I am Kris Nelson, the "CHAIR LADY". I have been painting chairs since 1996. I have tried watercolor, stained glass, weaving, pottery and quilting but found my true passion with chairs. It started with two bedroom chairs that I wanted to paint to match my quilt. It has now grown way beyond that. I have 200 chairs in storage that are waiting to be painted. My repurposed chairs range in styles from antique to modern. I use acrylic paint with 3 coats of poly to protect them. I have now completed over 500 chairs. My goal is to complete 1,000 before I turn 100 years old!
My subject matter varies from animals to people to scenes to social commentary. My chairs tell a story. Each chair has a personality and I try to match the style of the chair to my composition. I will never go back to painting on canvas. The chair is my canvas. I find it more challenging and interesting to paint on a three dimensional surface. I have to be constantly turning the chair around to consider all angles at which it will be viewed. I hope my chairs will make a difference by taking something ordinary and making it extraordinary. I want to excite the imagination and stimulate the emotions of my viewers.
AWARDS / INSTALLATIONS
2019 - MERIT AWARD - ARTISTS OF MN - "CAIRN AND CATTAILS"
2017 - MERIT AWARD - ARTISTS OF MN - "THE KILLING CHAIR"
2015 - MERIT AWARD - ARTISTS OF MN - "TULIP CHAIR"
2013 - "HEALING CHAIR"- CLOQUET HOSPITAL - PERMANENT COLLECTION
2009 - HOPKINS CENTER FOR THE ARTS- HONORABLE MENTION - "DEATH OF A MARRIAGE" CHAIR
2008 - MN STATE FAIR BLUE RIBBON WINNER - "NOT MADE IN CHINA" CHAIR
2020 -2001- DULUTH ART INSTITUTE, MN
2020 - ZEITGEIST, DULUTH, MN
2019 - PINE KNOT - CLOQUET, MN - SOLO
2019-2018 - DYLAN FEST, DLULTH , MN
2018 - 315 GALLERY, DULUTH, MN
2017 - LIZZARDS, DULUTH, MN
2018 - 2015 - ARTISTS OF MN
2016 - APOPKA CITY HALL, FL - SOLO
2016 - 2013 - BIG LAKE ART FAIR, MN
2016 - 2014 - MOUNT DORA CENTER, FL
2014 - RED MUG, WI - SOLO SHOW
2014 - UUCD, MN - SOLO SHOW
2012 - HOPKINS CENTER, MN - SOL0
2020 & 2010 - MPLS INST OF ARTS, MN
2009 - WASHBURN MUSEUM, WI
2008 - PARAMOUNT GALLERY, MN
Publications / Press Releases
May 10, 2019 - PineKnotNews - "Chairs make the canvas"
Feb. 17, 2019 - Duluth News Tribune - "A well seated conviction"
Oct. 9, 2016 - Duluth Budgeteer
News - "Shakespeare Inspires Local Artists"
Jan. 2016 - Apopka Newspaper
March 29, 2012 The Pine Journal -
"The Chair Lady Comes to Churchill"
Jan 15, 2009 - Duluth News Tribune- "Cloquet woman tells stories with paint and chairs"
Fall, 2008 -Overseas Adventure Travel Magazine - China chair featured that won Blue Ribbon at Minnesota State Fair
Mar 6, 2008 The Reader - "Featured Artist - Kris Nelson"
May 2, 2003 Duluth News Tribune - "DAI art auction thinks small - about 7 inches"
July 31, 2002 - Pine Journal - People www.cloquetmn.com "These works of art will have you 'sitting up' and taking notice"