Nance O'Banion is internationally known for her work in textiles, papermaking, and book arts. For more than 30 years she has had solo exhibitions in the United States, Denmark, Japan, and Italy as well as group shows in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Her work is included in the collections of the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Museum Bellerive, Zurich; the Cleveland Art Museum; the London Institute; the Getty Center, Los Angeles; the Ghent Museum of Fine Arts, Belgium; the Haderslev Museum, Denmark; Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; the Kaho-Machi Museum, Iizuka, Japan; the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; the Oakland Museum of California; the Seattle Art Museum; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut; and numerous others. Nance has also received two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships.
For more than a decade Nance's work has focused primarily on dreams and daydreams in a range of formats, from intimate, drawn or painted wood tablets to carved doors, unique and limited-edition books, and large sculptures. For Nance, the role of storyteller has become more important over the years, whether through images, text, or a combination of the two, conveying meanings that allow room for individual interpretation. Nance says of her book Domestic Science: Pop-Up Icons and Idioms (Flying Fish Press, 1990): "Simple images and objects of everyday life, when combined, can become colorful metaphors for psychosocial conditions when viewed through the reader's personal experience."
In addition to her work as an artist and professor at CCA (she has taught here since 1974), Nance has taught courses and workshops throughout the United States, Europe, and Canada. Her courses, like her art, reflect a multimedia, interdisciplinary, and often collaborative approach to creativity.