WMU News

'Pushing Out Dead Air' exhibited in Sangren

Sept. 6, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Artist Brian Nelson is exhibiting his metal sculpture in a show called, "Pushing Out Dead Air," weekdays through Sept. 30 in Gallery II of Sangren Hall at Western Michigan University. The free exhibit is open weekdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Nelson, a WMU art alumnus and head of the sculpture program at Eastern Michigan University, will give a slide lecture on his sculpture Tuesday, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m. in Room 1213 of Sangren Hall, followed by a question and answer session in Gallery II. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Monday through Wednesday, Sept. 27-29, Nelson will be a sculptor-in-residence at the Knollwood Sculpture Annex where he will be working with students creating a sculpture. The workshop and demonstration in metal fabricating is open to the public from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. each day.

Nelson has been active in the Detroit area as an inspired artist and teacher for many years now. He has influenced students at the College for Creative Studies and at Michigan State University. He is an assistant professor of sculpture and the head of the sculpture program at Eastern Michigan University. He has exhibited throughout the area, at the Center Galleries, Detroit Artists Market, Detroit Contemporary, Ford Gallery, and BBAC, among others. He has received awards such as the Polk Purchase Award and Best of Show at the Michigan Fine Arts Competition, as well as, an Excellence in Teaching Award from Michigan State University. Nelson has a BFA degree in sculpture from Western Michigan University and an MFA degree in sculpture from Michigan State University.

Nelson's work is founded on the dichotomy between the basic but complex processes of life. His work references a struggle between science and nature or sterility and life by using materials such as stainless steel tables, lead, test tubes, oxygen tanks, projected video, salt carved into cell structures, DNA, and tear drops, as well as petri dishes of live organisms and images of trees swaying in the wind or clouds passing. He is known for his unique ability to combine refined craftsmanship and complex emotional and conceptual ideas into solid and fluid sculpture.

Nelson says, "As an artist and teacher I feel one of the most important aspects of my life is to observe. The work for this show, 'Pushing Out Dead Air,' is a mix between an earlier body of work and several new pieces. The primary narrative within the work is still very autobiographical. I am still searching for the means to infuse narrative without it loosing its context. This is where the work of Emily Dickenson has begun to surface within the sculptures. Her dedication to words and thought, and her observations of occurrences whether milliseconds or months, are an amazing inspiration."

For additional information, contact the School of Art Exhibitions Office at (269) 387-2455.

Media contact: Jackie Ruttinger, 269 387-2455, jacquelyn.ruttinger@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
269 387-8400