Born in Shreveport, LA, Catherine Nelson is a sculptor and installation artist working primarily with wood, textiles, and metals. 

She has exhibited at venues including BronxArtSpace in New York, Redline Contemporary Art Center in Denver, AUTOMAT in Philadelphia, Antenna Gallery in New Orleans, Binyamina Gallery in Tel Aviv, and PHILOBIBLON in Rome. She has been an artist-in-residence at Vermont Studio Center, Women’s Studio Workshop, and Denver Public Library's ideaLAB.  She co-founded Southern Heat Exchange, an exhibition space and digital residency for emerging artists with ties to the American South.

She earned her BA in Art, Art History, and Spanish from Duke University and her MFA in Studio Art from the University of Connecticut. Her collaborations with with New Orleans-based dance company Known Mass and musician MJ Guider as well as her work in craft-based small businesses continue to inform her approach to art-making.

CV available here.


My work reflects a curiosity about materials and their origins in the landscape. I collect, observe, and compose with natural dyes, patinas, objects, and drawings. I take cues from riverbank clutter and industrial waterways, mineral hues and local geology, lumber species and fishing traps. I arrange both made and found objects into vignettes that explore dynamics of agency and material. 

I am interested in physical thinking and embodied memory: a craftsperson’s expertise, a dancer’s improvised phrase. Having grown up in Louisiana, issues of toxicity and climate change also concern me; turning my attention to my senses soothes personal and shared grief. Weaving these influences together, my work serves as an experimental re-mapping, a space to practice new ways of relating to my surroundings.

Artist Talk, April 19, 2023, The William Benton Museum of Art in conjunction with the exhibition Closed Switch.

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