New visual arts show celebrates women’s history in New Jersey


In honor of Women’s History Month, photographer, educator and author Nancy Ori of Berkeley Heights is exhibiting “Familiar Voices” at MPAC’s Starlight Galley through April 8.

Familiar Voices is a selection of photographs taken at several New Jersey historic sites that reveal the lives of New Jersey women through time, from the Revolutionary War to the 20th century. This theme is a tribute to the tireless work of women and a recognition of their countless contributions throughout history.

These images provide a balance of impressions between the architecture, furniture, costumes and artifacts of bygone eras and reflect the lives of women who lived, worked and played here in earlier times. Some images are romantic and painterly in style and contrast with the playful depictions of dolls and old toys that their children would have handled. Some are bold forms of kitchen utensils and objects presented almost like sculptures or still lifes and some are compound room layouts to offer a more formal and expansive view of their simple surroundings.

“Since 1970, I have traveled the world working on various educational and photographic projects, which has given me the opportunity to explore many popular and beloved places,” she said. “I have discovered that here in my own backyard there are wonderful sites to photograph and images to share. I am especially drawn to the stories of women in our local history.”

Ori received a master’s degree in visual communication from the Pratt Institute in New York and worked 25 years for Ciba-Geigy Pharmaceuticals and Novartis Pharmaceuticals as an in-house photographer and manager of video and photographic services.

She now owns the New Jersey Media Center, LLC in Berkeley Heights, where she continues to do product, portrait, and food photography. She also enjoys teaching photography globally and exhibiting her fine art photographs. Nancy was taught by Ansel Adams and then affiliated for many years with the Ansel Adams studio in California. She is currently on the faculty of several museums and teaches privately.

Often referred to as the “woman in charge of photography in New Jersey”, Nancy in 1994 founded the New Jersey Photography Forum, a group of professional and serious amateur photographers. Under his leadership, they became the largest and most recognized group of photographers exhibiting fine art in the state.

Ori’s work has been widely collected and exhibited in museums and galleries around the world. She has received numerous project grants and been chosen to participate in hundreds of art exhibitions, including the prestigious New Jersey Fine Arts Annual. His work is part of permanent collections of museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In addition to exhibiting her own work, Ori has curated and curated hundreds of exhibitions in a wide variety of venues internationally.

Learn more about her photography tours and local workshops by visiting or contacting her at [email protected] See his books:


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