Artist's Bio

Artist Nancy Willis lives and works in the Napa Valley.

As a painter/printmaker, Nancy explores themes of intimacy and social connection and evoke a sense of place. Through oil paint and printing ink Willis works in an additive and subtractive process to underscore her interest in what lies below the surface of what one first sees. Her studio work is often created in series, The BED, R.S.V. P., The Chandelier and Terrain and record the observations about daily rituals, domestic spaces and light through a range of specific and ambiguous translations.

Willis is an active curator, teacher and advocate. Her curatorial projects often come from ideas she is experimenting with in her studio. In 2011, she curated Discrepancy/living between war and peace at the Napa Valley Museum to mark the anniversary of September 11th. The exhibit included 26 artists, 3 writers, and veterans from Pathway Home. 

Willis currently teaches the Principals of Design at the Culinary Institute of America/Greystone connecting young baking and pastry chefs to the visual arts.  In 2015, Willis realized a three-year curatorial project with NOURISH at the Napa Valley Museum. The exhibition explored the intersection between the visual and culinary arts and featured over 30 artists, 9 chefs and a live stream from the 3 Michelin starred restaurant Maison Pic in France.

In 2007, she successfully launched annual Path of the Artist painting tours leading artists through an intimate view of France. Willis has expanded her workshop offering to include annual fall workshops at Sundance Resort believing that artmaking and fine hospitality make for a restorative experience. 

Her work has recently been featured at the StARTup Art Fairs in LA and Chicago and in 2017 the StARTup Fair in SF.  Opening in summer 2017, Willis work will be part of the permanent collection of the new Archer Hotel.