Steve Nelson
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Artist’s Statement

“My photographs question the illusion of purpose and function.  What was the function of these spaces?  What will that function be in the future?  Will the spaces ever find a function, or will they continue to decline and ultimately face demolition?  I hope that the questions raised through the photographs contribute the conversation about purpose and function and our perceptions of the past, present, and future conditions.”




Steve Nelson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Art History at Hope College where he has taught photography since 1989. He received a Bachelor of Fine Art Degree in Photography from Western Michigan University before Syracuse University where he earned a Master of Fine Arts in Art Media Studies. His photographs have been exhibited widely, including solo and group exhibitions in Chicago and Grand Rapids Michigan.  His 2013 exhibition in the De Pree Art Center gallery at Hope College “The Gardens of Post-Industry” featured a suite of large format photographs of several of Michigan’s abandoned industrial sites that are being reclaimed by natural forces.

After Operations and Exposure Pathways were developed as part of an interdisciplinary research project, Surrounding Industry, supported by a grant from the Great Lakes Colleges Association through its Expanding Collaborative Initiative.

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