By Martha Nodar
For a quarter century, Lloyd Nick has traveled the world looking for extraordinary pieces to display at Oglethorpe University’s art museum.
His selections through the years have won him fans and helped place the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art to the foreground of the visual arts scene in Atlanta, said Jay Lutz, Oglethorpe’s French professor and member of the museum’s advisory board.
“Lloyd’s intuition about exhibitions is always right on target,” Lutz said. “We traveled together to France to obtain the prints for the “Before and After Gauguin” exhibition two years ago. Lloyd’s standards are very high, and the intimate atmosphere of OUMA comes from his personal commitment to it.” The museum now is showing “Henri Matisse: A Celebration of French Poets & Poetry.” The exhibit, which runs through May 9, is part of the first North American tour of a group of Matisse’s prints collected by French art publisher Albert Skira.
“We were asked to display this exhibition based on our impressive list of previous shows,” Nick said.
“I was equally impressed by the museum as I was by the Matisse exhibition,” said Pascal Le Deunff, the Buckhead-based French consul to the southeast. “Both are exquisite.”
Nick said the museum will host a series of lectures connected to this exhibition. He also is scheduled to speak about at the February meeting of the Brookhaven Community Connection about the Matisse exhibition.
Nick, originally from Rochester, N.Y., holds a Master’s of Arts degree in painting from the University of Pennsylvania. He is the recipient of the Lexus Leader of the Arts Award for his contributions to promoting international culture in Atlanta.
He joined Oglethorpe 26 years ago as an art instructor. “I taught painting, drawing, printmaking, art history,” Nick said. “I created the art department, an art major and minor, and founded Oglethorpe’s Art Gallery, which later grew into our current museum.”
For the past 17 years, the Oglethorpe museum has occupied the third floor of the Philip Weltner Library. It overlooks the academic quadrangle.
“Lloyd uses art to bridge the cultural distance between the United States and the rest of the world,” said Veronica Holmes, Oglethorpe philosophy professor and chairwoman of the museum’s advisory board. “Lloyd chooses all the exhibitions through his deep understanding of the connection between the human creative process and the quality of life.”