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Blake Nellis

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Blake Nellis (he/him) is an artist, educator and improviser who creates work with the body. His work is deeply rooted in human connection, physical touch and nature. His art-making is not about shape, form, technique or physical appearance. The aesthetic is not the priority. The goal is to feel.

Blake’s performance is a ritual, his visual art intuitive. His teaching pedagogy is driven by humor, honesty, empathy and open-mindedness. He graduated from Luther College with a degree in theater/dance. He is a 2021 Minnesota State Arts Board individual support grant recipient as well as the 2019 and 2015 recipient of the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant (photography and dance, respectively). He was also awarded the McKnight Foundation Metropolitan Regional Arts Council: Next Step Fund (mixed media) in 2013.

He has taught, performed and photographed around the globe. He has had work published in SHOTS magazine as well as numerous galleries, curated shows and the Minnesota State Fair (2017 and 2020).

His favorite moments usually include ice cream, laughter, traveling or nature. Or beer. And biking. And/or all of
the above.

One of his most recent creative endeavors was curating and producing his photo series Skin.Rock.Bone into a fine art book featuring images and text from a half-decade of work. This project was made possible through the generous support of the Minnesota State Arts Board and National Endowment for the Arts.

He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his wife and 5-year-old daughter. 


Photographer’s Stories