Portrait Reading Event

The newest cultural venue called Portrait Reading Events was conceived by accomplished portrait artist, Nanci Burnside. This night out at the theater, combines Nanci’s gift of oil painting and storytelling. Grace Williams, head of resident services at St. Andrews said, “It was the best event she ever witnessed.”

So what is a portrait reading? Ms. Burnside comes to your club, organization or church with; drop cloth, backdrops, lighting and her painting supplies. At 10 AM she starts painting the models’ portrait, then over lunch she listens as the model answers pre-approved questions. At 2:30 the model leaves and Nanci finishes the painting via photographs taken periodically during the sitting.

Next, at a private Preview Party participants see their finished portrait and proof read their lifestories. The stage is now set for the public to experience this magical new art venue called Portrait Reading.

At 7 pm the St. Andrew’s auditorium lights were turned off except for 2 pin lights. One light lit the stage where the model was seated in the same pose as when her portrait was painted; the other lit the now framed portrait painting. For one hour the audience plays art critic. They compared the 14 oil paintings to the model as they listen to their fellow resident’s life-story being narrated by Ms. Burnside. The room grew quite, then applause for a life well lived, laughter over a good joke, other times you could hear a pin drop. Everyone grew a little closer as they learned interesting tid-bits about their neighbor’s lives. One story that stood out was from the perspective of a young 16 year old German girl living in Hamburg during WWII and her reception upon relocating to America in the late 40’s. The hearing of true life testimonies is powerful.

Ms. Burnside says, “To just start painting and render a portrait that other people recognize… is truly God. He gave me the idea, talents and desire to paint, write and produce these events. I believe He w