Nelson gets artist-in-residency programLake Sakakawea State Park is hosting the first of three artist in residency programs Friday through Sunday.
Lake Sakakawea State Park is hosting the first of three artist in residency programs Friday through Sunday.
The featured artist is Grand Forks’ Karla Nelson, formerly of Jamestown, who is versed in a variety of mediums including painting and pottery.
On Friday, park visitors can meet Nelson and view her artwork during an amphitheater program starting at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, beginning at 10:30 a.m., Nelson will conduct a workshop with participants learning about art and creating a mosaic piece. At 8:30 p.m., Nelson’s amphitheater program is “Beauty in Nature: Nature’s Art.” The artist will speak about her discoveries of creative elements of art in nature. Sunday, at 10 a.m., Nelson will lead a hike on the North Country Trail to consider the natural art found in Lake Sakakawea State Park.
Nelson teaches pottery classes at Muddy Waters Clay Center, holds adult classes in acrylic painting and teaches art to elementary students in the Grand Forks school system through a program called Artist in the Classroom. She is originally from Mandan growing up in a family of artists — her father was a musician, her mother was a painter.
“As long as I can remember, I always felt I was an artist,” Nelson said. “I remember my first drawing that I received praise. I was 4 years old and drew a self-portrait from the shoulders up. I was wearing a crown because I wanted to be a princess. My two older sisters also drew and painted a lot and as adults they both got art degrees. My brothers received music degrees and are musicians like my father.”
Nelson has used several art mediums, subject matter and style of art during her career, but for several years she has been painting North Dakota landscapes. Four years ago she returned to pottery when the Muddy Waters Clay Center formed in Grand Forks. The center is a non-profit organization where potters can rent studio spaces. The organization also teaches art to the community, holds annual sales and participates in charity events.