Originally from New York, Macko received her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin and her graduate degrees from the University of California, Berkeley with a concentration in painting and printmaking. She has been a practicing artist since the early 1980’s, producing over 20 solo exhibitions and participating in over 150 exhibitions both nationally and abroad. She has received more than 30 research and achievement awards for her art. She has traveled extensively and has had highly productive artist residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada and the Musee d’Pont Aven in Brittany, France.
Her work is in numerous public collections including: Denison Library and the Samella Lewis Collection of Contemporary Art at Scripps College; the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Art, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; Bell Gallery at Brown University; the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Mount Holyoke College Museum of Art; the New York Public Library; the North Dakota Museum of Art; Pomona College Museum of Art; Gilkey Center for Graphic Art, Portland Art Museum; and the RISD Museum of Art.
Since the early nineties, Nancy Macko has drawn upon images of the honeybee society to explore the relationships between art, science, technology and ancient matriarchal cultures. Today, she combines elements of painting, printmaking, digital media, photography, video, and installation to create a unique visual language. This combination of media allows her to examine and respond to issues related to eco-feminism, nature, and the importance of ancient matriarchal cultures, as well as to explore her interest in mathematics, and prime numbers in particular, in which she attempts to make explicit the implicit connections between nature and technology.
Her most recent explorations have addressed issues of memory loss, dementia and cognitive decline –changes she witnessed as they affected her mother’s mental health. Uniting a life long commitment to incorporate a spiritual respect for the world with her subject matter, Macko integrates aspects of aging and decline with notions of the spirit of life regardless of what point on the continuum we find ourselves.
Macko’s mid-career survey show, Hive Universe: Nancy Macko, 1994-2006, was exhibited at the Municipal Art Gallery in Los Angeles in 2006-7 and was accompanied by a full color catalog. This was the most substantive and comprehensive examination of her work to date and included over 60 pieces spanning various media—traditional and digital prints, video, and mixed media works on wood panels. As part of the national Feminist Art Project, Hive Universe was the forerunning exhibition in Los Angeles to recognize the achievements of the feminist art movement. Her work has been reviewed and written about in Artweek, ArtScene, Artillery, Coast, exposure, Daily Serving, LA Weekly and the LA Times among other publications and journals.