Artist Biography

    Elise Nyenhuis's work resurrects the discarded remains of the natural world. Her materials begin as fragile and decaying: honeycomb diseased by pesticides, oak bark dead from a flood, burnt wood from a house fire, bones left from a hunt. Working in a variety of visual media and performance, the rebirth is realized through ritual.

      Elise states about her work, "We are constantly surrounded by the architecture of loss-- lost social structure, lost safety, lost natural landscape, lost homes, etc. In the cycles of destruction and regeneration present in nature, we find hope that our crumbling world will also one day be made stronger and better than before. Organic structures are constantly rebuilding themselves, allowing the process of tearing down to dwell within building up. Man-made materials recall the ghosts of the organic. The fragility and strength of our present condition is intuitively communicated as the artwork dwells between destruction and creation."

     Elise currently resides in Minneapolis, MN. She is an Art Advisor at Northwest Passage High School, where she teaches classes in Sculpture, Painting, Performance Art, Drawing, Environmental Humanities, Fire Arts, and Fabrication Lab. She is actively designing and teaching Art curriculum with a STEAM focus, integrating her interests in ecology and science into her coursework.

 Photo taken during residency at Children's Museum of MN

Photo taken during residency at Children's Museum of MN