liisa nelson headshot web

Liisa Nelson

Resident Artist Teaching Artist - Current

In this cultural movement towards digital information and virtual connections, among other challenges our society faces, humanity grows hungry for experiences that ground us in our bodies. I sense a collective longing to return to center and re-root ourselves in authenticity.

Humanity and the experience of embodiment is complex and my work echoes its manifold layers. It enacts ambiguity and mystery, pointing to the infinities within each person, each moment: the power, and compassion, and the potential for awakening.

The work references science, math, religion, anthropology, and art history while embracing interstitially and building rhizomatic bridges between disparate ideas. Absurdity arches over fragility, offering and evoking empathy.

Symmetry’s influence in my practice reflects notions of sight and insight, the body, self and other, multiplicity/duality and oneness. I find truth in paradox: the contingency of opposites, the simultaneity of micro and macro, inner and outer. My work is emotional, led by a poetic and nuanced curiosity expressed through material fascination.


Liisa Nelson was born and raised in Montana. The wildness of nature and the quietude of mountains is in her blood.

In 2018 she graduated with an MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. She holds a BFA from Pacific Lutheran University and a post-baccalaureate from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

She has been an Artist in Residence at the Jingdezhen Ceramics Institute (JCI) (Jingdezhen, China) in Fall 2019, and Visiting Artist at The Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) (Beijing, China) in Spring 2019. She has taught at Alfred University and worked closely with students at JCI, and CAFA as a mentor and advisor. In 2020, Nelson founded Theorii Contemporary Art Space, an experimental gallery that is currently transitioning from brick-and-mortar to a digital and pop-up based project.

Her work is in several private and museum collections nationally and internationally.