Sculpture Title: "Freedom 2"
Artist: Judd Nelson
Location: O'Gorman Performing Arts Center
Dimensions: 36h x 12w x 16d
Sculpture Walk Season: 2012-13
Judd Nelson - Interview
Judd Nelson’s sculptures focus solely on American wildlife, specifically the fauna of the North Central region. His pieces are all life size and his style is impressionistic, fluid and spontaneous, and intent upon capturing movement and natural gestures. “The wild animals that are all around us is what influences me the most,” he says.
Nelson has been creating welded and forged animal sculptures since he was 17, and completed his formal training in art at the University of Minnesota. “I got my first set of welding torches at age 17, and I’ve been doing it ever since – almost 43 years,” he says. He has taught at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts as well as in Native American and public schools around the country.
Nelson’s sculptures are made from salvaged and reclaimed steel, which make them environmentally friendly. The durability of the steel lends itself to the natural landscape and requires minimal maintenance. More so, the three dimensional aspect of his sculptures allow viewers to walk around and appreciate them from every vantage point.
“Freedom 1 & 2,” is made out of steel and stands over 3 feet tall. “This sculpture is typical of my work. However, I don’t usually combine people and animals,” he says. “My goal for this piece was to make a positive and uplifting sculpture. I want people to walk away from this sculpture and feel the movement and action of the animal or the person that I am sculpting.”