Through Dec. 12: Gallery Features 'Nordic Requiem and Other Dreams'
"Nordic Requiem and Other Dreams: Printmaking by Chad Nelson" opened at Augustana's Eide/Dalrymple Gallery on Thursday, Nov. 15.
A Gallery Reception was held from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16, with an artist’s talk beginning at 6 p.m. The exhibt will run through Wednesday, Dec. 12. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
A 1995 graduate of Augustana, Chad Nelson’s art emphasizes patterned textures and natural forms split into multiple frames within the images, creating, as he describes, “that feeling…between dreaming and consciousness.” The juxtaposed images provoke a sense of dialogue and invoke connections of memory, heritage, and the natural world. The Viking longboat, constellations, and the similarity between blood vessels and plants’ roots are just a few of the visual themes upon which Nelson’s work meditates. Nelson’s art is also known for its rich dark tonalities, which fit his themes of spirituality, mortality, and a sense of melancholy. But Nelson notes that his work is not just about darkness. Rather, Nelson hopes that a closer examination will reveal the more general feeling of hope that emerges through quiet reflection. His dark lines and forms, therefore, become like the bar tracery of a stained glass window; the darkness is what allows space for illumination to enter.
While this exhibition will include several examples of watercolor paintings, Nelson is particularly known for his work in traditional printmaking techniques. Nelson is particularly skilled in large-scale reduction woodcuts, whereby he produces a multi-colored image by working with a single block of wood, printing a color, then carving (reducing) more of the block and printing from it over the top of each previously printed color.
Many in the Sioux Falls-area will recognize the work of Nelson, a popular printmaker and arts educator. At Augustana, he received the prestigious Harold Spitznagel Medal for Achievement in Art, which is given by the Augustana Art Department to student-artists who demonstrate the highest standards of excellence in all of their artistic endeavors throughout their careers at the College. Since then, he has continued to excel, earning numerous accolades, including, most recently, the “Artists’ Choice Award” from the 2012 Washington Pavilion “Arts Night.” He currently serves as the chair of the Art Department of Brandon Valley High School, and is also represented by Rehfeld’s Gallery of Sioux Falls.
The Eide/Dalrymple Gallery is located on Commons Circle (30th Street and Grange Avenue), in the Center for Visual Arts at Augustana College. The gallery is open to the public and free of charge. Hours are Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Saturday noon to 5:00 p.m. Closed Sundays.
ABOVE: Chad Nelson, “Standby Looks Like Rain,” mezzotint, 2010.