Nancy Ridenour Artist Statement
Flowers and gardening have always been central to my life. I taught biology at Ithaca High School for thirty-two years and incorporated these interests into the classroom. My family has been in the landscaping and florist business in the Schenectady area since the late 1800s, so I grew up with the beauty and smells of flowers. This background has had a tremendous impact upon my life and photography.
While living in Laos, 1965-70, I was first given a bouquet of lotus buds while pregnant with my daughter. Several years ago, I obtained six lotus plants, which have multiplied to over 400 and now fill the pond behind my home and studio. The lotus flower, leaves, and pods, and the artistic interpretation of them was the initial focus for my montages.
I take digital photos and then manipulate them to achieve abstract montages. The montages were initially of the lotus flower, but have expanded to include other flowers, trees, sculptures, bridges, and buildings. The process and product continue to evolve.
Nancy Ridenour, bio
For thirty-two years, I taught biology at Ithaca High School. During that time, I took vacation slides to bring the world of nature to the classroom. I also submitted images to journals and was on the cover of the June 1990 American Biology Teacher.
In addition to photography, I have produced garden sculptures using ferro-cement and flexible copper tubing, as well as ceramic art objects.
Since 2000, I have taken several classes at the Corning Glass Museum studio in glass fusion and glass beads. I took classes in ceramics at both SUNY Cortland and Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3) and traveled to China with the SUNY Cortland class to visit ceramic villages.
When I retired from teaching, I took several Photoshop classes which provided the expertise for joining the Greater Ithaca Art Trail in 2007 and to open my own studio, Lotus Studios of Ithaca. I have been producing photo-montages for the past three years and have submitted my work to many juried shows, including the following
Museum of the Earth Artfest, 2010, juried
MARK alumni at the Tompkins County Library, 2010
Community Arts Partnership Show for Greater Ithaca Art Trail members, 2010
Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition (BWAC), juried
State of the Art Gallery annual Photography, juried
Community School of Music and the Arts, several juried shows
Kitchen Theater Auction exhibit
Community Corners Gallery Bouquet, juried
Living Light, A Celebration of the Finger Lakes Flora, juried
WSKG Auction tour group, juried
WOW juried show, Image City Photographers, juried
Greater Ithaca Art Trail Open Studios, Ithaca, 2007-10
Artists Market, Ithaca, 2007-10
Brooktons Market solo
Six Mile Creek Vineyards solo
Ithaca Coffee Company at Gateway solo
Ithaca Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center solo
Fibers on the Commons, Ithaca, solo
Clinton House Gallery solo
Collegetown Bagels solo
Clinton House Gallery, Community Arts Partnership, group