Anya Nelson '22 gets a strong start to a career in art
Studio art and communication major Anya Nelson ‘22 landed a marketing and exhibition fellowship with the Ohio Art Council. OAC recently published an interview with Nelson.
We excerpt it for you below. Read the full interview ArtsOhio Blog meet Anya Nelson.
An art lover, art maker, and photographer from Columbus, Anya Nelson ‘22 is a recent addition to the Ohio Arts Council’s (OAC) Riffe Gallery, joining in June as the marketing and exhibitions fellow.
At Denison, Nelson majored in communications and studio art. It was also there that she started her own photography business.
The fellowship, a partnership between the OAC and the Columbus Arts Marketing Association (CAMA), provides a high-quality, paid professional learning opportunity for those in the early stages of their career. It includes working in the gallery with its director Cat Sheridan, collaborating closely with the OAC’s communications team, and participating actively as a member of CAMA’s board.
For Nelson, it provides the perfect melding of her interests in art, administration, and marketing.
“The arts have always played a major role throughout my life,” says Nelson. “Growing up, I remember always being drawn toward comics, cartoons, and illustration. At the time, I thought my interest would always be a hobby; I never thought I would get the chance to pursue a career that was based in the arts.”
“This mindset changed when I got to Denison, where I was exposed to many different creative post-grad pathways. Through strong connections with artists, studios, and organizations based in Columbus, my experience at Denison extended far beyond Granville.”
The fellowship is designed to give Nelson a lot of opportunities to learn and gain hands-on experience.
“Coming on board exposed me to all the work that truly goes into running a gallery. This involved turning over from the previous exhibition that was going on at the time, Black Life as Subject Matter II, to Watercolor Ohio 2022. The process of turnover involved email campaigns, distribution mailing, and a ton of behind-the-scenes work to make sure the transition between exhibitions goes smoothly.”
“I truly feel like I am gaining mentorship and practical professional experience that I can apply toward my next career opportunity. I am meeting board members, artists, and OAC staff that I would otherwise never have a chance to meet. I’m developing my knowledge about arts grants, gallery work, and arts marketing, which excites me.”
Nelson plans to continue her photography business, GreyGrassPhotography.
“While I was getting my undergrad at Denison, I got very into photography, specifically portrait and commercial shoots. I ended up creating a small company, GreyGrassPhotography. I was mainly shooting senior photos during graduation and doing headshots on the side. Since graduating, I’ve gotten a lot busier, but freelance photography is something I continue to gain inspiration from and do when I can.”