KELLY NELSON (b. Flint, Michigan, 1968)

Dawn, 2008
handmade abaca and cotton paper double couched
with tea bag and coffee filter

Collection of the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts
Virginia Artists Collection
Purchase made possible through a gift from Homer H. Kephart
for the Bobby Chandler Memorial Collection

Dawn is from a series investigating identity. Here, printmaker Kelly Nelson weaves “the individual identities I have chosen for myself and my family” with the concept of the sociotype, “a statistical tendency for persons who acquire dispositions of one kind in one aspect of human activity to also acquire culturally associated dispositions in other kinds of activity.” In Dawn, she uses varied marks, unorthodox materials, and specific imagery to convey individual differences and societal interpretations. Thus, paper doll clothes (a tea bag dress and a coffee-filter jacket) represent gender roles, while bubble blow wands recall childhood, freedom, and family. Nelson, who teaches printmaking at Longwood, earned a Master of Art Education and an MFA in printmaking at Eastern Michigan University. Her work is housed in private and public collections
in the U.S. and abroad.


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