Since the early nineties, Nancy Macko has drawn upon images of the honeybee society to explore the relationships between art, science, technology and ancient matriarchal cultures. Today, she combines elements of painting, printmaking, digital media, photography, video, and installation to create a unique visual language. This combination of media allows her to examine and respond to issues related to eco-feminism, nature, and the importance of ancient matriarchal cultures, as well as to explore her interest in the relationships between art and technology, science, evolution and ecology.

Macko’s mid-career survey show, Hive Universe: Nancy Macko, 1994-2006, was exhibited at the Municipal Art Gallery in Los Angeles in 2006-7 and was accompanied by a full color catalog. This was the most substantive and comprehensive examination of her work to date and included over 60 pieces spanning various media—traditional and digital prints, video, and mixed media works on wood panels. As part of the national Feminist Art Project, Hive Universe was the forerunning exhibition in Los Angeles to recognize the achievements of the feminist art movement. Her work has been reviewed and written  about in Artweek,  ArtScene,  Artillery,  Coast,  exposure,  Daily  Serving, LA Weekly and the LA Times among other publications and journals.

For ten years Macko documented the life cycle of the vegetables she raised in her garden, the honeybees that pollinated them and bee-attracting flora using a macro lens in order to reveal the less apparent, less obvious features concealed within these beautiful specimens. She captures them from bud, to bloom to seed -- all manifestations of the life cycle. Her research included documenting native bee-attracting flora, beginning in Southern California and branching out to the higher elevation area of the Rocky mountains, the northeast US and even to Stockholm, Amsterdam and Berlin. Portions of this work was presented as The Fragile Bee, an exhibition first shown at the Museum of Art and History in Southern California in 2015, which has since traveled to venues in the US including Colorado, Iowa and Texas. From 2019-24 the work will have traveled to Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Connecticut, Louisiana, Alabama, Pennsylvania, New York and Georgia--a total of 18 venues.

Her previous explorations addressed issues of memory loss, dementia and cognitive decline –changes she witnessed as they affected her mother’s mental health.  Uniting a life-long commitment to incorporate a spiritual respect for the world with her subject matter, Macko integrated aspects of aging and decline with notions of the spirit of life regardless of what point on the continuum we find ourselves. This work, shown from 2011-14, was realized as Hopes and Dreams: A Visual Memoir. Her most recent work, Decompositions, is a realization and a concrescence of all that has come before. The work presents death and decomposition not as a hard stop, but as a change of state. The compost in these photographs is both metaphor and reality, representing change and transformation in ways that are both beautiful and surprising. Her interest in 'end of life' has clearly informed her photography.

Originally from New York, Macko received her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin and her graduate degrees from the University of California, Berkeley with a concentration in painting and printmaking. She has been a practicing artist since the early 1980’s, producing over fifty solo exhibitions and participating in over 150 exhibitions both  nationally and abroad. She has received more than 30 research and achievement awards for her art. She has traveled extensively and has had highly productive artist residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada and the Musee d’Pont Aven in Brittany, France.

Her work is in numerous public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Mount Holyoke College Museum of Art, New York Public Library, North Dakota Museum of Art, Portland Art Museum and the RISD Museum of Art.