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In memoriam: remembering Royston Nash, Sue Carstensen, Nancy Ellen Craig, and Sally Nerber

Royston Nash, Cape Cod Art Annual 2016

Royston Nash

A longtime conductor of the Cape Cod Symphony, Royston Nash passed away on April 4. He was 82. Nash, who grew up in Bournemouth, England, conducted the orchestra for 27 years, from 1980 until he retired in 2007.

According to Jung-Ho Pak, the symphony’s current conductor, the standard of excellence and respect that Nash set during his time with the baton has been integral for the symphony’s continued growth. “There was a civility there that Royston always maintained,” Pak says. “It was the secret of our success, and it will be the secret of our success moving forward.”
Sue Carstensen, Cape Cod Art Annual 2016

Sue Carstensen

Sue Carstensen, the founder of Birdsey on the Cape, passed away April 4 at the age of 67. Birdsey—Carstensen’s art gallery—was a treasure in the village of Osterville for 35 years, featuring the works of many up-and-coming local artists. “She was a huge figure in the business community in Osterville,” says Susie McLean, an artist and a close friend. “She left a huge hole in the fabric of the town.”

Carstensen was a character, McLean says, and will be missed. “I will always picture her sitting on a bench in the sun reading a book outside the gallery—always on duty,” McLean says. “That’s how I picture her in heaven.”
Nancy Ellen Craig, Cape Cod Art Annual 2016

Nancy Ellen Craig

Renowned portraitist and Truro resident Nancy Ellen Craig passed away in June of 2015. Regarded as an enigma due to her reclusive nature, the five-foot-tall Craig and her work were larger than life—the artist often depicted her Renaissance fantasy paintings on canvases upwards of 10 feet tall.

“She was extraordinarily talented,” says Berta Walker, the owner of Provincetown’s Berta Walker Gallery. “She swam in the ocean for at least two miles a day, year-round, and swam in her canvases with the same guile.” In 2016, the Berta Walker Gallery honors Craig with its “Renaissance Dream Drawings” exhibit, which runs through July 5.
Sally Nerber, Cape Cod Art Annual 2016

Sally Nerber

Co-founder of the Cherry Stone Gallery in Wellfleet, Sally Nerber passed away on December 15, 2014, at the age of 98. Born Sarah Jane Valentine, Nerber founded Cherry Stone—now in its 45th year—with the late Lizzie Upham, a fellow retired schoolteacher and Nerber’s life partner. The gallery, which is located in a modest space next to Nerber’s home on East Commercial Street, showcases the work of local and internationally known modernists in its salon-like setting.

“Knowing Sally up close and personal for 14 years was a rare gift in my life,” says Brenda Correia, director of the Cherry Stone Gallery. “She was an intelligent, accessible, likable person with a keen eye for talent and a heart the size of Alaska.”

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