From August 29 - September 26, The Folk Tree presents a one person exhibition of work by Pasadena artist Nancy Romero. Entitled Morality Play, the show features a number of kinetic, wind-up and interactive pieces inspired by Romero's longstanding love of folk art and the toys she has collected over the years during her travels throughout Mexico, Peru, Japan, Europe, and the United States. The opening reception is scheduled for Saturday, August 29, from 2 - 6 P.M.

Though "playful" in approach, many of her "unswervingly figurative and narrative" pieces focus on the controversial issue of morality and the many ways of viewing it. "There is no ultimate right or wrong," says the artist. "Those concepts are colored by our cultural world views. My art looks at how individuals and, on a grander scale, cultures, establish their own set of ethical rules." She explores, without judgment, the ensuing conflicts that result when varying beliefs collide.

Toys made of humble materials yet demonstrating sophisticated engineering fascinate Romero. Her exhibition includes technically challenging kinetic pieces, for which she enlisted the mechanical and creative skills of Marc Salazar. Other interactive works are based on simpler toy designs she has encountered. Also on view are several paintings done in tempera.

Romero was raised in an artistic household. Her mother was a painter and later founded the Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles. Her grandparents were musicians. She began graduate school in the field of anthropology, but while doing fieldwork in a small village in southern Mexico she "became disillusioned with the web of statistics and flow charts."
She gave up her formal schooling to pursue her real interest in mythology and the Campbell/Jungian ideas she was so passionate about in college. "I drifted towards art inevitably, though beginning in ceramics and commercial design...It was meeting and marrying the artist, Frank Romero, which launched my painting career. He had so much fun painting, I couldn't help but join him."

The artist says of her work, "I like to tell stories. The subject matter is suggested by personal experiences: marriage, childbirth, divorce, grandchildren, traveling, and growing things, but then I make a jump into the universal plane and try to uncover its archetypal underpinnings." One of the themes the artist returns to again and again is "morality and the many ways we perceive and use it."

Romero has exhibited with Robert Berman Gallery, Double Vision Gallery, and has had shows with the Carnegie Museum, USC Fisher Gallery, University of Judaism Art Gallery,
and El Camino College Art Gallery, among others.

The Folk Tree is located near the heart of Old Pasadena at 217 S. Fair Oaks Ave.
Gallery hours are: M-W, 11-6; Th-Sat, 10-6; Sun, 12-5. For more information,
contact Gail Mishkin at 626/793-4828 or The Folk Tree at 626/795-8733.