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Crafting Worlds: The Storytelling Art of Nancey B. Price in 'Black In Bloom'

Analog collage and installation artist Nancey B. Price's “Black In Bloom” is a unique opportunity for Price to invite people into her creative space and process, allowing them to better understand her creative identity as a whole. While best known for her work in collage art, Nancey prides herself on being a storyteller and world-builder.

In the heart of downtown Statesboro, the Averitt Center for the Arts proudly hosts "Black In Bloom," a solo art show featuring the extraordinary works of analog collage and installation artist Nancey B. Price. Supported by Smakum, LLC, and the Merritt & Merritt Law Firm, the exhibition unveils Price's seven-year journey of artistic exploration, where she uses flowers and gardens as powerful symbols of resilience, comfort, and healing.

Price’s "Black In Bloom" pushes the traditional boundaries of art, blending visual works with storytelling. She uses intricate cutouts to share a personal narrative that offers a powerful exploration of navigating the complexities of being Black in America. Discovering both resilience and beauty in the face of racism, misogyny, and homophobia, she represents these themes through the presence of flowers and floral scenery in her work.

Nancey B. Price pictured in front of the Averitt Center on her opening reception night, January 11, 2024.

“Black In Bloom” is a unique opportunity for Price to invite people into her creative space and process, allowing them to better understand her creative identity as a whole. While best known for her work in collage art, Nancey prides herself on being a storyteller and world-builder.

“All of my work, really, is creatively immersive. I’ve always considered myself to be a writer first," Price shares. "And then from that, the creative act of writing on paper, my relationship with paper evolved, eventually using it for visual art. It’s been a journey of learning to use words to truly manifest worlds; I am creating a space that’s fully mine, that I get to invite people into, and with my show, 'Black in Bloom,' it’s a true opportunity to literally invite people into my space, into my world,” Price reflects on her artistic evolution.

Flower Girl, 2023

Nancey Price's art show at the Averitt Center is more than just a display of her work; it's a deliberate creation of ambiance, an essential aspect of her creative experience. Price's goal with her showcase is to invite visitors into her space, allowing them to deeply understand and connect with her story. This intention is beautifully realized in the immersive environment she has crafted.

Determined to make the most use of her surroundings while respecting her personal boundaries and limitations, Price has skillfully tapped into her environment. The result is an interactive and immersive experience, featuring two unique installations. One installation highlights Georgia's iconic red clay, while the other encourages gallery visitors to integrate themselves into the art, using a stool to sit and become one with the exhibit. Enhancing the atmosphere, Price has hung flowers from the ceiling and created an altar space with burning incense, further inviting visitors into her world.

Morning Glory Over Georgia Red Clay, 2024

“I think that’s one thing that I recognize in my creative journey: understanding my boundaries and limitations, but using them to my advantage as inspiration. Looking around me and making the most of the space I see. I want my work to come to me with ease; after all, I really am a one-woman show. I make the art, do the marketing, I don’t have a team behind me so to speak. But I don’t let that limit me. I let that spark creativity,” Price reflects on her approach to art-making.

Price aims to create ease in her creative process by releasing comparison, acknowledging that every creator follows their unique path. "No one else can share my story, creative process, or ingenuity," she says.

Believing the greatest key to success in her creative process is her imagination, Price shares, "Ease is found in releasing the pressure to conform to anyone else's standards and knowing that the right audience will resonate with my authenticity and discover my work. While I still deal with this challenge from time to time, I've found a great deal of freedom in simply allowing myself to be present in my creative power and space, letting whatever comes naturally to flow."

The Art of Jazz, 2023

“Part of this experience growing as a creative has been about releasing myself from the expectation to be a certain thing. As I’ve said, I viewed myself as a writer for such a long time, but then when I started making collage art, it really took off. At first, I struggled with, ‘How does this all connect?’ And I got lost in the back and forth of whether I had to be an artist or a writer.”

Price continued, “But after this one retreat, I realized I was the connection. I was the purpose. I’m the link between all of my passions and my creative works, and I don’t have to pick a path – I simply am my own path.”

This was when Price realized she was in charge of her own creativity, and she didn’t have to be defined by traditional paths. She could determine the trajectory of her work and define the parameters of what it means to succeed.

“For me, it really was a moment that redefined my relationship with purpose and success; it felt like in that moment I understood that it wasn’t something I had to seek, it was simply just a part of who I am. A part of everything I do.”

Inspiration for her pieces is rooted in heritage, family, memories, and representation. Speaking to the importance of being able to see herself represented in her work, Price recalls her beginnings as an artist and intentionally utilizing Black characters after feeling underrepresented when looking for references on sites like Pinterest.

Nancey also emphasizes the importance of knowing that her art is contributing to her legacy, that she is creating heirlooms for future generations is something that drives Nancey in her work. Mentioning two pieces that are now within the family, a self-portrait Nancey created, that was purchased by her own mother, became the first heirloom. The second, a commissioned piece that Nancey was able to keep after its completion, the Home Place.

The Home Place, 2023

“Many people speak to their living legacy, but for me, that’s my art. That’s my mind. My creativity. And so every time I create, make art or write, I know that I am speaking into the future for whoever is going to come across my stuff down the line.”

Nancey’s showcase Black in Bloom is on display at the Averitt Center until March, and she is looking to engage the community with the show and the Averitt Center however she can. During her opening reception, she opened a call inviting those interested in a private showing or teachers interested in bringing a class to reach out to the artist, and she would be happy to facilitate a showing. Price is also a part of two upcoming shows: ON::View Revue with ARTS Southeast and Telfair Museums’ Friends of African American Arts Exhibit at Savannah State University.

Speaking to the future, Nancey hopes to continue expanding her work in multiple creative avenues, pouring intention into revitalizing her podcast, writing short stories, and hopes to explore flash fiction. She is looking to the future expectantly and joyfully, knowing that whatever it has in store will be full of beautiful things, and dreams manifested.

You can find Nancey on social media at:

IG: @nanceybprice


PodcastDreaming In Color with Nancey B. Price

Nancey B. Price, photographed by Mackenzie Alexander

Grice Connect's Arts & Culture column is growing, and we're interested in hearing from you. If you know of a local creative with a compelling story to share, please contact journalist Julianna A. Leverette at [email protected].

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