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The Color of the Spirit


Shea Stanfield
Arts Columnist

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Nature always wears the color of the spirit.” The mixed media, nature-inspired sculptures of local artist Nancy McIntosh surprise and delight their admirers and inspire the spaces they occupy. Dancing colored glass, springy spindly stalks, or bold reprehensive pieces add fun and fantastical focal points to any garden, atrium, entry, and home or business interior.

Nancy grew up in Minnesota, enjoying the great outdoors and open spaces that inspired her interest in art and design. She remembers always being very creative, although she did not consider herself an “artist” until much later in her life. She completed her degree in Interior Design with a minor in French at the University of Minnesota in 1977. Soon after graduation, Nancy entered the world of product development for the retail market. By age 30, Nancy’s career took her to New York City, where she continued to develop her skills in marketing and product development, eventually for her own import company in the gourmet housewares industry. After 20 years on the East Coast, Nancy moved to Phoenix, AZ to be closer to her family and enjoy a warmer climate.

The relocation to Arizona intensified Nancy’s love for color and organic shapes, moving her toward a new horizon working hands on in steel and glass. As Nancy would explain her production process, “My initial welding work is done in a studio workshop in Mesa. My glass and finishing work to complete the pieces, is done in my home studio in Scottsdale.”  The end products dance in the light, delighting their space with splashes of ever-changing color, shadow, and form.

In a given year, Nancy participates in four shows and exhibits. These change depending on the direction her work is moving at the time. Currently, she is focused on developing her public art projects. The world of public presentation and design, after all, is Nancy’s foundation for her creativity. At the end of the day, Nancy considers herself a problem solver. She enjoys creating designs that work with, complement, and delight in their surroundings. 

To view a selection of Nancy McIntosh’s designs, schedule a studio tour, or commission a piece for your home, office or as a gift, visit her website at

Contact arts columnist Shea Stanfield at