Art

A Conversation with Area Fine Artist Nancy Hammond

Nancy Hammond Editions
Nancy Hammond Editions Store Front

It’s 10:30 a.m. on a windy Saturday in October, and I’m across the street from a line of people that begins at a beautifully designed art gallery storefront in the Annapolis Arts District on West Street and snakes down the street and around the corner. The line started forming in the wee hours of the morning, and only shows signs of getting longer.

This is the type of cue one normally sees when a big name rock band comes to town, or at TKTS in Times Square for discounted Broadway tickets. But this group of patient consumers is in line for something different; something they will take home to display in their home and treasure every day.

They’re waiting in line in front of Nancy Hammond Editions (192 West Street) to receive the 2017 Annual Chesapeake Poster by fine artist Nancy Hammond, entitled “Crescent Moon”.  This year’s poster is crisp, lovely, and another beautiful example of the accomplished work that Nancy Hammond has been creating for decades. There is great advantage to waiting in line for it: this sought-after, signed, limited-edition poster is just $75 (incredible!) today only, and the first 250 early birds also receive goodie bags—all of which are long gone well before I arrive.

Artist Nancy Hammond greets every person who comes into her gallery, and it’s clear she is genuinely interested in each one of them. Her staff, headed up by her daughter-in-law and right-hand business person Kate Hammond, has the process down to a science. People move through the gallery without being rushed, making their purchases and possibly adding a hat or t-shirt to their orders. Mixed in with the new are return customers and friends. Nancy is well known in the region.

This phenomenon of the Nancy Hammond poster collection and people camping out overnight to be first to obtain it began decades ago when Nancy lived in Eastport and opened a gallery on State Circle. What set this Rhode Island School of Design educated artist apart from other fine artists when she first started was the seamless marriage of fine art and commerce, which was the focus of our interview.

I “met” Nancy over the phone, as she now lives on the Eastern Shore, in a place that she says is the most beautiful and wonderful place on earth, surrounded by nature where she can take long walks to clear her head and gain inspiration for her work.

Patrice Drago, Blogger
Patrice Drago

Patrice Drago is a full-time artist and freelance writer with a lifetime of experience in the travel and hospitality industry. Growing up in hotels up and down the East Coast from Maine to Florida she used her artistic and journalism skills to create a unique and adventurous career with Marriott International. Moving to Annapolis in 2002, she began a slow transition to focus solely focus on producing, writing about and supporting art and the art community. Patrice is an Artist In Residence at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, and she exhibits and sells her work in Maryland, New York and Maine. She writes the monthly Gallery Column for the Annapolis Capital newspaper, is an officer on the Boards of Directors of MFA (Maryland Federation of Art), and the newly revitalized Annapolis Arts District. Contact Patrice at: www.patricedragofineart.com or www.patricedrago.com.