By Lulu Orozco
Nancy Elliot is an Art Professor and Curator for the City College Art Galleries. She considers herself a mixed bag when it comes to education, class, gender and ethnicity.
“Embracing uncertainties is part of being an artist,” said Elliot.She describes her work as a visual diary.
Growing up an only child in a non-traditional Japanese family, her father was an airplane mechanic, which required the family to move every couple years. After a childhood on the move, Elliot eventually settled down with her new art family.
“With my college freshman year over, I found my bearing and began to assemble my tribe, my chosen family,” said Elliot. “I had a group of loud, expressive, creative unconventional friends. I felt old and young at the same time– I was beginning to own my life”.
As Elliot grew as an artist, she soon began teaching basic design at City College. Self described as a hybrid artist she teaches her students there is more to art than just conventional beauty.
“Advising young people to be ‘happy’ or ‘do what they love’ is a bit reckless. What I suggest is for people to seek meaning and connection,” she said. “Tweak your perspective, adjust your attitude, be vulnerable.”
She has been teaching at City College for the past ten years and has since curated more than twenty exhibitions per year for the Richmond Art Center.
“I have cried in front of paintings, how comforting it is to have an artistic group of talent,” she said.
Her art experience has lead to her involvement with the San Francisco Correctional Facilities, along with the Market Street Art Transit Program.
Last year she gave away over 1000 hand-made butterflies to visitor of the Fruitvale’s recreational center.
Elliot will be participating in “Beyond Tradition: Art Legacies” at the Richmond Art Center, Part II, September 17 to November 12. Don’t miss your chance to see her work up close and personal, Elliot also teaches Basic Art Design at the Ocean Campus two nights a week.