“Marysvale,” a 48” by 48” giclee (inkjet transfer), is one of many works of art by Manayunk artist Nancy Forman that are currently on display at Campbell’s Place, 8337 Germantown Ave., through mid-January at least. Marysvale is a small town in Utah where Forman saw this beat-up old truck.

by Lou Mancinelli
Recently, local photographer Nancy Forman and her husband Brian were driving around Bucks County when they noticed what they considered an interesting building. It was old, yet it sported solar panels. They investigated and chanced upon a vintage (we’ll say that term refers to pre-1960) REO Speed Wagon pickup truck on a farm atop a hill.

The only way Forman could place herself in the right location to capture the picture was to send her husband into a ditch and to lean on his torso while she contorted her body just the right way to capture the old truck with her Canon 50D digital camera.

Photographs of vintage pickup trucks that seem to blend like an element of nature among wide landscapes of open fields or bustling bushes, printed on canvases large enough to serve as centerpieces in a room, taken by Forman during her travels to the Southwestern U.S. and other places are currently featured through mid-January at Campbell’s Place, 8337 Germantown Ave.

During the couple’s southwestern forays, Mr. Forman demonstrated the tendency to explore off-road adventures. “Being a girl, I wasn’t that interested at first,” said Nancy, who was educated at Moore College of Art, the University of the Arts and Philadelphia University, “but when I took pictures of these old trucks, when I would crop the picture, for whatever reasons, they would just look so beautiful.” (The Formans happen to own their own 1954 bright orange vintage GMC pickup.)

It was about six months ago, while she was having lunch at Elcy’s, a café in Glenside that features the work of local artists on its walls, when a friend suggested that Nancy hang her own pictures, which to that point she had only sometimes given to friends. Forman contacted the owner, exchanged a few emails, and it was arranged for her work to be displayed at Elcy’s.

In addition to new photography venture, Mrs. Forman and her husband own and operate Performance Kitchens, a 22-year-old Manayunk-based custom contracting company that designs, builds and renovates kitchens, baths, bedrooms and other rooms of the home.

Nancy is seen with some of her artworks that are currently on display on the walls at Campbell’s Place.

Her photography background is rooted in taking photos for her business, as well as travel photography. Often it is the vivid pinks, greens, blues and oranges of a hummingbird or orchird that capture her eye. To that extent, a trip to Ecuador yielded colorful pictures one can view at juniperwinddesigns.com along with photos of cactuses, canyons and red rocks that words could only serve to cheapen. There is also her collection of photos of old barns.

Forman began printing her photographs on large canvases using an advanced Giclee printing system that provides ink-jet transfer onto museum-grade quality canvas. The image is wrapped on a one-and-one-half inch kiln-dried hardwood frame that enables durability at large sizes.

Forman was set to display her work at her friend’s store, TK Home and Garden, located in Hudson, a town in New York state. The store boasts 13-foot high ceilings. Nancy thought a large reproduction of a photograph would look as if it were a real painting. And the day she put up her “Shady Pickup,” a photo of a vintage red pickup truck, it sold.

On another occasion Nancy was dining at Campbell’s Place when she noticed the interior brick walls, and immediately thought her canvases could adorn the brick walls there, especially since she noticed there was featured artwork for sale on the walls already.

She contacted Vanessa Mullen, one of the owners, and as a result, Forman’s work is now on display at Campbell’s through mid-January. For more information, visit www.juniperwinddesigns.com.