Field Hockey: Ohio University art major balances craft with sport

Vicky Nase

Vicky Nase

Vicky Nase, a junior midfield hockey player studying studio art, shows off some of her recent projects.


The putrid smell of decaying bacon hovered over Vicky Nase’s room. The stench from Nase’s Plexiglas-encased sculpture featured a plastered skull that was observed during the course of a semester during her sophomore year.

Nase, a studio art major who plays for Ohio field hockey, said this is her favorite sculpture, “Flesh, Skin and Bones.” She said her inspiration for the piece came from her interest in watching items evolve over time.

“I’m very interested in how things evolve after they’re deceased and wear on the human body,” Nase said.

Nase’s appreciation for art is a different kind of love than what she has for field hockey.

“I’ve always definitely enjoyed the arts. I definitely have a higher appreciation for architecture, paintings and sculptures,” Nase said.

As Nase began to sculpt her art career in high school, she had many options at her disposal — despite the art program being, according to her, uncompetitive at Penn Manor High School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Some of her options included ceramics, sculptures and digital media, which enabled her to see the bevy of career paths available.

“I got a wide variety (of options) in high school, and looking here at Ohio University, I could really see I could broaden my horizon in art,” Nase said.

Although Nase enjoys sculpting and observing the evolution of decaying matter, she also enjoys decomposing opponents’ midfield lines in field hockey.

Nase started playing field hockey in sixth grade when she moved to Pennsylvania, a hotbed for the sport. She said that since the sport is so big there, girls are basically told to play, especially if they were already athletes.

When season is in bloom, Nase has to balance working on her art with practicing for the team. She said it is difficult to find time to work on her projects, especially since other art majors do not have the similar time restraint of athletics.

“It’s really difficult because a lot of art majors do not have the time restrictions that I have,” Nase said. “I really have to buckle down during the week and with competitions on the weekend, it’s very difficult to get my projects done.”

Outside the time taken to play field hockey, Nase’s friend and fellow art major, Allison Cochran, said most art majors spend about four extra hours a day outside of class in the studio.

“Unlike other majors, your to-do list is never done in art because there’s always something to do in the studio. Most art majors really don’t have time to be athletes,” Cochran said. “When I see student-athletes doing that, it’s really impressive because I know how much more time they have to put in than a lot of other majors.”

Cochran understands how difficult it is to balance sports and academics, as she was a cheerleader for Ohio University. Yet, even with the time constraints, Cochran said she has seen how Nase has grown as an artist during the course of their friendship.

“She’s definitely made strides, technically and conceptually,” Cochran said. “She really does well balancing her time between being in the studio and practicing field hockey.”

Since Nase has to manage her time wisely, she takes a lot of her projects on the bus when the team travels.

But for Nase, it just adds to the fun she has being a studio art major.

“A lot of my teammates think my projects are really interesting. They say things like, ‘Why are you an art major?’ ” Nase said. Some of her teammates will ask her to draw something for them on the spot.

“I sit on the floor to do my projects, and it’s really hard, but I really enjoy it a lot,” Nase said.

According to Nase, because of her time spent on the floor doing projects, coach Neil Macmillan has dubbed her as the team’s “resident art major.”

As the redshirt junior progresses through her fourth season with the Bobcats, she looks to not only be the structural support for the midfield, but also construct her pieces with signature distinction.

“I think I try and do my own thing. I think that is what makes my art interesting,” Nase said.

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