An artist’s changing outlook
Nancy Ungar finds a new way to create after an MS diagnosis.
by Nancy Ungar
I have always been an artist, exhibiting professionally in New York City since 1976. I have worked in many media, and often on a large scale. I really liked the physicality of making art: Heavy lifting, carpentry and standing all day were as necessary as imagination and intelligence.
I started limping in 2000 but continued doing large paintings, room-size installations and tile murals. I was diagnosed with primary progressive MS in 2006 and, that year, I found my energy was zapped. The next year, I broke my ankle. So I switched to small paintings that I could do while seated. But part of the training for artists is backing up to see your work from a distance. So being “in the zone,” I would get off my stool, fall and bang my head. I needed a new way of working.
Computer art was the answer. It gave me so much freedom with so little effort! The first two years’ work often reflected my frustration with this disease, my fear and my mourning for my once strong, agile body. Now, as my body continues to deteriorate, I still make art. I do miss the physicality, but, as an artist, I am not disabled; I am fulfilled.
Nancy Ungar lives in Maryland. She was diagnosed with MS in 2006.
See more of Nancy’s work on her website.