Nancy Petry


Nancy Petry
Nancy Petry

Nancy Petry (born 1931) is a visual artist who divides her time between Montreal and London, England. A graduate of McGill University Fine Arts, she studied painting, printmaking and film in Paris and London. As Vice-Chairman of Véhicule Art from 1977–80, she represented the gallery at the Arte-Fiera, Bologna in 1977 and 1978 and was instrumental in introducing many international artists to Montreal and the rest of Canada.

She has exhibited widely in both Europe and North America with group and solo exhibitions, and her work is in many public and private collections. Her artistic output includes painting, printmaking, photography, film and new media. She has traveled extensively in both Europe and the Far East. These trips have inspired her work.

A Message from Nancy Petry

I first met Joseph Plaskett at one of his exhibitions at a gallery on Sherbrooke Street in Montreal. He had come for his exhibition from Western Canada where he lived. He would always be at the vernissages. Then he moved to Paris; I stayed with him at his house on rue Pecquay in the Marais. It was a tall thin house with a circular staircase going up the middle. I stayed in a room on the top floor. The staircase went through the dining room where he always had a still life with fruit or flowers on the dining table, and an easel set up with a painting in progress.

We would go to exhibitions, go out and do some sketching, go to restaurants. I think he liked my watercolours of Paris and we would talk about art a lot. Later in his life, I visited him at his country home in Suffolk, England. it was a big house called “The Cedars”. He was always painting.

We both felt that leaving Canada and going to Europe was very important for artists. That’s why I moved to Paris. I could see the latest paintings and it was the centre of the art world during the 50,’s and 60’s. We both moved there to be at the centre of the art world at that time.

I started the Petry Award to give young painters a chance to broaden their artistic experience in Europe.