Artist Nancy Charak. Photo courtesy of Jayson Lawfer, The Nevica Project.

Artist Statement

I ask my viewers to think about dissonance, syncopation, congruence, stillness, surprise, undulation, hidden spaces, tension and compression, edges and surface. And in so doing, to give my work as much time looking as possible. After much study and working I have refined my natural mediums to watercolor, oil washes and what we artists like to call mark-making.

My purpose as an artist is to captivate you for as long as I can hold your attention.


Nancy Charak makes paintings and drawings in a historic landmark warehouse in Tucson, where she settled from Chicago. Nancy has extended her gallery representation and geographic reach to the west with new canvases at Space Gallery in Denver, watercolors exhibited at Conrad Wilde Gallery in Tucson. A two person show at Chicago State University President’s Gallery, “What’s Abstract,” with Julian Williams, curated by Joyce Owens. Her painting, The Dreamer and the Dream, was in the Evanston+Vicinity Show 2010 Biennial. Another painting, Rainbows End, was in the Art Loop Open. Nancy had a solo exhibit at Woman Made Gallery of Chicago and juried their show “Drawing on Experience.” She also had two solo exhibitions: “Resonance,” at the University Center Gallery of the University of Montana in Missoula and “Marks in Time and Space” at the Fred P. Giles Gallery of Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky. Her work can be seen in Tucson (by appointment), Denver (Space Gallery) and Chicago (The Nevica Project), please come on by.

Nancy and her artwork have been featured in Desert Leaf, “Driven to Abstraction,” by Beth Surdut (July/August 2017), Tucson Weekly, “Art About Town: Sneak peek at Steinfeld Warehouse highlights 11th Tucson Artists’ Open Studio Tour,” by Margaret Regan (May 12, 2016) and Praeterita: Artist Philip Hartigan talks about art, interviews other artists and more, “Six of the Best Part 27,” by Philip Hartigan (May 01, 2013).

Nancy is formerly both an affiliate and regular member of the ARC Gallery and Educational Foundation of Chicago, Illinois, the second oldest women’s art cooperative in US. Additionally, her work can be seen at the Spa at the Westin Snowmass, The Seasons Restaurant at the Four Seasons in DC, Phoenician Resort Scottsdale, and The Manhattan, NYC.

Nancy is proud to be among the artists listed on the “Artists’ Monument,” an outdoor sculpture by artist Tony Tasset,now on permanent display on the campus of Nancy’s alma mater, the University of Illinois at Chicago.

PDF Download: Artist Statement & Bio


Curriculum Vitae

Gallery Representation

  • Space Gallery, 400 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204
  • The Nevica Project, 3717 N. Ravenswood, Unit 115W, Chicago, IL 60613
  • ARC Gallery & Educational Foundation, 2156 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (past member and past affiliate member)


  • MFA    Painting and Drawing, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois
  • BA      Photography and Design, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois


  • Contemporary Artists of Southern Arizona, May 2018, Presentation “An Introduction to Women Abstract Expressionists.
  • Researcher and study group leader for “Women Abstract Expressionists,” “Greatest Artist Ever,” and “Art and Evil” at The University of Arizona, Continuing and Professional Education, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Fall 2014, Spring 2015 and Spring 2016, respectively.

Selected Upcoming & Recent Exhibits

Solo Exhibits

  • Marks in Time and Space, Fred P. Giles Gallery, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, 2008
  • Drawing on Experience, Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, 2008
  • Resonance, University Center Gallery, University of Montana, Missoula, 2008
  • Re Emergence, ARC Gallery, Chicago, 2006

Juried Exhibitions

  • The Personal is Political, The Transformative Power of Women’s Art, Koehnline Museum of Art, Oakton Community College, Des Plaines, IL, October 2012
  • Call and Response: From Artemisia to Frida, Koehnline Museum of Art, Oakton Community College, Des Plaines, IL, Oct 2011
  • Bare Essentials: Minimalism in the 21st Century, juror Ingrid Fassbender, Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, Nov – Dec 2011
  • Art Loop Open, Chicago, jurors Susan Aurinko, Theaster Gates, Mary Jane Jacob, Tricia Van Eyck, “Rainbows End,” Oct – Nov 2010 (Chicago Artists Coalition)
  • Evanston+Vicinity Biennial Exhibition, jurors John Himmelfarb & Julie Rodrigues-Widholm, Evanston Art Center, Evanston, IL, “The Dreamer and the Dream,” May – Jun 2010
  • Lineal Investigations: a drawing show, Housatonic Museum of Art, Bridgeport, CT, juror Robin Zella, Nov Dec 2007

Group Exhibitions

  • Symbiosis, Contemporary Artists of Tucson group exhibit, Steinfeld Art Warehouse, Tucson, AZ, July 2017.
  • Rodeo Days Pop-Up Exhibit, Contemporary Artists of Tucson group exhibit, Plaza Palomino, Tucson, AZ, February 2016.
  • “Black,” (part 6 in the Art of the Real Series) – Space Gallery, Denver, 2015
  • Geologic Time, Conrad Wilde Gallery, Tucson, AZ – February 7, 2015February 28, 2015
  • Surface (part 5 in the Art of the Real Series), Space Gallery, Denver, CO – September 26 2014 – November 1 2014
  • “What’s Abstract?”, two-person exhibit Chicago State University with Julian Williams, curated by Joyce Owens –  Jan 29—Mar 15, 2013
  • Open Wall: One Plus One = Community, Alderman Ameya Pawar 47th Ward Office, Chicago, Sept 2012
  • Members’ Show, ARC Gallery, October 10–November 3, 2012, ARC Gallery, Chicago
  • Caffeine VI, The Artists’ Breakfast Group, Glenwood Arts Center, Chicago, Oct 2012
  • Caffeine V, The Artists’ Breakfast Group, Old Town Triangle Gallery, Chicago, Oct 2011
  • “Ooh La La,” ARC Gallery Annual Members’ Show, Chicago, Oct 2011
  • Big Women, Small Works, Portage Art Space, Chicago, curated by Johannah Silva, Mar 2011
  • Collaboration– ARC Gallery Annual Members Exhibition, ARC Gallery, Chicago; with poet Jenene Ravesloot, “Sestina-Variation,” Oct 2010 and “Blackbird,” Oct 2009
  • Marks on Paper, Drawing and Sketch Show, Morpho Gallery, Chicago, curator Gabriella Boros, 2007
  • Poetic Dialogue, University of Wisconsin, Waukesha, WI, curator Beth Shadur, Apr 2007; H. F. Johnson Gallery of Art, Carthage College, Kenosha, WI, Feb-Apr 2007; ARC Gallery, Chicago, “Promises,” poet Margaret Rozga, 2005
  • Fresh Produce: New Art by New Nines Gallery Artists, The Nines Gallery, Holland, MI, 2005

Open Studio Visits

  • Various Tucson art open studios, 2015-2017
  • Tucson Pima Open Studio Tour, c/o Studio of Greta Ward, 652 S. Meyer, Tucson, Nov. 8-9, 2014
  • Marks in Time Preview, Cornelia Arts Building, Chicago, with Marian Carow & Sharon Swidler, Nov 2009.
  • Open Studio Visit, from Hyde Part Art Center, Cornelia Arts Building, June 2009.
  • Art on the Move Studio Visit, Art Institute of Chicago, Cornelia Arts Building, Apr 2008.
  • Studio visit, West Suburban Auxiliary of Museum of Contemporary Art with artists Emily Roynesdal & Tiffany Stronsky, May 2007.

Previous Years

  • Chicago and Vicinity Show, Art Institute of Chicago
  • Davidson National Print and Drawing Competition
  • Chattahoochee Valley Art Association Purchase Prize
  • Van Straaten Gallery, Chicago
  • Bernal Gallery, Chicago
  • Genesis Gallery, New York

Selected Collections

  • Whole Health Management Inc., Cleveland, Ohio
  • Sherwood Forest Bed & Breakfast, Saugatuck, Michigan
  • Mr. & Mrs. Noah Webster, Dallas, Texas
  • Mr. & Mrs. Henry Schaffer, Chicago
  • Ms. Alexandra Seeger, The Netherlands
  • Ms. Jenene Ravesloot, Chicago

Other Professional Affiliations

  • 2005-06, Chairwoman Exhibits Committee & Membership Committee, ARC Gallery & Educational Foundation.
  • 2008, Juror Drawing on Experience Woman Made Gallery, Chicago.
  • Nancy is also past member and past affiliate of the ARC Gallery and Educational Foundation, of Chicago, Illinois, one of the oldest womens’ art cooperatives in the country.