Willowtail Springs Nature Preserve and Education Center

Willowtail Sculpture GardensOpening Reception & FundraiserSunday, May 19 | 2:00 - 5:00pm

Integrating the Arts and Natural Sciences

Nina Elder

Nina Elder

Nina Elder
Artist, Painting, Drawing
2015 Willowtail Scholarship
Nina is the Director of Residencies at Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe, NM

Her current series is challenging, provocative and exquisitely beautiful. She is an excellent lecturer and would bring a broader “world view” to the Four Corners. She is fast becoming a recognized world class artist.   She is young, extremely gifted and a passionate speaker.  She loves Willowtail and is willing to speak to groups in this area.

“I examine the visual evidence of land use in the American West and its cycles of production, consumption and waste. Through the vernacular of landscape painting, and using parking lots, bombing ranges and junk heaps as my source material, I explore the delineation between land and landscape, beauty and banality. My work scrutinizes the aesthetic mitigation that often camouflages humanity’s dependence on nature.  I respond the place where the organic and the artificial rasp against each other.  This post-industrial landscape is the physical manifestation of modern needs, economies, policies and powers, yet I approach it as a pure spectacle.  I aspire to elucidate and aestheticize the friction, grandeur, mystery, frankness, degeneration, necessity and beauty in the contemporary American landscape.”

During her time at Willowtail she completed one of her large pencil drawings from her series of work from Kennecott Mines throughout the world, including Peru, China and Chile. She hikes extensively to these sites to gather material.  She is also working on Anchorage Museum’s Polar lab and has done many photographs, drawings and paintings of cold war era radar communications sites in Alaska.

“Willowtail is a space of great intention. The founder’s care and vision are ever present-from the framing of the landscape through the windows, to the wending through the woods, to the picturesque accommodations.  My days at Willowtail were balanced between reading next to the fireplace, drawing in the studio, and snowshoeing around the property.  Even though the views were expansive, I was deeply focused and without distraction during my residency.  I had set very ambitious goals, and I not only met them, but exceeded them and became deeply enchanted with the land and logic of Willowtail!”

Nina Elder Contact Info