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K-State Today

January 24, 2012



Department of art instructor completes artist-in-residence fellowship in Ireland

By Nelson Smith

Nelson Smith

Nelson Smith, instructor of art, recently completed a six-week residency in Ballycastle, Ireland, as a Ballinglen Arts Foundation fellow. Smith also was awarded a Lighton International Artists Exchange Program Travel Grant to support this project.

Using James Joyce’s “Finnegans Wake” and Ireland’s peat bogs as models, Smith extended the conceptual and physical layering in his paintings and the mythological/historic connections between those layers during his residency. One painting from the residency has been acquired for Ballinglen’s permanent collection. The other acrylic paintings on oak veneer and vellum will be exhibited in a solo exhibit at the Kidd Gallery at Tiffin University in Ohio. the exhibit opens March 12.

Smith was selected for the Ballinglen Fellowship by peer-review from an international applicant pool. Ballinglen Arts Foundation provides fellows with the time, a cottage living space, studio space, and resources to explore Irish history and culture. The LIAEP grant, selected by the Kansas City Artists Coalition, supported Smith’s extended travel exploring Ireland’s vibrant community of artists and institutions. Smith established a blog to share the process of developing his new works with his K-State students. This blog also provides documentation of Smith’s research of Irish artists and institutions.