I combine drawing, painting and printmaking to create work often inspired by my surroundings: physical, social and literary. Raised in North Louisiana, my training includes a BA with distinctions in Visual Art and Art History from Duke University, a Post-Baccalaureate certificate in Studio Arts from MICA, as well as experience in public arts as a Teaching Artist with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. My work has traveled the globe, including exhibitions at the Egyptian Embassy in Rome, Binyamina Gallery in Tel Aviv, the Print and Picture Collection of the Free Library of Philadelphia and the former Trouser House gallery here in New Orleans. I also publish an experimental silk screen zine called 'Puncture' .
Artist + Catherine Nelson
Describe your art in three words. tactile, experimental, curious,
What do you love the most about creating art in New Orleans? What particular part of your immediate environment, in your neighborhood specifically influences your work? All of the people experimenting, creating and sharing new things (music, costumes, performances, etc), it's inspiring but it also creates bravery by association.
Describe your creative process. Are there any rituals or rites of passage you exercise before you begin a new piece? Early morning sessions start with new music and looking at what I've got on the walls. I also have a drafting table in my bedroom for quick drawing sessions to play with an idea that comes up. The work comes from a feedback loop of reading, writing, looking and making.
Where do you draw inspiration? I love to read Ursula Le Guin's short stories, she has a way of reframing things and unlocking possibilities that makes me want to go to the studio. Also, looking at the work my peers are creating, the way they're thinking and the way they're using materials, that's probably the most inspiring because it's happening right now.
Who are your artistic influences or gurus? I've had the chance to work under some really talented people, but their style and mine are so different that the influence might not be obvious. For example, building giant puppets with Wayne White (one of the set designers for Pee Wee's Playhouse), I learned how much the energy from early drawings translates through an entire piece, so I recently returned to my basics with drawing to strengthen everything from the ground up.
In New Orleans, art and music go hand in hand. What type of music, band or song lyric best describes your work? I like Art Tatum's piano recordings a lot for the studio - he's so skilled, but still plays kind of breakneck at the edge of what he can do, plus he seems to be thrilling himself.
Where can we find you when you are not creating art? Probably on an ultimate frisbee field, in the library, or inventing a new recipe with leftovers.
What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year? The golden hour right before sunset is so delicious in this city, especially in the spring.
What is something people don’t know about you? A fun fact. I was buried in an avalanche up to my waist one time (terrifying), while my siblings just watched and laughed. I'm still alive.
All works listed online are available to be viewed at Where Y’Art Gallery by appointment.
ArtEgg Studios by appointment
Now- February 28th "Illuminate" Installation at Courtyard Brewery
Women's Studio Workshop Collection
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