Nadine Valenti Beauchamp died on May 1, 2022 in New York City. She was 95.
Beginning in the 1960s, Nadine lived in Provincetown and New York with her late husband, the figurative expressionist Robert Beauchamp. From 1990 to 2012, they made Wellfleet their Outer Cape home before returning to New York.
Friends and family always heard Nadine say she grew up “on the border between Brooklyn and Queens.” But she attended Washington Irving High School in Manhattan, which at the time required passing an entrance exam. Her parents were Mario Valenti, who worked as a bricklayer, and Rita Valenti, a seamstress. They had come to New York from Sicily.
After high school, Nadine went to work as an illustrator in advertising, said her niece, Leslie Johnson. Those were the beginnings of a lifetime of making art.
“She was spunky,” Johnson said. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, she and her sister Josephine and a high school friend, Eleni Larned, discovered they could hitch rides on a fish truck to get from New York to Provincetown. They became regular visitors here, said her friend Stephanie Vevers.
It was in Provincetown that Nadine first met Beauchamp. Daria Larned, Eleni’s daughter, recalls their wedding, in 1967, as a big gathering. It was held at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House, she said, “and all the artists were there.”
Nadine was an accomplished artist whose vivid paintings and drawings were shown at the Westbeth Gallery in New York City, at the Cherrystone Gallery in Wellfleet, and in many exhibitions at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum.
She was a resident fellow at MacDowell, the art colony, in 1978 and became the subject of Nadine Valenti, Portrait of a Painter, an online documentary by Robert Zaslow that is in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
In 1979, Nadine became a student of Advaita Vedanta and the teachings of Swami Dayananda Saraswati, beginning in New York with Dayananda’s American student, Sandra Eisenstein, and continuing, in a residency at his ashram in Rishikesh, India, with Dayananda himself.
Nadine was a vibrant, significant presence in the Outer Cape’s art world. No one who knew her will find it unchanged without her, said another close friend, the writer Lawrence Shainberg. She had an unforgettable laugh and a readiness to share her always clearly stated and uninhibited opinions about all she encountered. She was also a passionate cook and gardener.
She is survived by her niece, Leslie Johnson, and a nephew, Anthony Johnson, of New York City.
A memorial service is being planned. The family requests that donations in Nadine’s honor go to the International Rescue Committee, which helps people affected by humanitarian crises around the world.