Vail Village Arts showcases contemporary landscape artist |

Vail Village Arts showcases contemporary landscape artist

Daily staff report
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily/Christopher Nelson

VAIL, Colorado ” Vail Village Arts will host a one night engagement with emerging Colorado artist Christopher Nelson Monday from 5 to 9 p.m. at the gallery. Nelson’s unique blend of contemporary landscape styling and innovative media manipulation has made him one of the most sought-after artists to come out of the vibrant, Denver contemporary art scene. At just 28 years old, Nelson is a pioneer in working with plexi-glass as his canvas, exploring the traditional Western landscape from a fresh perspective.

Working with the unorthodox media of plexi-glass, Nelson uses various carving and etching tools to ingrain the shapes of his subject matter into the back of the glass.

Through this unique technique, Nelson is able to achieve depth in a two-dimensional surface. He then paints the back of the pieces with acrylic paint in the reverse perspective method ” painting the foremost detail first and finishing with the background. After the painting process is complete, Nelson cooks the glass, allowing the paint to bond to the plexi, and giving the piece its convex shape. Only after the entire process is complete does Nelson peel the protective covering off the front of the plexi-glass to reveal the finished work.

While constantly exploring the boundaries of his creative instincts, he most often uses the traditional landscape of his native Colorado as a jumping off point to begin his manipulation of the realistic. A bold and dramatic color palette sets off the Western landscape in a unique way; some pieces feature red aspens set against metallic backdrops, while others feature realistically colored aspens against gray and gold skies.

Denver native Nelson showed a command of multiple mediums at an early age. His first works hung in galleries in the metro Denver area when he was still a teenager. His formal education continued at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, His work transcends genres and traditional art-world labels. From his contemporary interpretation of familiar landscapes, to his aggressive manipulation of color and abstractions, Nelson’s work is refreshing and new.

“I would like to express the way I view things in nature as my inspiration,” Nelson said. “I see most things as taking on kind of a human role. I try to think of everything as an embodiment of someone, and use these things in a piece similar to actors in a play. This way of thinking keeps me appreciative of all things, and inspires me to continue casting new ‘characters’ into my work. Also, being a professional musician through all of my career as an artist has allowed me the opportunity to explore other ways of expressing my emotions. Having this other creative outlet seems to translate directly on to my art work, as I have my music studio close at hand within my work space. Day to day I work on pieces in the art studio, and when I feel like I’m losing inspiration, I walk into the next room and open my heart and brain to my music. I return with a feeling of enlightenment and revitalization, with a new perspective toward a work in progress.”

For more information on the show, visit or call 970-476-2070.

What: Christopher Nelson art exhibit.

Where: Vail Village Arts, 122 East Meadow Drive, Vail.

When: Today, 5 to 9 p.m.

Cost: Free.

More information: Visit or call 970-476-2070.

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