Open to the public: October 16th & 17th / 12-8pm
* Masks will be optional as this is outdoors. Social distancing is encouraged using common sense. Hugs may be exchanged between mutually agreed upon individuals.
CONNECTION TO PILSEN:
I relocated from Panama in the mid 80's to continue with my studies in art. I was promptly invited into the community of Pilsen to participate with several artists who similarly came to Chicago for like reasons and purpose. In 1998 I took up permanent residence on 21st street where I made a home and studio workspace and my daughter to adulthood. I am one of the original artists grouped by Hector Duarte and Linda Lutton together with other neighbors and friends I have grown older with. Pilsen has fulfilled the empty space in my heart that I would have otherwise lived out by returning to Panama.
Mark M. Nelson (born 1957) is an artist whose work is exhibited internationally. Nelson's style has been described as "socially critical, prolific, and satirically expressive."
Nelson grew up in the Panama Canal Zone. He attended the Panama Canal Zone College, then later the National University of Panama, and the National School of Plastic Art in Panama where he explored painting, printmaking and theatrical design at the Ancon Theatre Guild, under the direction of Bill Gonzalez. In 1984 he moved to the United States to study at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1986. He remained in Chicago to complete his Masters in Fine Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where his studies culminated with a decade of interdisciplinary art installations.
Nelson taught in the Chicago public school system as a resident artist and permanent instructor for 30 years and as well as an adjunct instructor at various colleges in the Chicago area.
In 1998, Nelson acquired his GringoLandia Studio, and took up permanent residence within Pilsen Historic District. Nelson has been involved with the Pilsen artist community since the mid 1980s, and one of the original participating artists of the 18th Street Pilsen Open Studios. Nelson's public works include his F22 DairyAir Enforcer from the 1999 "Cows on Parade" public art project, “Tamarindo” mural in Oak Park, IL, Lighthouses on the Mag Mile and a canvas mural entitled "Jesus Lizard on the Banana Channel" purchased by the U.S. State Department and installed in the new U.S. Consulate in the Republic of Panama.
Nelson is a recipient of numerous awards and grants including a two time awarded Fellowship by the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship.