Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Nancy and Maggie Worthen at The World's Smallest Art Gallery

Nancy and Maggie Worthen are exhibiting in The World’s Smallest Art Gallery* through May 1, 2015.

 Nancy and Maggie Worthen are a mother/daughter duo from Rhode Island.  Nancy attended Douglass College in New Brunswick, NJ, where she received a BA in sociology and religion.  After college, Nancy returned home to Rhode Island, married and lived in Carolina, RI with her husband and her daughter Maggie.  Nancy worked in non­profit management at the Westerly Center for the Arts, Providence Children’s Museum, Ready to Learn Providence, and Providence CityArts for Youth.  Nancy’s passion has been to inspire others to serve in these mission driven organizations, while helping them to learn skills that foster reflection and self-discovery.  She is currently a volunteer at the Fertile Underground Natural Grocery Cooperative and the West Broadway Neighborhood Association, supporting local art and gardening through her work with these organizations.     

Nancy’s daughter Maggie had many interests while she was growing up in Rhode Island and dreamed of being both a fluent speaker of Spanish and becoming a Veterinarian.  While at Smith College, Maggie achieved her dream of becoming a fluent speaker of Spanish, and was well on her way to achieving her dream of becoming a Veterinarian.  In 2006 during her senior year at Smith College, Maggie had a severe brain stem stroke one week before her graduation.  For the first eighteen months after her stroke, Maggie was diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state.  After participating in a Cornell and Columbia University research project, the doctors discovered a way for Maggie to communicate using eye movement and her diagnosis changed to minimally conscious.  Maggie is able to communicate with eye movement as well as comprehend written and spoken words.  At the end of 2012, several words that Maggie spoke were recorded during a research visit to Rockefeller University in New York City.  As a consequence, her caregivers are expanding their therapy to include hand over hand movements during personal care, art therapy, massage and recreation activities, in order to enhance her sensory stimulation.
 Nancy and Maggie have always shared a close mother/daughter bond.  The creation of MagsArts embodies their dream of working together as business partners, as well as their shared love of artistic creation.  The art that Nancy and Maggie make together reflects their love of nature, of color, of animals and of each other.  As they hold hands using the brush or pencil in the process of painting and drawing (Maggie is unable to move on her own), feelings between them are understood without words. Nancy and Maggie’s meditation practice helps them to stay in the present moment while selecting color or subject for a painting. Their art therapist Jeannine Bestoso teaches both Maggie and Nancy techniques such as hand over hand painting, acrylic and watercolor painting techniques, color mixing and perspective as well as offering them drawing exercises that stimulate Maggie’s visual acuity and muscle memory. Nancy’s authentic movement experience informs her meditation and art practice, as well as her ability to see into her daughter’s heart.

 All of Nancy and Maggie’s art is available for sale at .  All funds raised from sales will be used for Margaret Worthen's care, including massage, acupuncture, art therapy sessions and travels in her van.

     For further information, contact Nancy Worthen at or on

* The World’s Smallest Art Gallery is:

·      A kiosk on the South County Bike Path ( It is located in Peace Dale where the bike path crosses Route 108. The kiosk is a beautifully designed and built structure that has two display cases. Each measures 42” X 41” x 1”. The cases are weatherproof and have sturdy locks.

·      A joint project of Hera Gallery ( and  Peace Dale Neighborhood Revitalization, Inc. (

·      A place to show your artwork. Hera Gallery will be managing the kiosk as a place for artists to display their work. You may have a six-week, one-person show in the kiosk on a first come, first serve basis. Work is not juried, but must be “family friendly.” Artists are asked to choose work that does not depict nudity, sexuality or violence. Neither Hera Gallery nor PDNRI will insure the work. Artists display work at their own risk.

·      A way of having your work seen by a lot of people. The bike path has very heavy traffic, especially during the Spring, Summer and early Fall. Many bikers, runners and walkers pass by every hour. There will not be sales from the Kiosk, but your display can include your contact information. Hera Gallery will publicize The World’s Smallest Gallery on its website, blog, and Constant Contact mailings. A Facebook page will be developed.

·      A way to beautify the community. The stretch of the bike path where the kiosk is located contains other artwork including murals, sculpture, mosaics, and landscape architecture. The World’s Smallest Art Gallery will add to the beautification of this area.
Rhonda LaPorte is the coordinator of this project for Hera Gallery. If you are interested in showing your artwork on the bike path contact John at to get more details and to schedule a show.

No comments: