Nancy McCroskey received her B.F.A. from the Maryland Art Institute and MFA from Indiana University. She is currently Associate Professor of Ceramics at Indiana-Purdue University in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She has been working in the tile genre for the last six and a half years, creating both public commissions and tile works for gallery installations.
"Between 1989 and 1991, I created two public tile commissions inspired by local typography as seen through aerial photographs and maps. The murals are: Aerial Rhythm, commissioned as the result of a national competition for a mural for Whetstone Elementary School in Gaithersburg, Maryland; and Riverun, commissioned by the Grand Wayne Convention
Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana, as the result of a regional competition. Maps and aerial photographs are beautiful to me and particularly interesting because of relationships between political and physical geography. In these relationships one sees an interplay and overlap between organic and rational orders, which is a fundamental theme in all of my work."
"As a designer working in tile, I am challenged both aesthetically and technically by making whole images out of ceramic units. In the case of Aerial Rhythm, the mosaic structure-that is, the irregular
shaped tiles-contribute to the vitality of the work, capturing the energy of this region.
In Riverun, the square or standard tile is more appropriate to represent the typography of northeast Indiana, with the miles of gridded farmland, traversed by rivers, dotted with lakes and located in proximity to urban centers."
"In more recent works, I have continued to work with square tile because of the ease of transport and installation available with standard square units. Suite in Black. White and Grey, and Tempo in Line are 5' x 8' installations using square tile. In Suite in Black, White and Grey the grid structure is dominant, while in Tempo in Line I sought to transcend the structure with linear connections between tile units."
"The ceramic tile works that I feel the most connected to are American Arts and Craft Tile, particularly water pressed tile since it is more rustic in character. Recently I have had the distinct privilege of meeting Viktor Schreckengost and discovering the relief terra cotta works he created in the 1950's. The city of Cleveland is fortunate to have three wonderful large outdoor relief tile murals, two at the Cleveland Zoo and one at the Lakeside High School."