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 mathematics, and prime numbers in particular, in which she attempts to make explicit the implicit connections between nature and technology.

Throughout her career she has had an enduring love and use of photography in her artistic practice. She became immersed in a world she refers to as intimate spaces and developed a body of purely photographic work that takes the viewer into a space of light, air and unfamiliar textures. Using a macro lens to shoot nature subjects from her garden at close range, the images are then realized as large scale photographic works. The images are erotic and sexy, poignant and tender, sometimes abject and unsettling challenging the viewer to experience an image that is not easily defined by familiar landmarks or visual cues. In this work Macko looks at beauty, aging, intimacy and subtlety showing us the essential core that runs through all of her work.

For the last ten years, Macko has been photographing 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 current research includes documenting native bee-attracting flora, beginning in Southern California and branching out to the higher  elevation area of the Rocky mountains, the northeast and even Berlin, Germany. This work was first presented as The Fragile Bee, an exhibition first shown at the Museum of Art and History in Lancaster, CA in 2015 and has since traveled to venues in the US including Colorado, Iowa and Texas. From 2019-21 the work will travel to Michigan, Connecticut and Louisiana.

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 interest in 'end of life' has clearly informed her photography.

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.

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 30 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: Denison Library and the Samella Lewis Collection of Contemporary Art at Scripps College; the Arithmeum Museum at the University of Bonn; the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Art, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; Bell Gallery at Brown University; the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Mount Holyoke College Museum of Art; the New York Public Library; the North Dakota Museum of Art; Pomona College Museum of Art; Gilkey Center for Graphic Art, Portland Art Museum; the RISD Museum of  Art; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.