18th Street Pilsen Open Studios


Gringolandia Studio

Home Studio


Mark Nelson

Paintings, Mixed Media


Every participating artist is asked to talk about their connection to Pilsen. And if new to the neighborhood, to describe what drew them here.

This is what Mark shares with us:

"Original participating artist with 18th ST. Pilsen Open Studios. Permanent resident who lives and works in my studio."

Click on Image to enter Mark's photo gallery.


“Nelson’s work was forged by his childhood experiences overseas. Raised as a Colonial American outside of the continental U.S., his international travels culminated in a near twenty-year residence within the Republic of Panama where he developed an interest in visual and performing arts. Nelson returned to the USA to finish his formal education in the 1980’s at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, followed by an MFA at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Nelson’s work can be found in private and public collections that includes a canvas mural in the US Embassy collection in the Republic of Panama. Nelson has also participated in several public projects such as the Cows on Parade and Lighthouses on the Mag Mile.  Mark Nelson has been a resident of Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood artist community at his Gringolandia Studio for 22 years and a participant in the 18th Street Pilsen Open Studios. “


Dia De Los Muertos: The Art Center Highland Park, IL (curated group)
Where’s the Revolution? Bridgeport Art Center, Chicago, IL (collective
Sólo un poco aquí: Dia de los Muertos: National Museum of Mexican Art - Chicago, IL 
Humanity Amorphic: Evanston Art Center - Evanston, IL (SOLO)  
Art in place: CNL Projects - Chicago, IL (International collective)


Human Rights: Uri Eichen Gallery - Chicago, IL (collective)
Confessions of an X-Zonian: Triton College Art Gallery – River Grove, IL (SOLO) 
Journey to Korea: OPEN Ctr for the Arts - Chicago, IL (collective)
Fall Show: Oak Park Art League – Oak Park, IL (collective)
Journey to Korea: OPEN Ctr for the Arts - Chicago, IL (collective)
Colectivo: Triton College Art Gallery – River Grove, IL (collective)
Safe Passage: Chicago Teachers Union - Chicago, IL (loan)
Made in Pilsen XIV: Prospectus Gallery - Chicago, IL (collective)
Narratives of Necessity: Three Seeds Gallery - Chicago, IL (SOLO)
From the Vault: Prospectus Gallery - Chicago, IL (collective)
Opalescense: Oak Park Art League, Oak Park, IL (collective)
One Inspired Evening: Inspiration Corp - Chicago, IL (curated)
All Politics are Local: Jackson Junge Gallery - Chicago, IL (curated)


Homecoming: Oak Park Art League – Oak Park, IL (members)
Made in Pilsen XIII: Prospectus Gallery - Chicago, IL (curated)
Cardboard Show: Co-Prosperity Sphere - Chicago, IL (curated)
 Sounds of Music: Jackson Junge Gallery - Chicago, IL (curated)
Invisibilia: Governors State Univ. Art Gallery - Monee, IL (juried)
From the Vault: Prospectus Gallery - Chicago, IL (curated)
Lighthouses on the Mag Mile: “Dream” 626 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL
Fox River Arts Ramble 2018: Gallery 1904 - Aurora, IL (invitational)
Steam Punk Show: Triton College Art Gallery – River Grove, IL (invitational)
14th Annual Benefit: Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art - Chicago, IL
 Sounds of Painting: Prospectus Gallery - Chicago, IL (SOLO)
Identity/People: Gallery 1904 - Aurora, IL (collective)


Superstitions portfolio: Coronado Print Studio, New York, NY (curated)
Chornobyl - artists respond: Ukrainian Institute of America, New York, NY (curated)
Jazz Record Art Collective: Fulton St. Collective - 3/22/17, Chicago, IL (invitational)
Witness: the artist's response: Elephant Room Gallery - Chicago, IL (juried)
College Art Faculty Invitational: Gallery 215 - NIU at Dekalb, IL (juried)

Traditional to Contemporary: Oak Park Arts League, Oak Park, IL – (juried)
Inequity Reversal: West Suburban Medical Center, Oak Park, IL (solo)
Democritique; Hairpin Arts Center, Chicago, IL - Curated
Members Show; Oak Park Arts League, Oak Park, IL - juried
Art on Cardboard Show; Bridgeport Art Center, Chicago 
ConTextual; Oak Park Arts League, Oak Park, IL - juried
Made in Pilsen XI: Prospectus Art Gallery, Chicago - Curated
Triumph over Chaos: Vleck Gallery - Catholic Theological Union, Hyde Park, IL
Chuee Taxua: Ferguson Art Gallery - Concordia Univ. Chicago, River Forest, IL
Endangered Species: Prospectus Gallery, Chicago, IL (SOLO)
Places Spaces: Oak Park Art League, Oak Park, IL
2nd Annual Educator Show: Bridgeport Art Ctr., Chicago – Honorable Mention


Art on Cardboard Show: Bridgeport Art Center, Chicago, IL (collective).
Chuee Taxua: Museo de Arte Indígena Contemporáneo en Cuernavaca Mor., Mexico - (Curated)
La Muerte Nina/Dia de los Muertos: National Museum of Mexican Art-Chicago, IL (Curated)
Made in Pilsen X: Prospectus Gallery - Chicago, IL (Curated)
Folktales and Legends: John Michael Kohler Arts Center - Sheboygan, WI (juried)
Climate Crisis Solutions: Water Street Studios Gallery, Batavia, IL. (Juried)
Art Educators Show: Illinois Institute of Art, Chicago. (Collective)


Annual Cardboard Show: Project Onward-Bridgeport Art Center; Chicago, IL (collective)
So Much More: Swedish Covenant Hospital; Chicago, IL (juried collective)
Made in Pilsen IX: Prospectus Gallery, Chicago, IL (curated)
Southside MANIFESTO: Co-Prosperity Sphere; Chicago, IL (collective)
Survival, Spirit, ... Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art; Chicago, IL (4 person show)
Artists on Board, ... Reverie Gallery-Lacuna Artist Lofts; Chicago, IL & Portland, OR  
Paraná; Paperish Mess, Chicago, IL (Installation)
Gestos Graficos: Rene Arceo and Friends; Bridgeport Art Center, Chicago, IL (collective)


CTU Strike 1yr Anniversary Art Show: URI-EICHEN Gallery; Chicago, IL (collective)
Haiyan Relief Fundraiser: Co-Prosperity Sphere; Chicago, IL (collective)
11th Annual Cardboard Show: Bridgeport Arts Center; Chicago, IL (collective)
Made in PilsenVIII: Prospectus Gallery, Chicago, IL (collective)
Passages: Swedish Covenant Hospital, Chicago - Juried (collective)
Indecent Liquidation: Prospectus Gallery, Chicago - 1 Person Show 
One Inspired Evening-Benefit: Stephen M. Bailey Auditorium, Chicago - Juried (Collective)


Made in Pilsen VII: Prospectus Gallery, Chicago, IL
Hanal Pixan: food for the Souls; National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago
*A Conspiracy of Silence; Triton College Gallery, River Grove, IL
We are the Awakening, 6902 N. Glenwood, Chicago, IL
Keepers; National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, IL
Santitos Portfolio; Casa Tres Mundos, Chicago, Granada, Nicaragua (Traveling group show) 


*Reverse Engineering; Carlos & Dominguez Fine Arts Gallery, Chicago
Made in Pilsen; Prospectus Gallery, Chicago, IL
Testimony of Being; Swedish Covenant Hospital, Chicago - Juried 
Arceo Press Print Portfolio; Ferguson Art Gallery, Concordia Univ., River Forest, IL


Made in Pilsen V; Prospectus Gallery, Chicago
From the Wash; Antena, Chicago 
Collective Show; Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago


Collective Show; Casa Aztlan, Chicago
Mutations; Douglas Park Field House, Chicago
Made in Pilsen IV; Prospectus Gallery, Chicago
Peace in Pilsen Benefit Auction; Carlos and Dominguez Fine Art Gallery
End of the 80´s; Avram Eisen Gallery, Chicago
Los Artistas de la Calle 18; World Gym-Pilsen, Chicago
One Inspired Evening-Juried Benefit; River East Art Center, Chicago 
Celebration 2009; Prospectus Gallery, Chicago 


If Artist Ran the Media; C33 Gallery, 33 East Congress Ave., Chicago 
*Art of the Ride: Motoworks Chicago - SOLO
Experiencing the War in Iraq: Machines with Magnets, Pawtucket, Rhode Island
30 Years and Moving On: Prospectus Gallery, Chicago
Made in Pilsen III: Prospectus Gallery, Chicago 


Collective Show: Colby Gallery, Chicago
18th St. Pilsen Open Studios: GringoLandia Studio, Chicago
Pass it On: Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art; Chicago
Mural Acquisition: Permanent Collection for U.S. Embassy, Panama
Made in Pilsen 2: Prospectus Gallery, Chicago
*Dusk to Dawn: Cafe Duvall, Chicago - SOLO
Kigali Rwanda Benefit: Univ. of IL at Chicago
POLVO Benefit: 18th Street, POLVO, Chicago
Art of Teaching: Gallery 37 Center Space, Chicago


Made in Pilsen: Prospectus Gallery, Chicago
Chicago Art Open: Zhou B. Art Center, Chicago 
Bare Walls: SAIC - 847 W. Jackson Bldg., Chicago
Beyond Teaching I: South Shore Cultural Center, Chicago
Beyond Teaching II: Cafe Mestizo, Chicago
Beyond Teaching III: Casa Michoacan, Chicago
Greed: Pilsen Cultural Celebration: Harrison Pk, Chicago
Opt-in: Chicago Music Garage, Chicago
The Art of Teaching: Gallery 37 - Center Space, Chicago
*Navigating the Landscape: Prospectus Gallery, Chicago – SOLO


Classic Cymbals: Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, Traveling exhibition through 2006
Art for Animals Auction: Chicago Cultural/Center Tree House Animal Foundation
18th St. Pilsen Open Studios: GringoLandia Studio, Chicago
Hometown Video Festival: Alliance for Community Media, Monterey, California
Eminent Domain: Pilsen Cultural Celebration, Harrison Park, Chicago
POLVO Benefit: POLVO, Chicago 
Chicago Homeland Expo: McCormick Center, Chicago - SOLO
Art of Teaching: Gallery 37 Center Space, Chicago
Cardboard 2: Birdhouse museum installed on S. Morgan St., Chicago


Chicago Art Open: Vietnam Veterans Art Museum, Chicago
Artist as Terrorists 2: POLVO, 18th St, Chicago
Art and War: the artists voice Aldo Castillo Gallery, Chicago
War and Peace: Gallery 415, Chicago
Portraits of Imagination: CCT Gallery, Chicago
Barewalls: SAIC 847 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago
18th St. Pilsen Open Studios: GringoLandia Studio, Chicago
Tu Casa es Mi Casa: POLVO, Chicago


Alas de Papel: 2000-2004 Montreal, Mexico City, Cordova, Chicago, Managua
Chicago Solution Show: Gallery on Lake, Chicago
Globalization Show: Hothouse Gallery, Chicago
Chicago Art Open: 847 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago
Art & Industry: Union Street Gallery - Chicago Heights, IL
Bare Walls: SAIC-847 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago
Urban edge: BAAC, Barrington, IL
Visual Candy: Butcher shop, Chicago 
Artist as Terrorist: POLVO, Chicago
The El: Hothouse Gallery, Chicago
Artists against the War: Chicago Athenaeum-Museum, Schaumburg, IL. 
18thSt. Pilsen Open Studios: Gringolandia Studio, Chicago
The Art of Teaching: Gallery 37 Center Space, Chicago 


Udderly Suite: Chicago Historical Society - Museum
Casa Michoacan auction: Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, Chicago
SPECTRUM: Chicago Athenaeum-Museum, Schaumburg, IL
Sept. 11 Show: Chicago Athenaeum-Museum, Schaumburg, IL 
911 Show & Erotic Show: JettSett Gallery, Chicago 
Bare Walls: SAIC- 847 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago
Chicago Art Open: 847 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago
The Art of Teaching: Marwen-833 N. Orleans, Chicago


Hemingway Show: Hemingway Museum, Oak Park, IL
Art for Sara’s Sake: Swedish American Museum, Chicago
Operation Icarus: Gringolandia Studio, Open-air installation launching 
24th Annual Exhibition: Beverly Art Center, Chicago


Chicago PingPong 2000: Pump Station Gallery-Water Tower, Chicago Public Art Program
Absolut Visions-art 2000: Gwendajay A. Gallery, Chicago
The Midway Show: Las Manos Gallery, Chicago
*Tales from GringoLandia: Harry S. Truman College, Chicago – SOLO


Sightings: Gwendajay A. Gallery, Chicago
Cows on Parade: Hancock Tower Building on Michigan Ave., Chicago
*Original Recipe: Builders Bank, Chicago 


Chicago Art Open: 847 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago
Against the Nightstick: Casa Guatemala, Chicago
Bok Guai: A.T.Coyote Festival, Chicago
*GringoLandia HeirLines: Chicago Public Library, Chicago - SOLO
Collective Exhibitions: Las Manos Gallery, Chicago


West Town Realty Scandals: A.T. Coyote Festival, Chicago 
Lost and Found: Gallery 7000, Chicago 


Americana Show: Imperfect Fluids Gallery, Chicago
GringoLandia 22: A.T. Coyote Festival, Chicago


Erotica Show: Naked “I” Gallery, Saint Charles, IL
Full Box/Empty Culture: Process Bldg., 935 N. Damen, Chicago


Mr. Whitey's Wild Ride: Crux Gallery, Chicago
Disco Gazebo: APO Bldg., 18th St., Chicago
Red Line: Feral Dog Gallery, Chicago
New Art Examiner Auction: World Tattoo Gallery, Chicago
Collective Show: LayAway Gallery, Chicago


ReCycle America: Reicher Gallery-Barat College-Lake Forest, IL North Pier, Illinois St.- Chicago
Collective Show: Beret International Gallery, Chicago
Artist-in-Residence Show: Oak Park Civic Arts Council, Oak Park, IL


GringoLandia II: North Lakeside Cultural Center, Chicago
Collective Show: Erie Street Gallery, Chicago


*GringoLandia: ARC Gallery RAW SPACE, Chicago - SOLO
Your Message Here: Randolph Street Galley, Chicago
*Terratenientes: Galeria Uniques, Panama City, R.P. – SOLO


13th Annual Competition: Beverly Art Center, Chicago
Prints by Illinois Artists: State University of New York, Stony Brook, NY
Artists Define Furniture: ARC Gallery, Chicago
Landscape/Mindscape: ARC Gallery, Chicago
Black and White Show: ARC Gallery, Chicago


Modern Love: ARC Gallery, Chicago
N.A.M.E. Re-Membered: 203 W. Lake St, Chicago
Art Fun/Life Serious: Prairie Avenue Gallery, Chicago
The Historical Moment: Gallery 400, UIC, Chicago
15 Years 15 Walls: ARC Gallery, Chicago
*The Incredible Museum: A.M. Ward Gallery, Chicago – SOLO


Hung Jury: NAB Gallery, Chicago 
Chicago Transit: Prairie Avenue Gallery, Chicago
11th Annual Exhibition: Beverly Art Center, Chicago
Dia de los Muertos: Objects Gallery, Chicago


Two by Two: International Art Expo - Navy Pier, Chicago
American Artists in Panama': U.S. Embassy Residence, Panama'
Subasta Pro Museo: Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Panama'


*Mark Nelson '84: Teatro Anayansi, ATLAPA Center, Panama'- SOLO

ArteGulf 83: Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Panama'

2015 Project Micheaux – Donorschoose.org
2014 Photography Program Award – Chicago Photographic Society
2013 Oppy Award – Oppenheimer Family Foundation
2012-2013 Intuit Teaching Fellowship, Intuit Center, Chicago
2008 Teacher of Distinction, Golden Apple Foundation 
2006 1st Place-Art of Teaching, Gallery 37
2005 Honorable Mention-Hometown Video Festival
2005 2nd Place-Art of Teaching, Gallery 37
2003, 1991 Illinois Arts Council Fellowship
2003 First Place Award, Barrington Area Arts Council
2003 Academic Achievement through the Arts-CPS 
1999, 2002, 03, 04,06, 08 Chicago Foundation for Education 
1997, 96, 2001, 04, 06 Chicago Cultural Affairs CAAP 
1997 IAC Special Assistance Grant 
1993, 94, 2001,02 Chicago Cultural Affairs NAP 
1997, 99, 02, 03, 04,06,07,08 , 09,10,11,12,13, 14, 15, 16 Oppenheimer Teaching Grant 
2001, 2002 CPS Art Enhancement Grant 
2008, 2012 Donors Choose Funded Teaching Projects


10-20-19 Badass Teachers Association – CTU Strike Artistic Representation 
10-16-16 Vocalo Radio 91.1 FM, Chicago - artists exchange ideas on social issues
10-11 Arte del Barrio -Univision, Enrique Ortiz - Emmy Award Recipient 2012
10-08 1Tail.com/sa/news - Oct 2 
11-07 La Raza, Chicago
7-07 La Prensa, Panama'
5-06 Chicago Artists News
6-02 ArtScope.net
9-99 Sun Times
4-99- Hyde Park Herald
5-99 Lerner News
4-93- Chicago Tribune
4-93- Chicago Sun Times
4-93- New Art Examiner, Chicago 
6-91- Chicago Reader 


2012 Video Shorts for MNRR-NPS, Youtube.com/missouririvernp 
2011 Pancho," the art of Francisco Mendoza, Chicago CAN TV April
2010-2011  Video Shorts for PEFO-NPS, Youtube.com/petrifiedforestnp
2006 Chicago Artists Resource: Artist Story: Mark Nelson
2000 Urban Art Chicago: Olivia Gude and Jeff Huebner, Ivan R. Dee: Publisher
1999 Cows on Parade in Chicago: Neptun Art Press
2005 Vecinos: Hometown Video Festival, Olympia-Washington & Monterey, California
2004 Comcast Cable Stations (11 Chicago Suburbs, Chicago CAN TV-Ch.21, 
Meztli Cinema/Gallery; 556 W. 18th St., Chicago, POLVO; 18th ST., Chicago


University of Illinois at Chicago (MFA) 1988
School of the Art Institute of Chicago (BFA) 1986 
(42 hrs Post Grad. Credits 1996-2013)
Canal Zone College, Panama (AA) 1982
Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas, Casco Viejo – Panama 1982-83
Universidad Nacional de Panama' - Facultad Arquitectura 1981-82