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Juror Profile: Jer Nelsen

Jer Nelsen, the juror for the upcoming Anderson Artists Guild Membership Show, just completed his third year at Anderson University, where he has worked to support the start of a new photography program.


He has a bachelor’s degree from Indiana Wesleyan University and an MFA from Lesley University. A photography class in high school spurred his interest in the field.


He describes his style as “very curious.” He said, “I dabble in a lot of different things that rotate around this theme of wonder and curiosity and the idea of the infinite.” He likes sharp lines and measurements and is particularly interested in scale. “When I’m making artwork, I’m always trying to make something that makes you think of something larger,” he said.


He is currently finishing a six-year project called Ghost Spaces about the collapse of the shopping mall. He traveled across the U.S. photographing malls that were closed or in rapid decline, capturing the abandoned spaces in soft light. “It puts you in a spot that’s apocalyptic with a beautiful sunrise,” he said.


He shoots with a variety of devices, from a 4 x 5-inch view camera to color negative film.


His next project, which is now in the research stage, is about using progressive regenerative AI to create forms. “It’s a little abstract at this point,” he admits.


As a juror, he’s looking for work where “somebody has resolved an idea and used technical abilities to push that idea forward.” He seeks pieces with “a high degree of consideration and craft that come together to make something that shifts people from one place to another, that are visually and conceptually successful.”


His process is to go around the room once quickly and then pull out the pieces that got his attention immediately. Then he goes around a second time more slowly, sitting with each piece to see if something draws him in. He pulls out those pieces, as well. Then he looks at everything he’s chosen and asks, “Did I pull this just because of the colors or contrast or framing, or is there something else here that’s deeper?” It’s those works that have something meaningful to say that make the final cut.


For more information about Nelsen, visit


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