University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Art Professor Nancy Dwyer: Verbal, Visual, and Industrial

Nancy Dwyer in her studio. Photo by Matthew Thorsen

Nancy Dwyer, Associate Professor of Art, has been exhibiting worldwide for over twenty years, and is best known for her witty word sculptures, paintings and multimedia installations. As well as numerous solo exhibits, Dwyer has shown work at major museums, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, MOCA Los Angeles, the Contemporary Art Museum in Houston, Texas, the Kunsthalle Wein, Austria, The Dunedin Public Art Gallery, New Zealand and the New Museum of Contemporary Art in NYC.  Her most recent solo show, "Nancy Dwyer: Painting & Sculpture, 1982–2012," is on view through April 7th at the The Fisher Landau Center for Art in Long Island City, Queens, NY.  The exhibit was recently reviewed in The New York Times.

As a child in Schenectady, N.Y., Nancy Dwyer elicited oohs and aahs for her artwork, which she recalls as being “effortless” for her to create. That talent eventually took her to the State University of New York at Buffalo, where she studied studio art and joined a co-op gallery along with Cindy Sherman and Robert Longo. Those two went on to become global art stars, but, back in the 1970s, “we were all just a bunch of grubs,” Dwyer recalls.

Interviewed in her semi-orderly Pine Street studio, the tall, slender and platinum-haired artist cites many influences that inspired her to make word art her métier. Surprisingly, perhaps, it was a clerking job at Barnes & Noble in the early ’80s that turned out to be the most powerful catalyst.

Read the entire article by Seven Days contributor Kevin J. Kelley in the latest issue.