Pictured, from left (see below for more information):
Nancy Seibert paints with energy and expression, applying color with brushes and in washes, in large and smaller formats, on canvas, paper and wood-paneled screens. Nature — particularly observed in Ohio and Florida — is her inspiration and, in recent years, she has incorporated natural materials — sand from locations all over the world as well as from the shores of Lake Erie, small pebbles and wood, and other natural objects such as seashells and fish bones — affixed directly, or applied, onto the canvas. She paints often with large brushes that capture her gestures, which reflect her fascination with calligraphy during a long residence in Japan in the 1960s.
Recently, Nancy Seibert began to collaborate with her son, Ned, to make a number of paintings that feel both familiar and somehow a little different from the rest of her work, which should not surprise: Ned credits his first introduction to art to having been a small child hanging out around the edges of the art classes his mother taught in their home. Nancy describes their current work process as painting by turn, discussing their goals along the way, and adjusting the emerging work to balance or to emphasize ideas that have inspired them. This painting is the result of one such collaboration.
Both Nancy and Ned are Ohio-born artists who continue to live and make work in Northeast Ohio; Nancy also spends each winter in Florida. She began her art studies at George Washington University and completed the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Kent State, where she then later completed the Master of Fine Arts. Also a Kent State graduate, Ned Seibert studied sculpture and painting in high school and college and recently has been creating his own abstractions, using gravity to act on poured and thrown paint, as well as the drying action of the sun to generate craquelure (a fine network of cracks and lines on the surface of paint, caused by controlled drying) on which he works further. Artistic collaborations tend to be difficult and short-lived but here we see one in its early stages, uniquely a mother-son effort!
Materials: Acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 36” x 36”
Location at Summa Health: Dr. Gary B. and Pamela S. Williams Tower on the Akron Campus (141 N. Forge St.), purple neighborhood, ground floor near "T" elevators.
This work was acquired for the Summa Health System – Akron Campus Wayfinding Project.
About the art:
This large canvas, by Nancy Seibert and her son Ned Seibert, demonstrates their collaborative art-making. Both choose to paint abstractly. Nancy’s work tends to explore color relationships – here analogous hues on the cool side of the color wheel, which are blue-violet, violet, and red-violet, reminding us that violet (or purple) is itself mixed from blue and red. And Ned opts for vigorous, expressive gestures, seen in brushwork and also very strong colors literally poured onto the canvas (rather than brushed). Nancy has collaged found objects onto the surfaces of painting for some years now, including sand and other granular, metallic minerals (notice the glisten!), as well as things like metal washers and bits of chain (see inset picture) which we can see in this painting. Finally, the build-up of multiple layers of paint and collaged objects creates a relief of rich, scumbly ground (see second inset picture) on which the color sometimes seems to float and which tempts us to touch, or at least to appreciate tactile elements with our eyes…
Abstract art can be about making art, rather than re-presenting/representing some thing. Here the Seiberts start big, to envelope your visual field, and then use the diagonal of the canvas to emphasize major color areas, creating a sense of movement that they invite the viewer to follow. They have left individual brushstrokes visible, and sweeping gestures are implied by the alignment of collaged materials and the flow of paint. Some of that paint, we note, shows evidence of having been poured: Abstract painters in the 1950s and 1960s began to work with paint that had been thinned down drastically so that it pours readily, a process that still has many attractions.
While abstraction eschews representation, we the beholders bring to the artwork our own experiences and can imagine here, for example, that we discern shallow waves and eddies, through which items on the ocean floor can be glimpsed. Or we can imagine this as an aerial view of some exotic land shaped by great movements of water, now pooled around fantastic terraforms. Or we can simply give in to the pleasure of the experimentation with certain colors, their neighbors, and their opposite numbers on the color wheel. We can enjoy the way that the artists have juxtaposed colors abruptly or graded them gently into palest refractions, as well as other technical and procedural decisions they have made along the way, leaving us traces to discover on our own.
Materials: Acrylic paint and mixed media on canvas 48 x 48”.
Location at Summa Health: Dr. Gary B. and Pamela S. Williams Tower on the Akron Campus (141 N. Forge St.), blue neighborhood, fourth floor, hallway outside patient rooms H4-101 and H4-102.
About this art:
In this painting, Nancy Seibert’s signature rhythmic gesture and lightly-applied layers of paint meet more heavily painted or poured areas of stronger, flatter color and the complementary palette (use of colors opposite one another on the color wheel, such as red-green, blue-orange, and yellow-purple) that characterize Ned Seibert’s work. A strong diagonal leads the eye from lower right to upper left and also marks the juncture of cooler, paler colors below with the stronger, hotter hues above.This apparent motion captures the applied forms of sand, beach stones, and shell fragments, which cast shadows that heighten the sense of movement and drama on the painting’s surface. The title of the work places it squarely in a venerable tradition of seascapes (some of the oldest go back to the first millennium B.C.E.), even as it is highly abstract.
Where you can learn more about these artists’ work:
Nancy and Ned Seibert, along with Nancy’s husband Darrel, had a 3-person show in 2017 in the Armstrong Gallery of the new College of Architecture and Environmental Design Building on the Kent State campus; while Ned and Nancy have exhibited together several times earlier in Northeast Ohio. This is a family with art-making (as well as sports!) in common. You can view many of Nancy’s paintings on her website and in galleries in Florida and Ohio, as well as in a number of corporate settings throughout Northeast Ohio.
Other works in the Summa Collection in which artists use varying degrees of abstraction or expression include those by Diana al-Hadid, Natalie Petrosky, Marianne Hite, Stephen Tornero, Meaghan Reed, Ruth Bercaw and Eric Rippert.