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  • Table of Contents opens Feburary 2!

    The unofficial collective loosely referred to as Book Club is putting on an exhibition at Art Egg this Friday to debut fresh drawings by 4 of its members: Catherine Nelson, Kate Skakel, Margaret Parsons and April Bachtel.  The group represents a diverse spray of style and experience, including one animator/educator finalist in this year's New Orleans Art Prize competition, this year's resident artist at the St. Roch Community Church (and former visual arts faculty at the University of Alabama), one public sculptor & furniture builder, and a master of business student.  Techniques include lyrical linework fascinated by the body, oversized monotype moments, multi-material wall "drawings", and conceptualizations of time through drawing. The work, made by each of the artists over the last year, introduces each artist for a series of forthcoming solo exhibitions in the same space.

    Opening Reception: Table of Contents
  • Illuminate with Miro Hoffman at Courtyard Brewery

    Miro and I shared an interest in using analog projectors and painting/drawing/manipulating light, so we built an installation together at Courtyard Brewery to experiment.

    A 16mm projector running direct animations (painted onto clear film) and an overhead projector covered in my handmade photo films, paper cuts,glitter glue and feathers and steel stencils were both aimed at a screen that hung from the ceiling.  Pegboard installed on the back side split the projected light into dots of color that bathed the back wall.  There was also a light table with overflow transparencies, plus glass drawings and paintings.  The show ran through Mardi Gras and evolved as people played with the films.  More photos on the way.

  • Installing Illuminate: Light Painting Collab with Miro Hoffman at Courtyard Brewery

    Installing "Illuminate" - an experimental projection project with painter Miro Hoffman.  We will be lighting up at Courtyard Brewery (Magazine and Erato) nightly through Mardi Gras with regular changes to the projected compositions.

  • March: Resident Artist at the Women's Studio Workshop

    This month I am one of 4 artists in residence at the Women's Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY.  They host residents, interns, classes and beautiful studios for paper-based arts and ceramics.  I'll be working in their light-filled printmaking studio.  This residency is an opportunity to unplug from daily responsibilities in order to dig into a project, and it will also give me access to a printing press for the first time since moving back to Louisiana.  

    In my time here, I'll be reconciling old and new work.  In my oldest published portfolio, I created monotypes from scenes of Louisiana pageants (mardi gras, debutante balls, etc).  In contrast, my newest portfolios contain colorful silkscreen books and abstract cyanotype images.  My goal in my month at Women's Studio Workshop is to reconcile the concepts and techniques that created both.  

    The original work was motivated by a raw frustration and resistance, while the zines were created out of a sense of hope, curiosity and possibility.  I'll be experimenting with combining color and black-and-white, political and joyful, tradition and evolution, 2-D print and 3-D shape.  Wish me luck!  I'll post updates weekly.

    Also, I've been known to send drawings to people who write me letters:

    Women’s Studio Workshop
    P.O. Box 489
    Rosendale, NY 12472

  • "The days and nights are about the same now" - Puncture Zine Issue # 8 is here!

    In its first 7 issues, Puncture has folded, flipped and cut its way to tiny, touchable interactive experiences.  The series continues on fabric with issue #8, offering the chance to sew it, fold it or use it how you see fit.   The experiment is in your hands now!  Head to the zine store to pick up your very own.

    Title from a journal entry by crew member George Wardwell on an expedition to the North Pole and back in 1908. (Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum)  

  • Puncture Zine's 7th issue is here! And it's a hexaflexagon!

    It took many months longer than anticipated, but it was totally worth it for this paper, ink and storytelling experiment to come into being.  Enjoy!

    "mind like a paper trap (or) tell me a story from when you were 7"

    8-color screenprinted zine/book monster made in collaboration with Milissa Orzolek.  Get a copy here or barter (use the contact link).

  • Puncture's back with a new collaborator! Puppeteer and storyteller Milissa Orzolek joins us for an interview.

    Issue 7 of Puncture is the result of a collaboration with storyteller and puppeteer Milissa Orzolek. 
    She has a fascination with memory. How does a memory work when you're telling it for the first time? For the 15th time? Does the story change? She likes to ask people questions that dig up "pristine" memories - those that haven't been retold yet. 

    To begin our collaboration, she asked me to tell her several stories, and the one we worked with was from when I was 7. My family relocated to southern France for a Rotary convention for several weeks.  
    One day we toured the Fragonard perfume factory, and my sister and I were inspired to make some fragrance of our own. We plucked the petals from roses in our yard and put them into little jars with water, sealing them and leaving them for a week to soak up the rosy smell. When we returned to our bottles to check our work, we found that instead of perfume we had created a smelly collection of mold colonies.

    The zine's shape was inspired by ViHart's Hexaflexagon YouTube video. The opening and revealing motion felt right for this collaboration about storytelling and memory. 
    A conversation with Milissa:
    What's your favorite snowball flavor so far in life? (warmup question)
    M: too hard. how about spearmint is my favorite toothpaste flavor?
    What's the worst road to ride your bike down in New Orleans? (other warmup question)
    M: Galvez between Elysian Fields and Franklin
    Can you tell us a bit about your craft? What kind of creative work do you make?
    M: I'm a puppeteer, but I like to make lots of stuff, from screen prints to audio stories. I've been lucky in life to surround myself with incredibly talented friends who work with food, fabrics, electronics, wood, puppets, words, etc. They have been my school, my inspiration and my collaborators. 

    Do you collect any consistent type of inspiration when you're developing a show?  If so, how do you collect it?

    M: That's a practice that I should start. But I do love listening to stories. Stories about life are always a source of inspiration.

    I hear you love when people go on tangents...true?

    M: True. Tangents are the brain's spotlights. They lead you to places you didn't realize were important. 

    I also hear you really like Spongebob...also true?

    M: I'm not sure if I'd say I really like Spongebob Squarepants. I do absolutely love one episode that depicts Spongebob's brain has a giant office with file cabinets full of memories. Sometimes cartoons are genius. (Spongebob episode in question: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRHL5drAkOE)

    How did you and Cat get to know each other?

    M: We met while working on Wayne White's giant puppet parade in Shreveport, Louisiana last summer.

    Did you have a structure for the collaboration or a seed idea?

    M: I wanted Cat to tell me a story. I guess, for me, everything really starts with a story. Even if it is only the story of how someone started using a certain material.

    What do you think your creative processes have in common?  What do you think differs?

    M: I think we're both open to seeing what happens. This is important because flexibility and openness to possibility is so important to collaborations. We both get excited about playing with new materials and processes.  I think Cat has a lot of confidence in the skills she has and the methods she uses and it's great to see that confidence play out in her creative process. I'm still working on that.

    Did the collaboration inspire anything new for you?

    M: Cat loves to play as part of the creative process and I want to incorporate that into my work! 
    What's your favorite part about the zine?
    M: My favorite part of the zine is how it brings up so many questions: how is it made? what's a hexaflexigon? what's the story behind the zine? how did you meet? etc. 
  • Wolfbat interlude

    This past May, in order to add more skills to my studio practice,  I worked for Wolfbat Studios (artist Dennis McNett) and the Shreveport Regional Arts Council on a project in my hometown of Shreveport, LA.   We built an interactive steamboat installation Wolfbat style.  The paddlewheel even spun thanks to a ceiling fan motor (and Josh Porter at SRAC who makes everything work better).  A few photos for ye:

  • Place/Process Exhibition March 2-April 10

    (Images: "We Watched the Water Cathedral Build and Dismantle Itself*", cyanotype, Catherine Nelson / "Presence", woodcut, Andrea Krupp)

    *Title from the poem "Michael: A Sequence" by Robert Herschbach, published in Painted Bride Quarterly, Print Annual 6

    Announcing the opening of Place/Process, a two-person show awarded by the Free Library of Philadelphia's Print and Picture Collection!  We are honored and excited to share our newest work with you in this inspiring building.  Come celebrate the opening with us on March 7 from 2-4pm.  The exhibition will showcase cyanotypes (analog photos of drawings) from my first months in New Orleans and prints and paintings by Andrea Krupp from her recent residency in Iceland.  

    Statement:

    Catherine Nelson is an artist delving into the intersection of printmaking, drawing, painting, sculpture and photography.  Her newest body of work is motivated by a sense of wonder at the everyday: a hole in a wall opens into to a wild cave, a crack in the sidewalk morphs into a nebula in another galaxy, sap crawling down a tree gives way to a volcanic eruption.  Her prints build up through improvisation with materials, leveraging the power of printmaking to repeat and expand on imagery.   Nelson also hand-prints a monthly zine called “Puncture” to experiment with and trade new ideas. Currently she is exploring how movement in a drawing can shape a book.  She lives and works in New Orleans.