The Other Side of Nowhere
These paintings are meditations on grace and beauty of form, yet, there exists elements
which always cause disruption. Voluptuous forms are imposed on by overlap and
erasure, alluding to the uncertainty and uncontrollable power present in nature. Thin
veils of paint create atmospheric qualities where light is permitted to bounce through the layers, while other thick strokes of paint float on the surfaces. The subtle transitions of color suggest slowness and rest, or even a sense of melancholy. Swipes, smears, and gestural passages of paint give rise to a sense of motion and time, and the construction and destruction of form.
Salient themes of serenity and turbulence operate as metaphors for freedom and
constraint. The viewer is thrust in and out of the picture plane, from one painting to
another, by alternating illusionistic depths and shallow spaces. Some images are dense
and compact, bringing one close to an overgrown, confined, and claustrophobic space.
Other paintings recede through the use of horizons, bodies of water, and skies to create
feelings of expansiveness and powerful vastness.
Each painting reveals encoded symbolism and mystical connotations. The sense of light
gives clarity and focus, invoking feelings of certainty. While the edges blur and slip into
darkness, shadow, or fog evoking impressions mystery and obscurity, resulting in
painterly vignettes that are simultaneously contained and boundless.
Kelli Nelson is a Minneapolis-based painter and educator. Nelson holds a BFA in Visual
Art with a minor in Art History from the University of North Dakota. She earned a MFA in
Visual Studies with a concentration in Painting and Drawing from the Minneapolis
College of Art and Design.
Nelson work is in numerous private collections, the University of North Dakota
Permanent Art Collection, and has been exhibited at the State Capitol Building in
Bismarck, ND. The past two summers, she served as artist-in-residence at the
McCanna House through the North Dakota Museum of Art. She is represented by Ecce
Art Gallery, and has taught Drawing at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design,
Painting at the College of Saint Benedict, and currently teaches Drawing at Metropolitan