Iowa Women Artists Oral History Project

The Iowa Women Artists Oral History Project records and preserves the voices of women visual artists in Iowa reflecting on their lives and their artwork. In 1998, creator and director Jane Robinette began interviewing Iowa women artists about their experiences and art practices. The interviews cover family and personal history, education, development as an artist, artwork, creative process, influences, and more. The Daily Palette is pleased to present excerpts of the Iowa Women Artists Oral History Project's 2008 updates that Robinette collected from the Project artists who were interviewed nine or ten years ago. Visit the Iowa Women Artists Oral History Project's website.

Vessel, Raku-fired clay, 12" x 22" x 18", 2007

Nancy Lynn Briggs was born in 1953 in Eagle, Wisconsin. Her father was a United Methodist pastor, so her family moved often within Wisconsin while she was growing up. Her mother was interested in art, but being a minister's wife was a full-time job. After attending the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point for five years in the seventies, then working on her own for several years, she was able to resolve some incomplete credits to receive a B.S. in Art in 1986. Nancy is married to Peter J. Stephano. She teaches at the Des Moines Art Center and works in clay, creating mostly Raku vessels and figurative sculpture.

"I am happy to say I reached my goal of being a full time artist/potter.  I teach about five ceramics classes a week at the Des Moines Art Center, and the rest of my time is spent producing work for sales at art fairs and galleries. The demands of the marketplace do have some limits on creativity/spontaneity.  Jurying into events 6-8 months in advance means I must produce a consistent body of work that matches the jury images.  It's amazing how much attention goes into maintaining a 10'x10' display.  I need to make artwork that has a strong subject matter that also has appeal to the general public.  I do not feel this has lowered the quality of my work, but it does not leave time or room for experimental, bulky or hard to sell art."

Continue excerpt at the Iowa Women Artists Oral History Project

This page was first displayed
on April 17, 2008

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