Connecting people with art in Marshall
When shown the image captured of her in front of one of her works, Marci Nadler remarked that it was difficult to tell where the painting ended and she began. Whether this is a result of her colorful disposition or her closeness to each painting she creates is up to interpretation.
Nadler’s quaint, comfortable studio space is as welcoming and inviting as her personality. Easy to talk to and humble, Nadler tells of her first forays into art in childhood. “For as long as I can remember, drawing was my way of processing what I experienced in the world and expressing my feelings,” she says. As a shy child, she felt like drawing kept her company in a way. She would recreate characters from her favorite book illustrators, like Beatrix Potter, so much that her mother thought she might eventually be a children’s book illustrator as an adult. Both of her parents encouraged her talent for art, even posing for her as she was learning to draw figures.
In college, Nadler studied graphic design, doubting an ability to make a career out of art. After graduation, when she won first place in the National Society of Arts and Letters Regional Competition and at the urging of professors Robert D’Arista and Ben Summerford, she pursued an MFA in Painting at American University. She continued to study fine arts for the years following under Bill Calfee, Patricia Friend, and Stephen Pace, artists she calls remarkable.
She credits family, friends, and teachers for helping her believe in her abilities. “I’m not sure whether we find our teachers in life, or they find us, but I am deeply indebted to the teachers I have had,” she says.
Known as a contemporary colorist painter who works with oils, acrylics, watercolor, and ink, Nadler has a story to tell about each one of her works. When asked where her inspiration lies, she says each location she paints has to strike her creativity more than once. For instance, if she passes the same tree on her commute and she notices it each time, eventually she will have to go paint it. “If I see a sublime moment in a landscape for instance, I hope that expansive moment of consciousness translates to the painting and is transmitted to the viewer,” she says. Her works have been exhibited in galleries throughout the United States and even abroad.
But even with all the accolades, she admits she doesn’t really consider herself successful unless her art connects with people. When someone remarks on a piece or has a reaction to it, these moments validate her talent in different ways.
In 2016, she opened UnStable Arts in Middleburg to promote and exhibit local artists and provide an avenue for musicians, poets, and prose writers to debut their works. Then in 2017, the move to Marshall, where she now paints and runs her gallery business on Main Street, has her starting fresh with a new space to make her own.
In the little walking town of Marshall, Nadler Fine Art (Studio and Gallery) will be undergoing a renovation inside and in concept. The studio holds piece after piece of Nadler’s beautiful art, some colorful, some dark, some landscape, some people. She also hosts other local artists in the space, to give them a venue for exhibiting and to introduce new artists to the community. But that isn’t all she has planned.
“The gallery will also be a community-building teaching and gathering space for musicians and writers, as well as visual artists, where creative endeavors are shared to inspire and enhance the lives of others,” she says. Nadler’s excitement is palpable when explaining how she wants to use the space to teach art lessons to others, children included. “I hope to be able to pass along the methods I’ve learned (how to ‘see’ things as an artist), and encourage others in their work,” she says. These classes and workshops can be enjoyed by those of all levels, from beginner to professional, as well as private and semi-private lessons in drawing and painting.
If you get a chance to see Nadler’s pieces, be sure to look for an occasional fairy or bug snuck into the painting, a nod to her childhood and a way to add some sort of enchantment to her artwork. You can see her works on display at Nadler Fine Art, along with abstract paintings by Pennsylvania and New Mexico artist Robert Stark.
Nadler Fine Art
8355 West Main Street, Marshall