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 Brittany  Nelson
Brittany Nelson
Assistant Professor of Photography
Courses Taught Darkroom Photography 19th Century Photo Chemical Processes Digital Photography and Printing Contemporary Art Theory

Brittany Nelson (b. 1984, Great Falls, Montana, USA) explores 19th-century photographic chemistry techniques and science fiction to address themes of loneliness, isolation, and distance within the queer community and its parallels with space exploration. She is the recipient of a Creative Capital Foundation Grant in Visual Arts (New York, NY) and a Theo Westenberger Foundation Grant for advancing women in the arts (New York, NY). Her work has been exhibited at Bonniers Konsthall (Stockholm, Sweden), Die Ecke (Santiago, Chile), Sonnenstube (Lugano, Switzerland), The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (Detroit, MI), The Brooklyn Academy of Music (New York, NY), The Cranbrook Art Museum (Bloomfield Hills, MI), The Newcomb Art Museum (New Orleans, LA), The International Print Center (New York, NY), among many others. She has upcoming solo presentations at Le CAP - Centre d’art Saint Fons, France and Fotogalleriet in Oslo, Norway in 2022. Her monograph “Out Of The Everywhere” was released in 2019 by Mousse Publishing (Milan, Italy), and her sculptural book “Monuments to the Conquerors of Space” was released in 2017 and published by Small Editions (New York, NY). Her work has been featured in publications such as Art in America, Frieze, and The New Yorker.

Selected Solo Exhibitions:

The Starry Rift, curated by Stefanie Hessler, Die Ecke, Santiago, Chile 

10,000 Light Years From Home, Patron Gallery, Chicago, IL 

Warm Worlds and Otherwise, Harnett Museum of Art, Richmond, VA (with sound installation by Danishta Rivero. 

Science Fictions, Crush Curatorial, New York, NY 

Conjectures In A Related Field, Reynolds Gallery, Richmond, VA           

Monuments, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA 


The Year I Make Contact, Morgan Lehman Gallery, New York, NY           

Controller, Patron Gallery, Chicago, IL           

Alternative Process, David Klein Gallery, Detroit, MI           

Monuments to the Conquerors of Space, Sadie Halie Projects, Minneapolis,  MN

Selected Group Exhbitions:

Shapeshifters, Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI 

An Infinite and Omnivorous Sky, curated by Kendra Paitz, University Galleries of Illinois State University, Normal, IL 

Urania, curated by Zoë De Luca, Sonnenstube, Lugano, Switzerland 

Cosmological Arrows, curated by Caroline Elgh, Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden 

Parallels and Peripheries, curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Detroit, MI           

Pulled In Brooklyn, International Print Center New York, curated by Roberta Waddell and Samantha Rippner, New York, NY 

Unfamiliar Again: Contemporary Women Abstractionists, Newcomb Art Museum, New Orleans, LA           

New Geometry, Susquehanna Art Museum, Harrisburg, PA           

Out of the Ether, True/False Film Festival with Sager Braudis Gallery, Columbia, MO           

New Photography: Next Wave Art, Brooklyn Academy of Music, curated by Holly Shen, Brooklyn, NY           

Surface of Things, Houston Center of Photography, Houston, TX

Grants and Fellowships

2016: Theo Westenberger Foundation Grant, New York. NY

2015: Creative Capital Foundation Grant, Visual Arts, New York, NY


Headlands Center for the Arts, Artist In Residence, San Francisco, CA, October 2017

Teton Art Lab, Artist In Residence, Jackson, WY, July 2016

Phoenix Art Museum, Stacy Zuber Photography Award, Juror’s Choice Honorable Mention, Phoenix, AZ, 2015

The Print Center, Fish/Pearce Prize for excellence in process based work, Philadelphia, PA

Minneapolis Institute of Art + Site Santa Fe, Collector’s Tour, Minneapolis, MN, 2013

Minneapolis College of Art + Design, Faculty Grant, 2013

Vermont Studio Center, Artist in Residence, Johnson, VT, July 2012

Cranbrook Art Museum + Cranbrook Science Museum, commissioned work, Bloomfield Hills, MI

The Print Center, 86th International Competition, Philadelphia, PA (juror Jennifer Blessing, Curator, Guggenheim)


Visiting Artist Lecture Series, Graduate Studies, Photography, Parsons, The New School, New York, NY, June 15-16 

Panel Discussion and book launch for “Out Of The Everywhere” with Miguel Lopez and Stefanie Hessler, Casa Canibal, Spanish Culturual Institute, San Jose, Costa Rica

Panel discussion and book signing, Out Of The Everywhere, with Stefanie Hessler and Lauren Thorson, Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU, Richmond, VA

Book signing, Out Of The Everywhere, published and sponsored by Mousse Publishing, New York Art Book Fair, MoMA PS1, New York, NY

Guest Lecturer, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA, March 21

Juror and Visiting Critic, “2, 3 and 4 Dimensional Photography: Alternatives Photography Biennial,” University of Ohio, January 24 

Fall Lecture Series, sponsored by the Photography Department, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI, November 29

Book signing, Monuments, published by Small Editions, New York Art Book Fair, MoMA PS1, New York, NY 

Visiting Artist Lecture Series, Graduate Department of Glass, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island, September 20

Panel Discussion, “Contemporary Women Abstractionists,” Amy Ellingson, Brittany Nelson, Anne Vieux, moderated by Monica Ramirez Montagut, Newcomb Art Museum, New Orleans, LA, September 6

Distinguished Visiting Artist Lecture Series, Graduate Studies, SUNY New Paltz, New Paltz,  NY, February 1

Artist Lecture, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, February 9

Visiting Artist Lecture Series, Department of Media Arts and Graduate Studies, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis, MN, September 22

Artist Talk, Creative Capital Artist Retreat, Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, Troy, NY, July 30

Visiting Artist Lecture Series, Graduate Studies, Photography, Parsons, The New School, New York , NY, June 16-17

Artist in Residence Lecture, Teton ArtLab, Jackson, WY, July 14

Invited Speaker, “Science Fiction,” Constructed Realities, Society for Photographic Education National Conference, Las Vegas NV, March 12

Visiting Assistant Professor Lecture, Department of Art Foundations, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, February

Video feature and interview, Creative Capital Foundation, New York, NY, online

Video feature and interview, GalleryLOG, New York, NY, online

Visiting Artist Lecture, Graduate Studies, Photography, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI, September 17

Artist Talk, Creative Capital Artist Retreat, Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, Troy, NY, July 24


2019 Out of the Everywhere, Mousse Publishing, Milan Italy. Edited by Stefanie Hessler, new texts from Lars Bang Larsen, Quinn Latimer, Stefanie Hessler, script by Gordon Hall, with original artworks Danielle Dean, Gala Porras Kim. Designed by Lauren Thorson of Studio-Set

2018 Monuments, risograph printed publication, edition of 100, published by Small Editions, New York, NY

2017 Monuments to the Conquerors of Space, Halochrome and Gelatin Silver prints bound in a sculptural book, Edition of 3, published by Small Editions, New York, NY

M.F.A., Cranbrook Academy of Art 2011
B.A., Montana State University 2007
Contact Information
V213 Visual Arts Building
(804) 662-3397
Areas of Expertise
Contemporary Art Theory