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Reception held for Nelson at CCAC

  • Featured artist Melissa Nelson describers her creative process to art patrons Friday at the Charles City Arts Center. (Press photo James Grob.)

  • Featured artist Melissa Nelson meets and greets people Friday at the Charles City Arts Center. (Press photo James Grob.)

  • The work of artist Melissa Nelson will be on display in July at the Charles City Arts Center. (Press photo James Grob.)

  • The work of artist Melissa Nelson will be on display in July at the Charles City Arts Center. (Press photo James Grob.)

By James Grob, jgrob@charlescitypress.com

The Charles City Arts Center held a reception for New Hampton High School art teacher Melissa Nelson Friday.

Nelson is the featured artist at the CCAC for the month of July. The variety of Nelson’s art on display throughout July includes clay, photography, printmaking, jewelry, paint, ceramics and drawing, among other things. Nelson’s show is entitled “Finished/Unfinished 2.0; Art as an Art Teacher.”

“I teach a little bit of everything,” she said. “I’m lucky enough to teach whatever catches my fancy.”

A native of Union, Nelson turned her initial love of creating artwork in the classroom into a career as an artist and art teacher. While working at Lennox in Marshalltown, she finished her associate of arts at MCC and moved on to the UNI for her bachelor’s in both sculpture and psychology.

Nelson returned to UNI in 2011, and graduated in 2014 with her degree in art education. She began teaching high school art in New Hampton that year. She returned to UNI for her master’s in art education, and just received that degree this past May. She said much of her creativity is fueled by her experiences as an educator.

“I’m inspired by my students, my fellow art educators online and in person, and by all that happens around me,” said Nelson, who will enter her sixth year of teaching at New Hampton when the school year begins.

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