Nancy Clarke has been backpacking in the Eagle Cap Wilderness since the early 1980’s. She and her husband, Jim Dameron, became landowners in 1998 and have made their little piece of heaven up the Lostine Canyon their half-time home since retiring in 2010.
Before a 2014 class at the Josephy Center for Arts and Culture Nancy dabbled a little in plastic sculpture and digital drawing, but never considered herself an artist. The class sparked an interest in print-making, and a follow-up workshop in photopolymer intaglio caused an identity redefinition: print artist. To make her prints she often starts with sculptures from Oceania, Africa, historic Europe and pre-Columbian America. Using an iPad she draws the sculptures, and then explores what story these figures could still be telling us today. When it works well, her narrative updates the original creation while allowing room for viewers to make the story their own. The individual prints can stand alone, but she often turns them into collectives of book format, multiple blocks per page and multiple image framing to make the stories richer. She dreams of acquiring a fine-art press for the Wallowa community. In the meantime she pulls her prints at the Atelier Meridian collective studio in Portland.
Prior to becoming focused on art Nancy had a 30-year career in various non-profit and government positions promoting the public’s health. She served on boards, created boards, staffed boards and started and ran a successful non-profit organization. A theme throughout her career was bridging urban and rural needs: for emergency medical services, tobacco addiction help, high quality health care and consumer information. She is intensely interested in strengthening the JCAC by building artistic and cultural links between urban and rural communities. She currently volunteers her non-profit management expertise to both the JCAC and the Wallowa Land Trust. She is also a jazz keyboardist, always looking for a jam.