SD Magazine features Vermillion artist Twenty years ago, Vermillion sculptor Nancy Losacker was living in a small, battered house without running water, earning her living as a waitress, bartender and auto mechanic. Today she is one of South Dakota's most innovative artists, a woman who sees the world through a unique prism. Managing editor Jerry Wilson tells her story, "Breaking the Mold," in the March/April issue of South Dakota Magazine.
Growing up, Losacker wanted to be a history teacher. "But I was a miserable student," she said. "I was considered stupid." The stumbling block was writing, especially spelling. Eventually a specialist discovered her problem was dyslexia. She saw words and processed experience in a different way.
A friend talked Losacker into taking a drawing class two afternoons a week, just for fun. Life has never been the same. She finished an art degree in 1982 and set out to make a living creating art.
That's never been easy, especially for artists impelled by an original vision. If any word fits Losacker, it's original. Every year or two she recreates herself, launching a new series of colorful sculptures, often female images painted on carved slabs of cottonwood in her studio in a cramped, low cement block building, a former shoe repair shop on Elm Street with a red bumper sticker by the door that reads, "Get real. Buy Art."
Losacker has come a long way in 20 years as one of South Dakota's most innovative artists. But one thing hasn't changed. She still sees the world a little differently from most other people. For that, we can be glad.
South Dakota Magazine is a statewide magazine, published bimonthly in Yankton.