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Amy M . Nelson, MFA

Director, Scheerer Scholars in the Arts Program

Associate Professor

Amy Nelson

Contact

College of Arts and Sciences
Fine & Performing Arts
Studio Arts
LECA - Lied Education Center for the Arts

Amy M . Nelson, MFA

Director, Scheerer Scholars in the Arts Program

Associate Professor

Amy Nelson is active in the Omaha Arts community, specifically through her work with the Creative Workshops at the Siena/Francis House Homeless Shelter and as a member of the Union for Contemporary Art's Board of Directors. Amy was a Mentor in the Joslyn Art Museum's Kent Bellows Mentoring Program from 2010-2017. For her work with young artists in this program Amy received the 2015 Midlands Mentoring Partnership (MMP) Mentor of the Year. Amy has exhibited her work in numerous exhibitions across the US and been an Artist in Residence at the Watershed Center for Ceramic Art in Newcastle, Maine and The Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont. Amy has given lectures, demonstrations and hosted workshops on the American Craft Movement and the role art plays in civic engagement. Amy received her BFA from Creighton University in 1997 and her MFA from East Carolina University College of Fine Arts and Communication School of Art & Design in 2002. Currently Amy is an Associate Professor of Fine Art and the Director of the Scheerer Scholars in the Arts program at Creighton University, teaching courses in Ceramics and Art and Civic Engagement. 

Teaching Interests

  • Ceramics

Research Focus

As an artist I align myself, and my work, within the tradition of functional crafts and the concept of being-in-the-world. My work ranges from functional ceramics to concept driven “functioning” installations. Whatever form the work takes I continue to apply the underlying principle of artistic practice as a vehicle for social and political change. My current body of work explores the cultural importance of both preserving and creating a collective heritage, and stems from the belief that handcrafted objects gain meaning from their relationship to personal use. The objects become an extension of personal identity, which comes from the idea that they are held, cared for, embraced, exchanged, learned from, and handed down; they are objects of experience.

Department

Fine & Performing Arts

Position

Associate Professor

Publications

  • Creighton University
    Working Materials (Curatorial Essay), a solo exhibition by Angie Seykora, Creighton University Lied Art Gallery, Omaha, NE This curatorial essay was published as part of the exhibition catalog for Working Materials and was the 1st in a yearlong series of special exhibitions at the Lied Art Gallery commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Fine and Performing Arts Department. This exhibition showcased recent works by Angie Seykora, CU alumnae (BFA ’09) that demonstrated investigations into pattern, labor and the hierarchy of material through her craft based studio practice. 2015

Presentations

  • Women's Center for Advancement, Omaha, NE - Commission. The WCA solicited proposals from Nebraska women artists to purchase artwork for permanent display in their new facility at 3801 Harney St. My proposal was selected and I was commissioned to create two bodies of work specifically for the WCA. 2018
  • A Creighton Exhibition, Creighton University Lied Art Gallery, Omaha, NE This exhibition, featuring the current creative scholarship of the CU Studio Art Faculty was held in conjunction with the performance of CU Music Professor Dr. Frederick Hanna’s original composition as part of the Fine and Performing Arts Department’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. 2016
  • 12th Annual Omaha North Hills Pottery Tour, Big Table Studios, Herman, NE. This annual tour hosts nationally recognized ceramic artists and has gained regional acclaim for its support of creative excellence in the Ceramic Arts. The ONHPT has been featured on NETV, Nebraska Public Television and promoted on a national level in Ceramics Monthly magazine. 2016
  • Crysalis, Joslyn Art Museum's Kent Bellows Mentoring Program Spring Student and Mentor Exhibition, Kent Bellows Studio, Omaha, NE 2016
  • Creighton University Faculty Show (group exhibition) Norfolk Arts Center Main Gallery, and Heirloom (solo exhibition) Norfolk Arts Center Atrium Gallery, Norfolk, NE. 2016
  • Empty Bowls Project, Lied Art Gallery, Creighton University, Omaha, NE The cornerstone of the CU Empty Bowls Project is the service-learning course Arts and Civic Engagement. Students enrolled in this course work in a communal environment both inside and outside the classroom in partnership with the Siena/Francis House Homeless Shelter. Through a hands-on approach students learn the value of labor and its creative application to real-world situations. The proceeds from every bowl sold during the CU Empty Bowls Project goes directly to the Siena/Francis House of Omaha. And every bowl serves as a reminder that even the smallest efforts can support positive social change. This was the 6th Empty Bowls Project at Creighton and involved collaborative teaching methods with Dr. Eileen Wirth (JMC). My students worked closely with students in the PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) to increase attendance and proceeds generated through the event. Due to the students’ efforts local news media covered the event and overall had record sales bringing the total proceeds raised through the CU Empty Bowls project to over $33,000. 2015
  • 11th Annual Omaha North Hills Pottery Tour, Big Table Studios, Herman, NE. 2015
  • Creative Workshop, Siena/Francis House Homeless Shelter, Omaha, NE 2015
  • Alien Footprint, Joslyn Art Museum's Kent Bellows Mentoring Program Fall Student and Mentor Exhibition, Kent Bellows Studio, Omaha, NE 2014
  • 10th Annual Omaha North Hills Pottery Tour, Big Table Studios, Herman, NE. 2014
  • Alternation of Mood, Joslyn Art Museum's Kent Bellows Mentoring Program Spring Student and Mentor Exhibition, Kent Bellows Studio, Omaha, NE 2014
  • Empty Bowls Project, Lied Art Gallery, Creighton University, Omaha, NE 2013
  • Spectrum, Kent Bellows Studio Fall Mentor Exhibition, Star Deli Gallery, Omaha, NE 2013
  • Portfolio Review Preparation Panel, Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NE 2013
  • Lifeworld, Kent Bellows Studio Summer Student and Mentor Exhibition, Kent Bellows Studio, Omaha, NE 2013
  • Heirloom, a solo exhibition by Amy Nelson, Kent Bellows Studio, Omaha, NE (Dir. Weston Thomson) This solo exhibition built upon my Disacclimate series, as I continue to research the impact of women’s creative labor, focusing on the contemporary implications of a varied past. 2013
  • Polychromes, Kent Bellows Studio Spring Mentor Exhibition, Petshop Gallery, Omaha, NE 2013
  • Visiting Artist, Women in the Arts, Creighton University, Omaha, NE 2013
  • Ceramic Workshop Slab-building and Transfer Techniques, Omaha Creative Institute, Omaha, NE 2013
  • Femme Qui Bercent (Women who Rock), Noyes Art Gallery, Lincoln, NE (Regional Invitational, Dir. Susan Woodford) This regional invitational curated by Susan Woodford in conjunction with the blog Les Femmes Folles took place during Women's History Month. Its goal was to support and promote women in all forms of creativity. 2013
  • Presenter -Pecha Kucha Night Omaha Vol. 18, hosted by design alliance OMAha inc., The Slowdown, Omaha, NE 2013
  • Disacclimate, works by Amy Nelson, Birdhouse Collectible, Omaha, NE (Dir. Rebecca Herskovitz) This exhibition represented research investigating the historical impact of the politics and policies of women’s rights in the United States. This solo exhibition embraced the historical past of “handicraft” by reinventing, or repositioning traditionally female symbols and activities. I incorporated the look of familiar crafts, such as the sewing pincushion and tatted lace to solidify their cultural associations into rigid ceramic forms. Through this process I worked to present the familiar in an unfamiliar way. 2012
  • Pulled from the Matrix, Hot Shops Art Center, Omaha, NE (Regional Juried, Jurors Lori Elliott-Bartle, Amy Haney, and Julie Sopscak) This regional juried exhibition showcased prints alongside the matrix (plate or block) from which the prints were pulled. My work selected for this exhibition is part of my Disacclimate series. 2012
  • Visual Art Faculty Exhibition, Lied Art Gallery, Creighton University, Omaha, NE 2012
  • 14th Annual Art Auction, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NE (International Invitational, Dir. Mark Masuoka) 2012
  • The Power of Nine, Bancroft Street Market, Omaha, NE (Local Invitational, Dir. Jody Boyer) The Power of Nine featured artists whose work ranges from contemplative to cynical, from investigative to downright outlandish, that pushes the power of creativity and coming together to make a difference. A portion of the profits from this exhibition directly benefited the Omaha Deer Park Neighborhood Association to support their programs. This exhibition was featured in both the online and printed editions of the Omaha Reader. 2012
  • Empty Bowls Project, Lied Art Gallery, Creighton University, Omaha, NE 2012
  • Cups & Coffee, Fuel Coffee, Seattle, WA (National Juried, Juror Dylan J Beck) This exhibition was juried from over 400 national submissions and was part of the 46th Annual National Council for the Education of the Ceramic Arts conference. Two of my works were selected to be included in the exhibition of 100 works. 2012
  • Archipelago, Kent Bellows Studio Spring Mentor Exhibition, Lied Art Gallery, Creighton University, Omaha, NE 2012
  • Les Femmes Folles Discussion Forum: Women in the Visual Arts, Omaha, NE 2011
  • Faculty Conversations: Urban Commitments Panel Presentation, Creighton University, Omaha, NE 2011
  • Re-presenting Tradition: The influence and impact of the American Craft Movement, CU at Joslyn Lecture Series, Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NE 2011
  • Throwing Porcelain on the Wheel, Corning Center for Fine Arts, Corning, IA 2010
  • Roundtable Forum, Creighton University Center for Health Policy and Ethics, Omaha, NE 'Drugs and Prescription Drugs in Treating Mental Illness, an Interpretive Art Piece' 2010
  • Empty Bowls Project, Lied Art Gallery, Creighton University, Omaha, NE 2010

Other

  • Magis Core Curriculum Major Course Adaptation Grant

  • Magis Core Curriculum New Course Development Grant for Intersections and Designated Ethics course Art and Activism

  • 2018 CURAS Summer Faculty Research Fellowship. Project Artist as Activist: Service.
    Abstract: Artist as Activist is a multifaceted creative research project centered in the idea of the Arts as a vital component of contemporary culture and the Artist as an active citizen within that culture. Applying the principles of social art practice this project incites civic participation through a community partnership with the Omaha non-profit Arts organization The Union for Contemporary Art. This installment of Artist as Activist uses the history and tradition of functional pottery as a structural model to both preserve and create a collective cultural heritage. This model stems from the belief that handcrafted objects gain meaning from their relationship to personal use. The objects become an extension of personal history and identity, which comes from the idea that these objects are held, cared for, embraced, exchanged, learned from, and handed down; they are objects of experience.

Awards

  • Dean's Award for Professional Excellence in Dedication to Mission
    Creighton College of Arts and Sciences
  • 2015 Midlands Mentoring Partnership Mentor of the Year
    The Mentor of the Year award honors individuals that are committed to helping young people achieve their potential through mentoring. MMP looks for mentors whose exceptional commitment and dedication have changed the lives of the youth they serve. I was honored with this award for the work I have done with youth in the Joslyn Art Museum's Kent Bellows Mentoring Program for Young Artists.
    Midlands Mentoring Partnership