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

Artist Statement

I am in love with the tactility of art, I love the way it feels to hold a pencil, to pull it across a deliciously smooth sheet of paper. I love seeing the ways the inks, oils, watercolors move, shine, stain and mark paper and canvas. I love the way they smell. I love that I have at least 1,000 pencils, and still I want more.

Above all, I treasure and desire that when you look at my art, that we’re sharing at the very least a small part of that experience. That when you look, and I hope you spend a lot of time looking, that you see that the fascinations that I have are not merely with the tactile materials, but with the places that the edges, lines, shapes, colors, gestures, marks take you to.


Nancy Charak, a native Chicagoan, now makes drawings and paintings in Tucson. Her work is represented in the west by Space Gallery–Denver and ARTEZONA Gallery–Tucson, in the Midwest at The Nevica Project–Chicago and Cerbera Gallery–Kansas City. Please come on by.

PDF Download: Artist Statement & Bio


Curriculum Vitae

Gallery Representation

  • ARTEZONA Gallery, 6890 E Sunrise Dr STE 120-173, Tucson, AZ 85750
  • Space Gallery, 400 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204
  • The Nevica Project, 3717 N. Ravenswood, Unit 115W, Chicago, IL 60613
  • Cerbera Gallery, 2011 Baltimore Ave, Kansas City MO 64108
  • ARC Gallery & Educational Foundation, 2156 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (past member and past affiliate member)

Nancy’s work can also be found on these select websites:

Selected Upcoming & Recent Exhibits

Solo Exhibits

  • Planar Violations II, Pop—Up at Steinfeld Arts Warehouse, Tucson, Sep 2018
  • Planar Violations, Pop—Up at Cornelia Arts Building, Chicago, Aug 2018
  • 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

  • Consciousness of Abstraction: Beyond Literal Appearance, juror F. David Reif, ARC Gallery, Chicago IL, March 2020
  • On The Desert: the Discovery and Invention of Color, juror James Schaub, Tohono Chul, Tucson AZ, March 2020
  • 1st Annual Small Works Show, Untitled Gallery, Tucson AZ, December 2019
  • Arizona Aqueous XXXIV, juror Barbara Kemp Cowlin, Tubac Center for the Arts, Tubac AZ, Oct 2019
  • Arizona Aqueous XXXIV, juror Barbara Kemp Cowlin, Tubac Center for the Arts, Tubac AZ, Oct 2019
  • Not Just Drawing—A Line with Intent, juror F. David Reif, ARC Gallery, Chicago IL, March 2018
  • Arizona Aqueous XXXII, juror Joanne Stuhr, Tubac Center for the Arts, Tubac AZ, Jan—Feb 2018
  • 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

  • The Art of Planetary Science, Kuiper Space Sciences Building, University of Arizona, Tucson, Nov 2019
  • Renewal and Spiritualism, Tucson Jewish Community Center, Oct 2019
  • Momentum, Space Gallery Annex Grand Opening, Denver, May—June 2019
  • Conclusion Studios Midwest, Galesburg Civic Art Center, Galesburg IL, July 2018
  • Spiritual Values, curators Aimee Smyth & Lisa Mishler, Tucson Jewish Community Center, Nov 2017—Jan 2018
  • 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

  • Tucson art open studios, 2015 – 2019 (multi-year participation)
  • Tucson Pima Open Studio Tour, c/o Studio of Greta Ward, 652 S. Meyer, Tucson, Nov. 8-9, 2014
  • Annual Ravenswood Artwalks, Cornelia Arts Building, 1800 W. Cornelia, Chicago, 2005—2013 (multi-year participation)
  • Cornelia Arts Building Open Studios, Cornelia Arts Building, 1800 W. Cornelia, Chicago, 2005—2013 (multi-year participation)
  • 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.


  • 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.

Other Professional Affiliations

  • Residency, Studios Midwest, Galesburg Civic Art Center, Galesburg IL, July 2018
  • Presentation “An Introduction to Women Abstract Expressionists,” Contemporary Artists of Southern Arizona, May 2018
  • Judge, Eva Briggs Abstract Art Competition: Feb 2018, Santa Rita Art League, Green Valley AZ
  • 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.

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
  • Moonlite Creations Gallery, Tucson AZ (Closed Operations 2019)
  • Sapere Art, Chicago, IL (Closed operations 2011)
  • Gallery Mornea, Evanston, IL (Closed operations 2006)

Selected Collections

  • Whole Health Management Inc., Cleveland, Ohio
  • Westin Snowmass Spa, Snowmass CO
  • Four Seasons Hotel, Seasons Restaurant, Washington DC
  • Phoenician Resort, Scottsdale AZ
  • 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