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West(of Eden) Art Show, M. Walker Nelson

1 Main St, Salinas, CA 93901 1 Main St, Salinas, CA 93901
September 21, 2024 - September 28, 2024
  • Recurring weekly on Saturday
  • Location: 1 Main St, Salinas, CA 93901, 1 Main St, Salinas, CA
  • Phone: (806) 290-8081
  • Description:

    M. Walker Nelson will show and speak at the National Steinbeck Center on September 21, 2024.

    M. Walker Nelson
    West(of Eden) Created: 2021-2023
    When faced with moving far from everything she knows or continuing with day jobs that douse the artistic fire, the artist stumbles across the author, John Steinbeck. With his words, she can reframe the definition of beauty, good and evil, power, and the importance of community. She finds her voice and decides to double down and struggle as an artist in Texas while turning down full-time employment with a Fortune 100 company.

    Series West(of Eden): A Tribute to John Steinbeck
    M. Walker Nelson is your average woman struggling to find a place in work, community, marriage, children, and aging. Like many women, she desires to please everyone while exhausting herself. No matter how perfect she tried to be and how she played by the rules, life never cooperated, and years rolled by. She was successful and overwhelmed and recommended antidepressants and counseling. The only answer was to follow her creative visions that attempted to sort it all out. The visual icons were chosen, everyday structures and places that stood watch as she circled, waiting. This work explores the idea of feeling trapped in life and how that plays repeatedly in the mind like a looping video. The paintings utilize analog and digital glitching to symbolize the past and present. The surroundings that drive her to paint may not be extraordinary, but the work exhibits a shared collective subconscious with the viewer. In other words, people always think they know the location of her paintings when, in reality, many are pieced together and do not physically exist as painted. Her most recent series, West (of Eden) 2021-2023, combines the heart of the West with the writings of author John Steinbeck. His words give her hope to celebrate a regular life, and she has found through sharing her work that she is not alone. John Steinbeck taught her that it is okay to be flawed and ordinary. In his books, those types of characters make the best stories.

    Artist Statement and Biography:
    M. Walker Nelson is a working artist specializing in traditional oil painting with a modern temperament. She is highly adept, with over fifteen years of professional art and teaching experience. At the heart of her work, M. Walker Nelson is a master at transforming images and objects of ordinary life into reflections about our complex relationships between ourselves and the mundane. A lifelong explorer of the natural and creative worlds, M. Walker Nelson, has lived in the Midwest, West Texas, and currently in the sprawl of North Houston. She draws inspiration from the stark beauty of Texas's open spaces and the sparseness of the landscape. She is known for semi-urban landscapes and botanicals of the West. She calls her style Modern
    Extinction because she is fervent to capture a rapidly changing world. She has always lived just outside cities and small towns that struggle with economic booms and busts, decade by decade and is intrigued by the marks of time. She earned a BA in Art from West Texas A&M and an MBA from Texas Tech University, where she met her husband. They have two sweet children and a little dog.



1 Main St, Salinas, CA 93901

Museum hours Wednesday – Sunday, 10 AM – 5…

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