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At the Edge of All We Know: Art + Design Professors Exhibit in Vandiver Gallery

February 22, 2023
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Professor Jer Nelsen of the South Carolina School of the Arts is pictured with the exhibit, open to the public during February 2023 in the Vandiver Gallery of Thrift Library.

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As a newer member of the Art and Design faculty in the South Carolina School of the Arts at Anderson University, Jer Nelsen, who teaches photography, was asked to share some of his work. 

“I took the opportunity to look back at the last 10 or so years of my work and look at what the themes were–work having to do with the edge of knowledge and where are the places we go beyond that we can concretely know,” Nelsen said. “I saw it as a great opportunity to bring in a lot of work from colleagues and fellow artists in order to sort of have my work be in conversation with their work.” Among collaborators in the show are an array of SCSA Art + Design faculty: Jessica Swank installed one of her pieces titled, “Human,” faculty members Michael Marks and Bethany Pipkin collaborated on an AI-based work, and Zac Benson worked with Nelsen to create a sculptural piece.

Within the space of the gallery, viewers are greeted with a wide array of objects, prints, sculptures and installations. A space blanket undulates at the direction of an oscillating fan. Hundreds of feet of receipt paper drape from the ceiling, and an assortment of cubes and projected images fill the space. Each artwork within the gallery seems to invite the viewer in to explore or question both the “what” and the “why” of its existence. “I really want viewers to feel like they can participate in the work. There needs to be a sense of curiosity and wonder if we are going to ask the big questions about the limits of knowledge and the realm that lies beyond it.”

“It ended up being more of a well-rounded show,” Nelsen continued. “For a photography professor, there isn’t a lot of traditional photography on the walls, but a lot of it is designed for somebody to go and say ‘what am I looking at?’ and then as they look at the work, there’s a certain joy in actually discovering what it is.”

This exhibit is open to the public during February 2023 in the Vandiver Gallery of Thrift Library.

The Department of Art and Design offers majors in Photography, Art Education, Ceramics, Graphic Design and Painting & Drawing. Students have won numerous awards and graduates have gone on to work in major global companies. Details about the Department of Art + Design Program can be found online


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