Midwestern by birth, Nan’s stops on the map have included various parts of Indiana, Chicago, St. Louis, Louisiana and Texas. Formally she is trained in liberal arts, studio art, and education. Throughout Nan’s career she has donned many hats-- professor, gallery director, instructor, consultant, artist, and small business owner. She is a Freelance Artist, Educator and Jewelry Designer who teaches in various venues throughout Houston. Her work has been shown in Blaffer Gallery, FotoFest International, Firestation 3, HCP, Artist Alive and Well and Green House Art Gallery.
In her artwork she incorporates vintage, repurposed images along with mixed media elements. In The Healing series, Nan investigates the various aspects of our personalities that create a seemingly seamless whole. And it is in those gaps and cracks and the places in between where the literal collaged elements and our metaphysical selves meet that the discovery of identity and spirituality takes place. For her it was Christmas 2007 when she fell seriously ill and contended with a myriad of feelings from shock to denial and fear. Having to face this life crises not so much through her intellect but her heart she learned the lessons of letting go, seeking guidance, coming home and examining the aspects of her life caused this condition. Her artwork has been a catharsis, and a contemplative “healing space” as she returns to full health. Her artwork then is intended for the viewer to find this same “safe space” to question their beliefs and assumptions creating a dialogue between the image and its audience.
NEC, NanEdwardsCollection is named after herself and her beloved grandmother, Esther Adele Edwards Stombaugh. This Collection honors her memory and Nan’s personal inspiration. As a young kiddo she spent a lot of time soaking up all the goodies in grandma's jewelry boxes, making art and collecting "rocks." One of her most treasured possessions was a small display card with gemstones from around the world—her favs were moss agate and tiger-eye. She was so drawn to the rich assortment of colors, textures, and lore of the stones. Her intention with NEC is to create jewelry that is RetroClassy inspired by early 20th-Century design incorporating vintage components and "rocks" that have personal meaning for me and I hope you too!
Midwestern by birth, Nan’s stops on the map have included various parts of Indiana, Chicago, St. Louis, Louisiana and Texas. Although academically gifted and blessed with the opportunity to teach college at 26, Nan had the nagging feeling that something, something essential to her well being was missing. And so began a journey of discovery relocating to Louisiana with her former partner, and then Texas…With a move to Houston proving to be a stark contrast to her beloved Chicago, Nan could no longer avoid her soul’s yearning to make art. What was the bigger question? Would she overcome at the ripe old age of 27 those old voices real and otherwise that unrelentingly repeated “You can’t do it!” The courage to pursue a BFA was pivotal choice, a watershed of sorts as issues regarding a difficult childhood, the role her grandmother had played in her life, family estrangement, and finding her life’s work were waging a war inside her. Simultaneously Nan was crafting witty and pithy digital collages that were an extension of her art history master’s thesis--investigating gender, dress, and history at the same time a renewed interest in spirituality was welling up inside her. Art and spirituality? How does one merge the two? Should she forgo the art and pursue religious training? She didn’t know…she pursued another degree…and for years she all but stopped making art. Four years of denying the need to make art manifested quite literally into a serious illness, Christmas 2007. It was the wake up call she needed—a healing that would take place in heart, body and soul. In the summer of 2008 she stumbled upon a Soul Collage course merging intuition, art making and spirituality, the principles of which helped jumpstart her subsequent body of work, The Healing Collection (2008-09).
In The Healing Collection, Nan incorporates her own photographs, and vintage/repurposed images to investigate the various aspects of our personalities that create a seemingly seamless whole. And it is in those gaps and cracks and the places in between where the literal collaged elements and our metaphysical selves meet that the discovery of identity and spirituality takes place. Her artwork then is intended for the viewer to find this same “safe space” to question their beliefs and assumptions creating a dialogue between the image and its audience.
The Healing collection is dedicated to my much loved grandmother, Ester Adele Edwards Stombaugh (1911-1994).
Formally Nan’s background includes a BA, BFA, and MEd with additional graduate training in art history, theory and criticism. Currently she is an artist, educator, curator and jewelry designer. Nan is the owner and designer of NanEdwardsCollection jewelry and teaches in various venues in and through out the greater Houston area.