NANCY AZARA at St. Ann’s in Brooklyn Heights: “I Am the Vine, You Are the Branches” opens February 18, 2015

Nancy Azara

Nancy Azara at St. Ann’s in Brooklyn Heights

FEBRUARY 18 – APRIL 3, 2015


Contact: 718-875-6960 or

St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church will present I am the vine, you are the branches, a site-specific installation of sculpture and mixed media by the artist Nancy Azara. The exhibition will be on view February 18 – April 3, 2015, and is the fourth in an ongoing series of visual art programs that are part of the Forum @St. Ann’s, which seeks to engage the community in conversation about the arts, ideas and civic life.

I am the vine, you are the branches is comprised of sculptures, banners and collages using a variety of materials including branches, vines, carved wood, mylar, encaustic (wax) and metal leaf and paint in a rich array of golds, iridescent pinks, red and purples, brown and blues.

Azara explains her work as the need to “touch a longing within us for a route to the divine.” Her use of wood suggests not only a spiritual connection to the tree (a connection implicit in religions across the globe – from the revered image of Buddha under a Bodhi tree, to Jewish laws forbidding the destruction of forests during wartime), but also the fragility of such a relationship in the face of destructive forces. Reclining Hand a large fragment of wood sliced from a tree by lightening is painted white. Lying on a low table, viewers approach the sculpture as if in a funeral procession, and find a purple hand on its “heart.”

The 14 piece work I am the Vine, made especially for the Lenten exhibit, is a metaphorical and meditative presentation of the Stations of the Cross. Each piece is made of found twigs, branches and/or vines that are wrapped with bandages of twill tape and nestled in the Church’s gothic stylized columns. In reimagining Jesus’ journey of the cross, Azara highlights what is “both beautiful and ugly, golden and silvery, damaged and broken” in this biblical story.

Azara lives and works in New York City and Woodstock, NY. Her work featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions thoughout Europe, Asia, and America was most recently at Gallery Sensei, Pseudo Empire, and the Asya Geisberg Gallery (all in New York). In 2013, she exhibited at SACI Gallery, Florence, Italy and was earlier an artist in residence at Civitella Ranieri, Umbertide, Italy. She was a founding member of the New York Feminist Art Institute (NYFAI in 1979 (to 1990), and author of “Spirit Taking Form: Making a Spiritual Practice of Making Art” (published by Red Wheel/Weiser in 2002).

All works will be on view at St. Ann & the Holy Trinity, Clinton and Montague Streets, Brooklyn Heights, Tuesday through Thursday, 12 noon – 3:00 pm, Sundays 9:00 am – 1:00 pm, and by appointment by contacting the parish office at 718-875-6960 or

Watch the January 28, 2015 Interview with Nancy Azara by International Foundation for Women Artists 

Nancy Azara

Nancy Azara

Nancy exhibited her work in the SACI Gallery in 2013. She has been translating some of the collages she made while in Italy into 10-foot banners. She is also speaking out about about women artists: Recovering a Lost Cultural Herstory 1969-1982 on March 3rd, 2015 from 4-7pm.

NYC Cultural Herstories 1969-1982 | Tuesday March 3rd at Fordham University


About SACI

SACI is a US non-profit College of Art and Design in Florence, Italy, for undergraduate and graduate students seeking accredited instruction in studio art, design, conservation, art history, and Italian language and culture. Founded in 1975, SACI offers the following programs: Academic Semester/Year Abroad, Summer Studies, Venice Summer Program, Post-Bac in Conservation, MFA in Studio Art, MA in Art History.

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