Born in Shreveport, LA, Catherine Nelson is a visual artist whose sculptural compositions explore communication between the human body and its material surroundings.  She earned a BA  in Art, Visual Studies and Spanish at Duke University, and is currently pursuing an MFA in Installation and Performance at the University of Connecticut, where she teaches Sculpture.

Her art practice has been shaped by assisting small-business craftspeople (bookbinding, sign painting, printmaking, fabrication) and she continues to rely on the act of making to educate her hands and eyes. 

She has been an artist-in-residence at the Denver Public Library, Women’s Studio Workshop, and Vermont Studio Center.  Exhibition history includes the Free Library of Philadelphia (PA), Temple Art Space and Redline Contemporary Art Center (CO), minicine? and Antenna Gallery (LA), the Egyptian Embassy and Philobiblon Gallery (Rome, IT), Binyamina Gallery (Tel Aviv, Israel), SANTORASPACE25 (SantaAna, CA), and the University of Utah (UT). She recently curated the group exhibition “Like Spilling” at the Alexey von Schlippe Gallery in Groton, CT and continues to co-produce the artist-run digital residency Southern Heat Exchange.  

CV available here.


I work across diverse media to observe and redefine my body’s relationship to its material environment. I research, collect, and compose with natural dyes, patinas, found objects, and perimeter drawings.  I am conscious of where materials come from and how they will break down, and my pieces are often built to expire after they’ve been enjoyed. 

My pieces take cues from temporary riverbank clutter and improvised movement as well as traditional crafts and embodied knowledge.  They spring from a desire to explore embodied ways of knowing and to re-map the spaces and structures I inhabit. 

Having grown up in Louisiana, I feel a personal connection to issues of toxicity and rising sea levels. I see sensuality as a balm for personal and climate grief.  I dive into the tactility of my practice to preserve an experience of lived pleasure so that I may “stay with the trouble” of our time.

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