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Meet Our Teachers – Nancy Ostergar

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Have you seen the new Winter Class List? We have some exciting new editions to our class lineup and the return of some favorites! One of our most popular teachers returning is Nancy Ostergar, who has been teaching classes in Calligraphy, Bookmaking, Water Color, and Printmaking. This winter she is teaching three classes that we are so excited about! Beginning Calligraphy – Foundational Alphabet (Roman Lowercase) begins this Wednesday January 15 and the 3-session class will lay the foundation for your education in traditional calligraphy techniques. Additional Calligraphy instruction in Uncial, Gothic, and Italic will follow in separate 3-class sessions. Nancy is also leading a class where you can come and make Four Fun Handmade Valentines! All materials are provided for this class – wouldn’t this be so great to just show up with a group of your sisters or friends on Saturday February 1 and leave with unique handmade Valentines?? Her third class aims to improve your everyday handwriting by starting at the basics. Improve Your Handwriting: Cursive is Not Dead! is a two session class beginning on Saturday April 12.

To help you get to know Nancy a little bit better, we asked her a few questions. Enjoy!

Nancy teaching a Water Color Painting class at Harmony

Nancy teaching a Water Color Painting class at Harmony

You’ve been offering a very popular Calligraphy class at the shop, but you also paint and draw! What has the artist’s path looked like for you and when did you start a serious study of penmanship? What is it about calligraphy that interests and inspires you?

It took me 17 years and 9 children before I graduated from BYU in English Lit.  I had always dreamt of majoring in art but it didn’t happen, for various reasons. I took art classes whenever I could but felt a great affinity to letters, especially after my first calligraphy class in 1983 – the year I graduated from BYU! I just kept taking classes where ever I could and I joined the Utah Calligraphic Artist group.  They bring in professional teachers once or twice a year. This year we will have a workshop with Yves Leterme, a wonderful calligrapher who will be coming from Belgium.  Letters, for me, are a vehicle for thought and emotion. Beautiful letters can help create beautiful thoughts.

In 1965 when I got married, I started my art studio in a shoe box.  Now, I take up a whole room in the basement, which is fondly called the dungeon!

Inside page of wedding book.

Inside page of wedding book.

Wedding guest book cover.

Wedding guest book cover.

Everyone who comes into the shop loves the fabric covered Book of Mormons that you offer for sale. When did you begin learning the art of bookmaking?

What better way to showcase your lettering than through handmade books!  This was a natural progression for me. I took classes in bookbinding including an in-depth class in the Conservation Lab at the Lee Library at BYU. My first actual book was an alphabet book for my oldest grandson’s first birthday. The book was about family and I illustrated it with stickers!  I have created many journals and wedding guest books.

Nancy Ostergar Fabric Cover Book of Mormon

What artists and artwork inspire and excite you?

I am inspired by color and shape. I love the work of Paul Klee.  There are many calligrapher’s that I look to for instruction and example, including those in my guild, but Sheila Waters, Reggie Ezell and Carl Rohrs are several of the professionals that have helped me grow and stretch.  The work of Donald Jackson, who headed the team to do the Bible all by hand with gold leaf and incredible illustrations, is amazing.  BYU just purchased a full-scale replica of this 7-volume work!  The scriptures are a great source to me for beautiful thoughts.

Thank you Nancy for letting us get to know you a little! Call or come into the shop today to sign up for one of Nancy’s amazing classes! 801.615.0268

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