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Speaking Of: Kenton Nelson

Kenton Nelson Big Shoes

Kenton Nelson working on “Big Shoes” – Courtesy photo

The Allendale Branch Library’s popular “Speaking Of” series continues with a discussion with Kenton Nelson, the internationally acclaimed visual artist who was born and raised primarily in Pasadena, on Saturday, October 18, at 2:00 p.m., at 1130 S. Marengo Ave., Pasadena. Light refreshments will be served.
Kenton Nelson traces his interest in painting back to his great uncle, Roberto Montenegro, a renowned Mexican muralist and Modernist. Nelson worked as a graphic artist and illustrator for 18 years, before turning his attention to oil painting in the early 1990s. His meticulously-crafted paintings have been exhibited internationally and have been featured four times on the cover of The New Yorker. The style of Nelson’s paintings has its origins in American Scene painting, Regionalism, and the work of the WPA artists of the 1930s. Not unlike the advertisements of his youth, Nelson’s depiction of figures, objects, and architecture idealizes the ordinary, and, as one critic remarked, has “singlehandedly resurrected the sun-drenched optimism of New Deal American painting.” A dedicated preservationist, Nelson is noted for his paintings of Pasadena landmarks, especially the Colorado Street Bridge. In recent years, he has also focused on public art, in the form of mosaics, some of which can be seen around Pasadena. Nelson’s mural about the inefficiency of bureaucracy, originally commissioned for The Rite Spot in Old Town Pasadena, was recently restored and is on view at 800 Degrees Pizza.
Kenton Nelson attended Long Beach State University and the Otis Parsons Art Institute in Los Angeles, and has been on the faculty of both the Otis Parsons Art Institute and the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Recent exhibitions of Nelson’s paintings have been enjoyed from Los Angeles to Stuttgart, Germany and Salzburg, Austria.
“Speaking Of” is an ongoing series of programs which explores the lives and creative journeys of artistic and cultural figures who reside in Pasadena and neighboring cities – people who have left, and are continuing to leave, an indelible impression on the artistic and cultural landscape of Pasadena and beyond.
For further information, contact the Allendale Branch Library by phone at (626) 744-7260 or visit pasadenapubliclibrary.net. More information can also be found at the Allendale Branch Library Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/allendalebranch.

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