Carolina Artist Gallery: Rare Fish Rubbings by Local Artist Nancy Gorr

Rare Fish Rubbings by Iconic Local Artist, Nancy Gorr Are For Sale 

artGuide art news blog presents information about Carolina Artist Gallery's rare fish rubbings! Artist Nancy Gorr transfers fish to paper using unconventional Japanese techniques. These paintings will be available in Morehead City, April 23, 2017.

Several pieces of rare, original art and many prints created in the unusual Japanese technique of Gyotaku, or fish rubbing, by well-known local artist Nancy Gorr are presented for sale by Carolina Artist Gallery on April 23, 2017, at a special reception from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The event celebrates the contributions of Gorr to the local arts from her arrival in Morehead City in 1995 until her recent move to Fallbrook, Calif., to be with family as she navigates her nineties.

Gorr was an avid fisherman from the Oceanana Pier in Atlantic Beach and other hot spots, and her network of fishermen friends helped to supply her with the fresh fish and other creatures with which to create her paintings.

The remarkable Gyotaku art technique applies pigment to real fish, which is then gently rubbed onto handmade Japanese rice paper to create an image. Other sea creatures such as shrimp, crabs, seahorses, squid, octopus and goldfish and a variety of herbs are used in the same manner.

Gorr often painted seaweed, shells and mermaids into her compositions to create fanciful underwater scenes. She said that she delights in finding imperfect specimens and feels that scars and bite marks are the battle ribbons of deep sea confrontations that give her images personality.

“Nancy’s work is truly unique, and she is a founding member of the gallery,” said Sheila Brodnick, artist and member of the gallery board of directors. “She has given so much to the arts in this area. This is the last of the work she will create here, so it’s a real opportunity for people to buy both the originals and the prints.

“She said that she was finished painting, but I heard that she has asked for a box of pastels out in California,” she added. “So I guess you can’t stop a real artist from working.”

In 1995, Nancy was commissioned to create the North Carolina Seafood Festival commemorative poster. Her design, The Chase, features a school of Spanish mackerels and mullet minnows and also was awarded first place honors at the state’s Association of Festivals and Events Conference. That same year the Carteret Council of Women named her Distinguished Woman of the Year in Arts.

Her paintings have won numerous other awards and are exhibited in galleries and shops in various states. Two of her rubbings were accepted into a collection of 64 prints and rubbings from the United States, Japan, Chile and England entitled Artist Nature: Plant, Animal & Stone Printing and exhibited at the Forest Lawn Museum in Glendale, Calif.

She is also known for her fruit and floral oil paintings in the trompe-l’oeil style, which means literally “fool the eye” because of its realism. Her painting on wood, Fresh Vegetables, won an honorable mention in the Kennedy production Best Artists and Artisans-NC 2005. This juried book series beautifully showcases 100 pieces of art from across North Carolina and is listed online with Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and It is available in various museums and galleries around the country.

Gorr grew up in Pittsburgh, Penn., graduating from Mt. Lebanon High School and later Carnegie Institute of Technology, now Carnegie Mellon University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree with majors in chemistry and psychology. She also studied piano at Pittsburgh Music Institute.

While in Morehead City, she shared her knowledge and enthusiasm for art by being involved with many organizations, schools and programs that promote the arts, especially for children, and enjoyed teaching painting and fish rubbing classes regularly. She was a member of the Carteret County Arts and Crafts Coalition, the Carteret County Arts Council and the U.S. Nature Printing Society, an international group.

In a past interview, Gorr said that she was happy in North Carolina. Having enjoyed a lifelong career and travels, she added a small sea gull above the “N” in her signature to identify her local paintings.

“It is a peaceful and simple life living by this ocean that I love,” she said. “Artists are more creative when they are content with their surroundings. God is creative; and in His likeness, we, too, express creativeness--each in our own special way.”

Carolina Artist Gallery, located in downtown Morehead City, is a cooperative of approximately 30 members who live in the area and whose unique, local perspectives often are reflected in their art. They range from classically trained traditionalists to the contemporary and self-taught experimenters. The gallery presents paintings in oils, acrylics, pastels, watercolor and mixed media; photography; jewelry; clay; fiber; glass; and metals. 

This year, the gallery observes its 21st anniversary of welcoming visitors from all over the country who find that stopping by is a must-do to see and support authentic, local art.  In addition to Carolina Artist Gallery, the non-profit organization does community outreach to encourage the awareness of art in everyday life. It operates a hands-on clay arts program for special needs adults and other classes at Mulberry Street Studio in Beaufort, N.C.

Carolina Artist Gallery is located at 800 Evans St., Morehead City, N.C. For more information, call 252-726-7550, go to, or FaceBook. Regular hours are 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.