Nachmias brings life stories with his art

New York City artist Stewart Nachmias had his out-of-the-ordinary artwork on display for the past month at Tyler Hall Art Gallery.

Oswego State’s Student Art Exhibition Committee chose Nachmias’ work to be put on display because they felt his work told life stories. Having this element, the artwork goes along with the art department’s theme for the year, “Telling Tales.”

“It is an energetic, fun kind of subject matter but also is very inventive and ambitious in the way it combines a great variety of printmaking techniques,” Assistant Director of Tyler Art Gallery Michael Flanagan said. “For these reasons we thought it would engage the audience.”

Nachmias, born in Queens, N.Y. and raised in Long Island, N.Y., became interested in art and ventriloquism as a young boy. This interest led to a major in printmaking at SUNY New Paltz and his current career today.

The artworks are created using cast paper woodcuts, which he started working with around 20 years ago. The woodcuts are what make his art take on 3-D look. Nachmias carves the wood deep and adds ink. He then applies his paper pulp to the woodcut and various other materials like mirror to create his works.

“One particular atelier had a large paper making department,” Nachmias said. “I first learned basic paper casting technique at this studio, but expanded on it and eventually developed my own techniques for creating cast-paper prints.”

Most artists do not stick with what they originally learn and alter their techniques in some way, shape or form. The same can be said for Nachmias.

“Most of the technique I use comes from expanding on methods that I’ve learned and pushing their boundaries,” Nachmias said. “There’s also lots of trial and error involved. I try many different approaches until I get one that works for me.”

Most of Nachmias’ work is based on experiences in his life. Some of them show Nachmias performing in a rock band, puppet shows and as a printmaker. A majority of the work also shows the grittiness of living in New York City.

Furthermore, it is important for Oswego State art students to be exposed to other types of artists and different techniques to broaden their ideas. Nachmias has been a positive influence on many students here at Oswego State.

“I gave a demonstration and two lectures/slide presentations to students,” Nachmias said. “I also visited student studios.”

Students can learn a lot from Nachmias and how a simple subject matter can be created into art.

Nachmias shows how hard work and perseverance can lead to a successful career as an artist.

“I think this hard work, skill and dedication to craft can inspire students as well,” Flanagan said.