Here are the artists Sandra Loy (sloy) and Dave Nichols (nic) in a photo taken by their good friend painter Rob Bibler (with painter April Waters taking a view in the gallery tonight).

She a writer/artist and he a painter/sculptor.  For years they have been making art in Salem, art of a personal and terrific sort.  They have a show up “nic & sloy: Side by Side” at the Hallie Ford Museum of art which opened tonight and runs until January 28, 2018.  It was a full house tonight

and my photos reflect the inability to get an angle or a full shot…you just are going to have to go and see.

And why?  Because the work of either alone would be worth seeing but together there is a rare conversation.  Composition, energy, ideas, craftsmanship yet spontaneity, they have it all.

Dave (nic) is a painter and a master of construction and precision.  His pieces are beautifully made and hilarious, serious, poignant.

Sandra is a writer, a poet who turned to visual art (this series hits on song lyrics by Sonny Boy Williamson)

and the label is total sloy

and whose understanding of the power of repetition in writing and painting makes for some powerful work.

Dave works with corrugated cardboard a lot and sometimes makes containers for Sandra’s work

His paintings sometimes look like calligraphy

Her paintings occasionally grab some of his colors…

and “Side by Side” is the truth.  They work in their studio/house side by side.  They work hard and long.  They listen to music and talk sometimes, but they are both workers…and I understand that.  We look at a lot of art work and for me I’m always looking for “original” “fresh” “able” ….for art that comes out of the working heads of artists without too much static from other art being made around them.  This is such work and luckily you have TWO WHOLE MONTHS to come take a look.  The show was organized by John Olbrantz and masterfully hung by Jonathan Bucci and Silas Cook.  The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10-5 and Sunday from 1-5, closed Mondays.




  1. Can’t wait to see it! Thanks for the preview Bonnie. Your account almost makes up for the dissapointment of not being able to make the opening. Theirs is a unique and inspiring partnership in art and in life.

  2. thank you bonnie for the great pictures and wonderful words. it means a lot to me that you express such belief in our work. we work over here every night never expecting it to go anywhere. to be in a museum show and the focus of an “on the way” post is killer cool! “smack”, dave

    1. You’re welcome. Wouldn’t write it if it wasn’t true. The fact that you aren’t making the work for any show but because you want to make that work is part of it’s strength. xxoo right back

  3. It was an amazing experience and I was so happy to see it. You two deserve the highest accolades. I know how much time, space and heart you put into your work. I love both you very much. Your sister, Mary

  4. bonnie…”conversation!” you have named it for us.

    btw, i have sent the link to this marvelous “review” of our reception and show to 32 friends and family so far. can’t help myself. it’s AWESOME! thank you. san

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