Nantandy (née Wilda Nan Tandy), an artist and Westbeth resident, died on Jan. 23 at age 88 in New York City, where she had lived for the last third of her life.
Nantandy was a painter, sculptor, muralist, gallery owner and educator who was born and raised in western Texas. She pursued her college degrees in California, and was one of the first artists to create sculptured three-dimensional canvases in the 1960s.
Her art spanned many phases and genres over the course of a lifetime, from award-winning watercolors in the ’50s, to figure studies, portraits and sculptural canvases during her years of higher education and teaching.
After retiring from education, Nan created Jackson Pollock-style abstract expressionist pieces, before concentrating most of her time during her later years honing her skills as a muralist.
Nan was a vibrant, passionate, intelligent, creative force who left an impact wherever she went. Her artwork has been collected and shown both nationally and internationally, receiving many awards during her 70-year career in Texas, California and New York.
Nan was predeceased by her husband, Harold S. Ronson, parents, Dr. and Mrs. H. B. Tandy, and older brother, Bland J. Tandy. She is survived by her brothers, Kerry S. Tandy of Arizona, and Robert Mills Tandy of Costa Rica. Nan is also survived by her four children, Wesley West of New Mexico, Barbara DeWoody of California, and Wilda Won and Jim West of Texas, as well as eight grandchildren and many cousins, nieces, nephews and great-grandchildren.
She is also survived by her decade-plus healthcare aide, Morlin Gittens, who was a godsend to her, and dear friends John Peters and Lynn Pacifico.
“She was a familiar site in the neighborhood on her scooter, with her big smile,” Pacifico said. “She knew many of us. Nan told me that she was the first artist to do structured canvases, but being a woman artist, both she and her work were overlooked back then.”
A small memorial with her children and friends was held at her beloved home in Westbeth Artists Housing, and a larger family reunion/memorial will be held in Texas in early summer. In honor of her father’s memory, Nan donated her remains to New York University medical school to assist with the training of future doctors.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to a fine-arts education program, medical school or hospice-care program of your choice. The family wishes to thank Visiting Nurse Service of New York hospice for their exemplary assistance during Nan’s final days.