Courtesy of Nathalie Ferrier
By Mary Ventura
Cape Cod Community College (4Cs) is home to people from all across the globe, both students and faculty alike. For example, Professor Nathalie Ferrier is a French artist with a cultural and inspiring background.
Ferrier is an adjunct instructor in the Art Department at 4Cs. She teaches art courses and helps run the Higgins Art Gallery located in the Tilden Arts Center on campus.
Leslie O’Neil Peters was a student of Ferrier’s ‘Fashion, Textile, and Fiber Art’ course and had sincere words to share on her opinion of Ferrier as a professor.
“Nathalie settled the environment, transformed the atmosphere to all that’s possible by sharing with us in such a way as to awaken courage, generosity, and understanding of putting needle to cloth,” said O’Neil Peters.
Ferrier was raised in Paris, France. Growing up, her family was not particularly artistic. She says that her parents did, however, expose her to a lot of culture from a young age.
Ferrier has fond memories of visiting a Celtic woman’s campground as a child. For seven months, she spent her time exploring with other children in places like Holland and Germany. She said these trips were inspiring, especially the wooded fields and the beautiful nature. She would spend her time planning and constructing huts on the campgrounds.
“I could have been an architect,” Ferrier said, though obviously in jest.
She traveled to other areas in Europe, including Spain and Italy. There, she would visit many churches, castles, cities, and museums.
“When I was five years old, we would visit three castles in one day,” Ferrier said. “And by the end I would be so done with it.”
Ferrier has always been curious about sights like these ever since she was first introduced. She believes that these experiences as a young girl shaped who she is today.
She attended the Haute-Couture School in Paris where she had the opportunity to work in a design studio. She took part in the fittings of models as well as customers. Some of her customers included the wife of the President, the wife of a dictator, and professional German tennis player Steffi Graf. Throughout her time working at the studio, she and her team of designers would see the best and the worst of customers, but always remained professional. She focused on altering and draping items for the studio’s collection and she picked from a wide variety of beautiful fabrics and materials to work with and to create many of her own designs.
After Ferrier left her work in Paris and moved to the United States she began working with Christian Lacroix, an extremely talented French fashion designer in New York. She continued doing similar work to her former position in Paris until Lacroix ran into financial trouble. Ferrier then worked for Thierry Mugler, another French designer, before moving to Cape Cod.
Living on the Cape for nearly 20 years now, Ferrier has earned her Master of Fine Arts from MassArt and has become involved with many local art facilities and departments, including Castle Hill at the Truro Center for the Arts.
“The Cape has been very good for my growth,” Ferrier said while explaining how incredibly grateful she is for all that she has been offered by the Cape.
Ferrier’s art can be found in many private collections in New York, France, Cambridge, and Boston. She revealed that she has recently been working on paintings that are different than her usual work.
“Do what you feel,” said Ferrier, in advice to new artists. “Don’t be ashamed of anything you have created. Don’t worry about what people will say and what they might think.”
In terms of moving forward in the art industry, Ferrier encouraged students to become involved in their local galleries as well as to actively meet artists.
“Find your group, your people. Travel. Look at things and people,” said Ferrier. “Keep your eyes open. What is most important is to create.”