Nancy Gershman

New York, United States

Artist's statement:

I am a digital artist specializing in legacy portraiture. As a meaning-maker and private mythologist, I co-create “preferred stories” for individuals overwhelmed by loss and regrets. Every Healing Dreamscape is custom-created from repurposed photos, memories, stories, and epiphanies. By speaking in a language the emotional brain understands (i.e., in metaphors, symbols, and with sensory language), Dreamscapes allow those of us who are "stuck" to accept the existence of more hopeful (and attainable) realities.


A dad yearns to grieve out loud for his son but the family resists—until a prescriptive photomontage artist starts the conversation with a "legacy T-shirt."

To see the full article, read Campaigning for Craig: the healing power of a legacy T-shirt.


For Sally, this prescriptive photomontage drawn from photos, memories, and stories solidified and reinforced the ah-ha moments in therapy, emboldening her to live up to a preferred future, free of anorexia. 

To see the full article, read The fisherman's lasagna: a love story about prescriptive photomontage and anorexia.



When infants die, well-intentioned friends and family embark on easing pain by erasing memory. This behavior may now change with a prescriptive photomontage sculpture which opens dialogue about the baby that was lost days or even decades ago.


To see the full article, read Lost babies: how a photosculpture is changing the etiquette of consolation.



NANCY GERSHMAN is a prescriptive artist who partners with the mental health community to help individuals grappling with loss, regrets, unresolved issues and ruptured plans. The mission of her studio, Art For Your Sake is to work narratively with clients, co-creating a prescriptive photomontage as a means of collecting stories, healing broken hearts, and opening dialogue about black and white thinking. The Healing Memory Project—conceived by Gershman and Stern as a safeguard against relapse for ED patients in recovery—is one such collaboration. In 2008-9, Gershman had a solo show at The Loyola University Museum of Art in Chicago. Her work in bereavement and complicated grief has been featured in Advance for Nurses, Annals of American Psychotherapy and Living with Loss magazine. To arrange a collaboration or talk, contact her at

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