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Monmouth University's Pollak Gallery presents Metamorphosis: Works by Nanci France-Vaz

originally published: 04/01/2024

Monmouth University

(WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ) -- Monmouth University's Pollak Gallery presents Metamorphosis: Works by Nanci France-Vaz from March 25 to May 2, 2024. This exhibition is in conjunction with the concert Metamorphosis: Portraits of Song on April 26 at 8:00pm. Admission to the gallery is free and open to the public.

Metamorphosis: Life is all about transitions from one time in life to another. Artists of any art from have dreams of becoming a master in their genre, successful in their career, and recognized to the masses. The models in the paintings are artists in music, art, and performing art  based on a moment in their life or a narrative Nanci has created from film, literature or poetry. Figurative storytelling is infused with light, patterns, and human presence to that have visual impact and make the viewers ponder over the meaning and left to their interpretations. France-Vaz is known for her Imaginative Portraits that render allegorical symbols combined with story and imagination. Most of the work is of female artists that never give up hope or their dreams of becoming a reality.

Nanci France-Vaz is a modern renaissance artist that uses allegorical symbolism to create visual stories on canvas. France-Vaz draws inspiration from the Pre-Raphaelite and Naturalist periods of art, poetry, and classic literature, and film. She combines her strong foundation in life painting with imaginative backgrounds fusing classical with contemporary realism.

The artist was born in Brooklyn, NY and moved to the UWS in Manhattan in 2002 to study portrait and figurative art. She was the recipient of the Rhodes Scholarship Award and earned a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 3D Computer Animation for Film and Special Effects.

France-Vaz has exhibited at the Dacia Gallery NYC, Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum of Modern European Art for ModPortrait and first round of Figurativas,  Abend Gallery, Principle Gallery, Lovetts Gallery, Eisele Gallery, Butler Insitute of Fine Art, National Arts Club NYC, and Salmagundi Club NYC. She has had 3 solo shows. Her solo exhibit at DaciaGallery, NYC will be in October 2023 dates TBA.

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Nanci France-Vaz has won  of many notable awards nationally. She is the recipient of the ARC Salon Purchase Award in Imaginative Realism for the 16th Annual ARC Salon, Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize Honorable Mention, Best in Show Wausau Museum, 2nd Place Southwest Art Artistic Excellence, Len G Everett Memorial Award, Joseph Hartley Memorial Award, John Collins Award, Colonel George J Morales Award, PSOA 3rd Place , ARC Salon, International Artists People & Figures 2021, and Best in Show Portrait Award, Petite Gallery.

The concepts of her works are based on a moment in time, classical literature, film, and poetry, introducing a modern subject or twist to her story. Her intent is to combine hope, spiritual beliefs, and the human condition. Most of her models are professional musicians, artists, actors, and dancers.  The spiritual, the mystical, and the mythical have underlying tones and meanings left for the beholder to ponder and engage psychologically. Having studied film and Stanislavski Method Acting allows for a spiritual connection to her subjects expressing emotion and mood. Her study of lighting and movement, through acting, dance, and theater is the catalyst for creating a still image from a cinematic process.  France-Vaz’s patterns of life express a life experience or moment of thought in time.

France-Vaz has been published in Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine, ModPortrait 2020/2021,  American Art Collector, Southwest Art Magazine, , ARC Salon, International Artists, Realism Today, and Leonardo Guide Artelibre 2021,

Her paintings and commissions hang in private collections.

The Pollak Gallery is located on the campus of Monmouth University, adjacent to the Pollak Theatre (400 Cedar Avenue in West Long Branch, New Jersey). It  features regional artists, collaborates with community organizations on special exhibitions, and exhibits the work of special needs populations. It has also hosted special exhibits from private collectors such “Three Generations of Wyeth” and exhibitions curated by the Grammy Museum in LA. A highlight of this season was a retrospective by deceased New Jersey artist Michael Malpass which drew thousands of visitors to campus. A new documentary about Michael Malpass was screened followed by art walks across campus featuring outdoor sculptures by Michael Malpass, Seward Johnson, and Brian Hanlon.

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