you would like to share concerning your various projects or Art Nxt Level? 

Nancy: I’m so grateful to the artists from across the world who have reached out to me, responding to my questions with ideas and information. I’ve always felt somewhat isolated as an artist, but Sergio really has created a wonderful community. 

Art Nxt Level is made up of artists from all over the world. Where are you located?

Nancy: Beverly Shores, Indiana, at the base of Lake Michigan, 60 minutes from Chicago, where I had lived for the last 40 years, and am still quite connected to.  Our small town is literally in the middle of the Indiana Dunes National Park, with instant access to a Great Lake, Wetlands, Dunes and Oak Forests.

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