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Meet Artist Nancy Ruppert – Art From My Sister’s Porch
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Meet Artist Nancy Ruppert – Art From My Sister’s Porch

- edited by: Glenn Shuck

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I was a middle school math teacher and then taught people how to be teachers. I grew up in Atlantic Beach and as a teacher lived outside Columbia, SC; Jacksonville Beach, FL; Gainesville FL, Rome, GA; outside Charleston, SC; and most recently outside Asheville, NC. I believe that the arts bring people together. 

In what part of the First Coast do you reside now and how long have you lived there? 

I grew up in the shade of the Atlantic Beach pier. For me, the ocean is a source of inspiration. Sunrises, moonrises, clouds, ocean storms; and pelicans, sea oats, palm trees, and sand dunes, swimming, sandcastles, walks on the beach, or reading under the shade of an umbrella are treasures I enjoy alone or with friends and family. Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach hold memories of places and people I love and care about. My father always said, ‘There’s no place like Atlantic Beach.’ I agree with him, that, ‘It doesn’t get much better than this.’

How long have you been doing your craft or trade? 

In the early 2000s, I was working in Asheville (NC). A colleague came to my office and said, ‘I need to play more.’ I thought that was a great idea. We began taking watercolor lessons at the Arboretum and the Woolworth building in Asheville by two wonderful watercolorists (Susan Ling and Janice Lapé.

Asheville sponsors art for serious artists and people who want to experiment in various art mediums (UNC Asheville has an art BA and MFA. The River Arts District (RAD)in Asheville supports artists much like the Atlantic Beach Arts Market and the budding Springfield area in Jacksonville. There are studios at the RAD where artists have studios and places where classes are offered regularly.

What brings out your creativity? 

Beauty in the environment and time alone to play with art forms.

What does your work aim to say? Are you trying to bring a smile to someone’s face or add to someone’s home decor? 

You are welcome here.

Are there any spaces or designers that have influenced you? 

At the beach, Gary Mack, Linda Olsen, and Scottie Cousin bring joy of place to their art.

In Asheville I love Jonas Gérard’s work; I also love Susan and Janice’s work. In Charleston, I love Jonathan Greene’s work. All have a personal joy in their art.

What is your favorite artistic accomplishment? 

I have great nieces and a nephew who come visit and say, ‘Aunt Nancy can we paint?’

Do you have a specific piece you would love to talk about or promote? 

Last fall I found a piece of bead board in the dumpster. I thought that would be fun to paint on. I chose to paint some of the logos associated with businesses at Beaches Town Center. In the spring I invited my niece and her daughter to share favorite spaces in old Atlantic Beach. We came up with restaurants, the Adele Grage Center, the Mayport ferry, BEAM, the Mayport Light House, a shrimp boat, and Mayport Presbyterian. In memory of my brother, I added the B&M Bait and Tackle and Culhane’s.

What is the best way for artists to network? 

Regardless of your art form: photography, music, painting, sewing, surfing… find a community to play and create with.

If you had a question you would like to ask another artist what would it be? 

How can we support and promote art as healing at the beach?

What’s the best thing for you about living on the First Coast? 

Every morning we get to share ‘performance art’ over the Atlantic Ocean…clouds, sky, breeze, pelicans, dolphins, bikes, paddle boards, surfers, dogs, people fishing, walking, running, swimming….all to the drumming of waves, I call it the symphony of dawn.

How can we see your work? 

I have a website and hope to set up a space at the Atlantic Beach Art Market. I show at the Atlantic Beach Art in the Park and the Atlantic Beach Artisan’s Faire.

Is there anything else that you want to tell everyone? 

I was a middle school math teacher and found art to be a fabulous way to release students from their fear of math. Art is a multigenerational experience. It can be enjoyed alone and with others. It can be enjoyed at all levels of experience and when it is shared, it brings joy.

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One Response

  1. Nancy is truly an inspiration. She could be called Atlantic Beaches Renaissance women!! This article is so well put, As we say in the south And I agree you can’t beat Atlantic Beach Let’s keep it just the way it is.

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