Nancy Jean Carrigan | AspenTimes.com

Nancy Jean Carrigan

Nancy Jean Carrigan (nee Bohn) of Warrenville and Aspen passed away peacefully July 18 at Arden Courts Memory Care Community, Geneva, Illinois. She was born February 24, 1933 in Champaign to the late Dr. Adolph Bohn and Edith Bohn. She is survived by her husband of sixty years, Dick Carrigan, her children Caroline Carrigan and Steve Carrigan and their wives and children.

Nancy Carrigan was a Chicago area artist and poet. From 1997 on she lived and worked part time in Aspen. She was an active member of the Aspen Writers Group and attended Aspen Summer Words for a number of years.

Carrigan’s art work spanned many media including painting, sculpture, and engraving. A large mixed medium sculpture of a rider on a horse from her Choreographer’s Dreams series received an award of excellence in the New Horizons in Art show at the Chicago Cultural Center in 1984.

A familiar piece by Carrigan was a sculpture Great Balls of Fire commissioned by Disney for the former ESPN Zone in Chicago. It depicted skewered basketballs representing the NCAA tournament. More recently Carrigan has done a set of large Women in Shakespeare paintings. Some of these have been exhibited in a recent roving exhibit Chicago Artists Interpret Shakespeare.

Nancy also worked extensively in poetry and writing. She saw a deep relation between the activities. She and other artists incorporated some of her poems in their paintings.

In the last decades she has composed a number of prize-winning poems. One, Notes on an Ancient Chinese Flute, won a grand prize in the Dancing Poetry Competition in San Francisco. The prize resulted in Carrigan going to China as a guest of the Chinese government. With her husband, Nancy published two science fiction adventure novels. One, The Siren Stars, was translated into French and also cited as a great of cyber fiction.

Carrigan was also involved in stage production and presentation. In the eighties she merged her interests in art with stage sets and costumes for several Chicago ballet troupes. When her husband joined Fermilab, she became involved in the nascent Fermilab arts program, leading it for several years. Through the efforts of many, that program has become one of the important cultural venues in the Chicago suburbs.

Carrigan graduated from the University of Illinois in 1954 in journalism with a minor in art. At Illinois she was a 1952 inductee into Torch for her work on Star Course and Club Commons. In her senior year she attended Northwestern. She also did advanced work at Carnegie-Mellon and College of DuPage. Before devoting herself full-time to art and writing she was an editor for the University of Illinois College of Agriculture, the Water Well Journal in Urbana, and an early editor of the New Mexico State alumni magazine.

Carrigan was a member of the Chicago Artist Coalition, the Poet’s Club of Chicago, and the Illinois State Poetry Society and a founding member of the Mythopian Artist Group.


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