Amy M. Nelson, MFA
Amy M. Nelson, MFA

Amy M. Nelson, MFA

Associate Professor
College of Arts and Sciences

Expertise/Specializations

  • Ceramics
  • Drawing
  • Art and Civic Engagement

Academic Appointments

Department

  • Fine & Performing Arts

Position

  • Associate Professor

Teaching Activity

  • Art and Civic Engagement
  • Directed Independent Projects and Research
  • Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced Ceramics
  • Senior Thesis

Biography

Amy Nelson is active in the Omaha Arts community. She is a member of Finding A Voice, a community partnership organization sponsored by the Siena/Francis House Homeless Shelter, a member of the Union for Contemporary Art's Board of Directors and a Mentor in the Joslyn’s Kent Bellows Mentoring Program for young artists. For her work with young artists 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 at Creighton University, teaching courses in Ceramics and Art and Civic Engagement. 

Education

  • Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art (Ceramics and Drawing) College of Fine Arts and Communication, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art (Ceramics and Drawing), magna cum laude Creighton University, Omaha, NE

Publications and Presentations

Publications

  • 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., Creighton University, 2015

Presentations

  • 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 Televison 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

Research and Scholarship

Research and Scholarship Interests

  • 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.

Current Research Projects

  • The history and tradition of functional pottery is intimately tied to the storage, preparation and presentation of food. For the last nine years I have worked with my students to address issues of food insecurity through the CU Empty Bowls Project. Over the years the CU Empty Bowls has raised over $33,000 to aid hunger relief in the Omaha metro area and has influenced me in countless ways. I have spent hundreds of hours discussing the subtle nuances of designing pottery and the joy of eating with my students. On many levels my current studio practice is a direct result of that experience and has reinforced my belief in mealtime as the embodiment of community.

Grant Funding Received

  • Magis Core Curriculum Major Course Adaptation Grant

Awards and Honors

  • 2015 Midlands Mentoring Partnership Mentor of the Year, Midlands Mentoring Partnership, 2015