Dreamscaping: The Therapeutic Photomontages of Nancy Gershman (Exhibit)
Loyola University Museum of Art, Chicago

November 28, 2008 – January 6, 2009
Anne H's Healing Dreamscape which forgives a father's wanderlust and abandonment of the family by prescriptive artist Nancy Gershman


Anne H’s Healing Dreamscape which forgives a father’s wanderlust and abandonment of the family [Photomontage by prescriptive artist Nancy Gershman]

On Friday, November 28, the Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) unveiled Dreamscaping: The Therapeutic
Photomontages of Nancy Gershman. The
exhibition features 19 photomontages that repurpose personal photographs to
create a narrative and address an individual’s sense of loss or regret.

In Dreamscaping, Nancy Gershman asks viewers to consider the
idea of using art to ease the pain of a personal loss—death, a ruptured
relationship, etc.—of a loved one. Gershman sees her work as the result of a healing process that occurs when the artist visually reconstructs an individual’s memories and helps the individual to achieve closure through recollection and the finality of the composition. Writes Gershman:

“When I’m creating this mythic landscape from people’s personal mythologies, there are a number of unresolved issues and relationships left behind.“By having a narrative in the form of a Dreamscape, people can start appreciating what happened to them during their lifetime. It is also a way to complete life’s journey with a loved one who has passed away. In the end, you give a person a second chance to heal all that psychic injury.”

The Art of Dreamscaping

Collaborating with therapists, bereavement professionals, social workers, and
clergy, Gershman creates positive visualizations for families or individuals as
they move from the treatment phase into recovery. According to Pamela E. Ambrose, Director of Cultural Affairs and the curator of the show:

“Through a series of extended conversations with the individuals suffering loss, Gershman becomes a translator of their memories, solidifying these personal mythologies into an extant form constructed from old photographs and digitally added elements. The result is what could be described as part icon and part memorial, and challenges the assumption of order.”

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TimeOut Chicago writes: “Gershman digitally alters clients’ personal photographs to heal their emotional pain. We’re serious.” (March 7, 2009)


Slide Show of Nancy Gershman's Solo Show at Loyola University Museum of Art

Slide Show of Nancy Gershman’s solo show “Dreamscaping” at Loyola University Museum of Art

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