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University Art Galleries Welcomes Artist Nina Elder as Virtual Resident and Muralist

Nina Elder, smiling at the camera wearing glasses with large, clear frames. The University Art Galleries welcomes Nina Elder as a virtual resident April 19-23 as part of Vermillion Earth Days week.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota Art Galleries is proud to welcome multi-disciplinary artist and researcher, Nina Elder, as a virtual resident April 19-23 as part of Vermillion Earth Days week. An artist lecture is planned for Monday, April 19 at 2 p.m. via Zoom.

“The main goal of my visit is to do writing workshops with diverse students. These will focus on the question of ‘What sustains you?’ said Elder. “I will create a series of questions, which will prompt students to consider their environment, culture, education and selfhood.”

The data collected from these 30-minute workshops will become the content for Elder’s “Lists” mural that will be located in the Akeley-Lawrence Science Center. Elder will visit USD’s campus in June 2021 to create the mural.

“We are so fortunate to have this opportunity to work with Nina and for USD to be a location for one of Nina’s ‘Lists’ mural,” said Amy Fill, director of the University Art Galleries. “Public art is valuable to the aesthetic, cultural, economic and the quality of life in our communities, and it stimulates learning and the exchange of ideas. USD students will work directly with Nina to create the content for the mural in Akeley-Lawrence. This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to engage directly in part of the process of a public artwork.”

Elder is an artist and researcher based in New Mexico whose work focuses on changing cultures and ecologies. Elder advocates for collaboration and fostering relationships between institutions, artists, scientists and diverse communities. Her research has been supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation, the Rauschenberg Foundation Award for Arts & Activism, the Pollock Krasner Foundation and the Mellon Foundation.

Elder’s virtual residency and mural is a collaborative effort between the University Art Galleries and the USD Department of Sustainability & Environment and is supported by a South Dakota Arts Council grant.

For a link to the artist lecture, email or call 605-658-3437.


USD's College of Fine Arts encourages students to pursue their chosen professional field in art, music or theater through their study with nationally recognized faculty who are working professionals. Students learn and grow to be professional fine artists with great job potential anywhere in the country. The college offers opportunities for additional real-world experiences through work with guest artists, study tours abroad and opportunities at the National Music Museum and the University Art Galleries on the Vermillion campus and the Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park. The college brings more than 80 guests artists to campus annually to work with students.


USD's College of Arts & Sciences offers students a top-notch undergraduate liberal arts education in the humanities, social sciences and sciences as well as graduate programs that have earned USD distinction as a research university by the Carnegie Foundation. The college's more than 22,000 alumni include famous journalists, Hollywood screenwriters, novelists, a Nobel Prize winner, South Dakota governors, attorneys, physicians, justices of the state Supreme Court, distinguished university faculty and international humanitarians.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News