Nancy Reinke kept a studio for 35 years at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia, immediately outside of Washington, DC. Reinke’s father was the publisher of the Chattanooga New-Free Press and Reinke learned typesetting as a child, often covered in newspaper ink from playing around the presses.
Reinke worked in graphic design and commercial art and illustration; she drew from this background in her artistic work making etchings, woodcuts, wood engravings, and oil paintings, as well as handmade books. The subject matter in her prints and paintings was broad; thoughtful portraits of women, unique character paintings of animals, poignant and funny observations of human (and animal) foibles. She was passionate about animal rights and about her love for cats (she lived with more than 50 cats over her lifetime) can be seen in her vivid use of animal imagery in her often-humorous artwork. A good example of her whimsy is her print “Lap Cat,” portraying a giant cat with a child in its lap. Her passion for animals was apparent in her ability to capture animals and their inner personalities in both her etchings and paintings.
Reinke’s work has been exhibited in galleries and public institutions such as the Library of Congress and the State of Virginia Legislative Building.