An Artist, An Influence

I started volunteering at the Hardy Gallery as a docent and asked to learn more about the process of hanging an exhibit. Beth (the Hardy’s Executive Director) introduced me to a self-proclaimed “forever 27-year-old” artist by the name of Tom Seagard. Seagard has volunteered his time for many years hanging the exhibits at the Hardy. Not only did I learn how to hang a proper show, but also there was an added bonus: as we hung each piece, he would discuss what made it a good piece of art.

While finding the best spot for each piece of artwork, Seagard would point out things such as how the artist made the artwork for himself. Often quoting from a professor of his, John Ernst, he helped me to see more of how the artist was “honest” about their work, the techniques that were theirs alone, and what made their artwork stand out among others. He would point out places where the artist demonstrated total command of the technique and composition. After all of these critiques I understand better how important it is for the artist to respect the viewer and treat them honestly.

Seagard has helped me take another look at my previous works of art, look into myself more, and create what really excites me. In doing this I feel that I am respecting the viewer more because I am truly giving more of myself than what I did before. I find myself looking deeper into my artwork and the work of others.

Thank you, Tom, for taking me to a higher level of quality.

Marcia Nickols is an artist living in Ephraim, and her work can be seen at the Gallery of the Door County Art League at the Top of the Hill Shops in Fish Creek as well as at PKJ Designs Gallery in Ephraim and Charlene’s Gallery Ten in Gills Rock. For more about Marcia’s art, please visit

The Peninsula Pulse has partnered with the Hardy Gallery to present the series, “An Artist, An Influence.” For more information about The Hardy, call 920.421.2595, email [email protected] or visit