Lori Nelson's "Season of the Shutdown"

A selection of works from People's Printshop artist Lori Nelson’s recent solo exhibition, “Season of the Shutdown” that was on view at Arch Enemy Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Five years ago, the long-time New York City native, Lori, and her family decided to venture north, moving upstate to the Catskill mountains. According to the artist, it was on this trip she finally “got” nature. Fast forward to today, and Lori is now an avid mushroom forager and nature guide. She explains, “Every day is still exciting and new. [Surrounded by nature] I’m still like a besotted Freshman at her first prom.” It is that very same youthful fascination for the great outdoors that Lori captures in her work. “I hope to convey the wonder of being out in the natural world and the power that that world will share with us if we only choose it.”

Lori always paints her subjects with a classical beauty, and in this series, her figures express a calm contentment for the natural world they find themselves in. We feel similarly enthralled by her landscapes, which radiate and glow to mesmerize subject and viewer alike. And, it is the innate reverence nature forces us to feel that inspired the series as a whole. The artist writes that one effect she noticed during “the protracted and ongoing pause in which we find ourselves” due to Covid was, in fact, a return to nature. “During the initial severe Shutdown days," she says, "People had only a few choices for how to get by, the most attractive for many being: go outside, go to the forest. Seeing people become interested in foraging and self-reliance has been really exciting to me as I understand the thrill of independence these things bring in a pretty wobbly world.”