Local artist Victor Nelson attributes a career in architecture as inspiration for his artwork in contemporary sculpture. Mr. Nelson was the featured artist for the month of February at the Evanston Public Library, where six of his abstract metal sculptures were on display.
Mr. Nelson incorporates geometric design, architectural form and an artist’s eye to create manipulated and shaped metal sculptures that allow the viewer to see the object from various and intricate angles.
Born and raised in Evanston and an alumnus of Evanston Township High School, Mr. Nelson says he has been interested in drawing and artistic expression from an early age. He pursued an advanced art education and obtained a bachelor of fine arts degree from Drake University in 1960. Mr. Nelson says three dimensional and geometrical form piqued his interest in the fine arts program that later led to a career in architecture.
Mr. Nelson worked in the space-planning division of a Chicago architectural firm and after receiving his architectural license, he founded his own architectural firm, V. Nelson Associates, in 1989.
One of his most striking sculptures, “Red Flags,” is a collection of five bars that are joined at right angles, each with a flagged metal top. The piece was on exhibit in Grand Rapids, Mich., as part of the Artprize competition in 2011. Mr. Nelson says “Red Flags” is one of the few pieces that he completed with color. After experimenting with several colors, he ultimately chose the color red. “With color, it has more movement, and I liked it better that way,” he says.
Mr. Nelson continues to live in Evanston and takes classes regularly at the Evanston Art Center. He says he hopes the exposure to the public will help him to create more pieces and eventually turn his work into a business.
“I’d like to get into different shows and start working on a larger scale,” says Mr. Nelson. He says he enjoys seeing the public art pieces that are around the City and one day would like to create a larger outdoor piece for the community.