Last week, we experienced art on a NYC rooftop with Alison Knowles’ “Make a Salad” performance at the High Line. This week, we are looking at art about NYC rooftops.
The way I express my passion for the City’s rooftop culture is by writing about it and sharing my discoveries of what is going on up there with you. But if I had fine art talent and craftsmanship skills like Nancy Nicholson, I’d celebrate rooftops as she does – in beautifully detailed and designed stained glass.
Nancy, a bright-eyed woman with unbounded energy, works in an American Can Factory Brooklyn studio filled with a mind boggling assortment of tools, thousands of glass and lead pieces, and her own kiln. She studied stained glass technique at art college and worked restoring stained glass for years. She has mastered and employs various stained glass techniques, some of which have been used since medieval times, and other, “newer ones,” that may be just a century or two old. She creates art pieces that are deeply ancient and completely modern at the same time.
Truly, what initially caught my attention about Nancy’s work is that she loves iconic urban settings, as I do, and often chooses them as her subject matter. She depicts roofscapes, many with NYC’s beloved cedar water tanks, with her artist’s eye, capturing the balance of elements that makes New York City (and other post-industrial cities that she has rendered in glass) so recognizable and so beloved. Ms. Nicholson takes familiar scenes and shows us the beauty of the gritty, gorgeous City that endlessly feeds our hearts and imaginations.