Striking floral panels by local artist Nancy Mims hung from trees on the grounds of the Elisabet Ney Museum during Valentine’s Day weekend. The installation of Nancy Mims: The Passed Looms Present marks the first time the Ney has participated in the Print Austin celebration of the city’s print art community, according to Museum Director Oliver Franklin.
The panels are among thousands of flowers photographed by Mims with her cell phone during regular walks through the Hyde Park neighborhood. Her goal was to capture blooms throughout the year at their brief “moment of perfection.” Using standard cellphone applications, she infused each photo with a dramatic dark background. A textile designer, Mims began sending the photos to her fabric printer “on a whim,” with instructions to make them bigger. She hung the resulting panels on a wall, but they felt stagnant. She decided to move her work outside.
Mims explained, “for years I’ve wandered by the Ney and had visions of my art in the trees.” She views the trees as her gallery walls and the wind as her collaborator, creating motion that brings the panels to life. As part of the installation, two large looms were constructed between trees and participants were invited to help reconstruct two of her photographs on a larger scale from fabric strips. Both weavings are on temporary exhibit on the Ney grounds north of Waller Creek, according to Oliver Franklin, who expressed enthusiasm for future outdoor art installations at our neighborhood museum.
By Susan Marshall