Nancy Dash presents ‘The Centennial Prints’ show at Mott Community College

By Paul Rozycki

Nancy Dash has worked at Mott Community College (MCC) for over half of its 100-year history. During that time she has been a coach for men’s tennis and women’s basketball and volleyball, as well as a professor of psychology since the early 1970s. But before she did any of those things she was an artist.

So, on Thursday Feb. 15, 2024, as part of its regular Art Talk series, Dash explained her process of creating woodblock prints of the many buildings that have been a part of MCC’s century-long story.

The college began at Flint Central High School in 1923, with a class of just over 100 students. In 1931 it moved to the Oak Grove Sanitarium building, which was located approximately where the Flint Public Library is today. Then in the mid-1950s, with the creation of the Cultural Center and the donation of Charles Stewart Mott’s land, it moved to its current Court Street campus.

Nancy Dash’s images of Central High School, Oak Grove Sanitarium and the many buildings on the Court St. campus highlight the storied, 100-year history of the college. She said the publication of the college’s history book “A Clearer Image” and the centennial events of the past year motivated her to create the woodcuts.

The woodcuts include images of the first location of the college at Flint Central High School, to the most recent building, the Lenore Croudy Center. They also depict the former Woodside Church, which became part of the college in 2021, as well as most of the buildings that have been part of the college between 1923 and 2021.

An image from Nancy Dash’s woodcut prints collection, on view at Mott Community College’s Fine Arts Gallery. (Image courtesy MCC)

When asked about the most challenging print, she pointed to the image of the college mascot, the MCC Bear. Dash was part of the group of artists that created the six foot bronze bear statue that stands in front of the Ballenger Field House today.

She said that the artists who created it spent some time looking at images of bears, studying them, and observing live bears in zoos and elsewhere before attempting the sculpture.

Though her career at Mott had been as an athletic coach and psychology professor, Dash said her interest in art began early in her life. As early as age 6 she attended classes at the Chicago Art Institute and later took art classes at the Syracuse Art Institute when her family move there. At Mott, after she stepped down from coaching in 1991, she began taking nearly all the art classes and credits MCC art professors Jim Ames and Sam Morello with reawakening and sharpening her art skills.

The Centennial Prints show is open to the public and will be on display at the Fine Arts Gallery in the Visual Arts and Design Center until Feb. 23.

Author: East Village Magazine

A Non-profit, Community News Magazine Since 1976

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