Santa Fe artist Nina Elder, whose work examines the visual evidence of land use in the American West, will give a lecture titled “Nonlinear Creative Research: From Piles of Rocks to Polar Bears” at 7 p.m. April 4 at the UCCS Galleries of Contemporary Art downtown 121 gallery, 121 S. Tejon St.
The talk is part of Pollinate: Biennial Arts Festival 2016 featuring southern Colorado arts organizations responding to the theme of energy.
Elder, a Colorado Springs native who now is residency program director at the Santa Fe Art Institute, is interested in the West’s cycles of production, consumption and waste. In summer 2014, Elder traveled to the Kennecott mill site in eastern Alaska. Now a National Historic Landmark within the largest national park in North America, it was the site of one of the largest, richest, and most remote mines in the world.
Through her project, Elder is researching the human and natural histories of Kennecott. She will process her findings through landscape painting and the concept of “solastagia” in a valley where piles of mine tailings juxtapose a glacier’s natural lateral moraines. Though Elder’s work appears to primarily study industry, she regards it as contemplation on people and their relationship to the land.
After earning an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, Elder co-founded an off-the-grid artist residency program in New Mexico called PLAND: Practice Liberating Art through Necessary Dislocation. Through paintings and drawings, she hopes to illuminate the contemporary landscape as the physical manifestation of modern needs, economies, policies and powers. Elder’s work is exhibited and collected nationally, and has been included in publications such as Art in America and New American Paintings. For more information, visit http://ninaelder.com
GOCA is a regional hub of contemporary art, culture and conversation. By featuring world-class artists, hosting artist and expert talks, and offering meaningful events, GOCA engages UCCS students, faculty, staff and Pikes Peak Region community members in contemporary culture and life. GOCA is a contemporary arts organization with two galleries, one founded on the UCCS campus in 1981 and a satellite downtown location opened in 2010 in the Plaza of the Rockies building.