ACG 150

Dr. Jennifer Nelson

Assistant Professor, Visual Arts, School of Fine and Performing Arts



University of California, Los Angeles
MFA, New Genres

San Francisco Art Institute 
BFA, New Genres


Jennifer Nelson co-developed the Visual Arts program at The American College of Greece, writing many of its founding and validated curricula. Her broadly applicable, experimental and interdisciplinary approach has also made her classes a requirement within multiple departments within the College. She recently served as a curricular advisor for the new Cinema Studies Program. Her classes dealing with audio-visual and new media look at technology holistically, exploring new expressive paradigms with an eye to the long-term impact on human culture and the environment.

Nelson danced with the Feld Ballet in New York and the Ballet du Grand Théatre in Geneva, Switzerland, and studied New Genres at the San Francisco Art Institute and the University of California, Los Angeles, where she received her MFA.  She has exhibited in museums and festivals in the Americas, Europe and Asia, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Kunsthalle Duesseldorf, Museo MADRE in Naples, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens, the State Museum of Contemporary Art in Thessaloniki, and the Galerie Nasional in Jakarta.  Her most recent project, Waste (Inheritance),  was featured in a 6-month participatory performance and film project at the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens ΕΜΣΤ. Nelson was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003. Her work was recently purchased for the collection of the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens.

She frequently collaborates with artists, experts from diverse other disciplines (chemistry, Special Weapons And Tactics, music therapy, permaculture) and with underserved communities. She is a co-founder of the Guerrilla Optimists, an improvisatory, urban intervention art collective. She has also worked in collaboration with men from the Second Chance School in Korydallos prison and with residents at Nestor 1st Psychogeriatric Boarding House of Athens, both with the National Museum of Contemporary Art’s educational program EMST without borders. In Nelson’s cross-disciplinary artistic practice, she is committed to the playful realignment of social spaces through collective initiative and to the transformative possibilities of the individual act. Her deep-rooted interest in co-creation, and its political, aesthetic and social possibilities, extends throughout her practice as artist and teacher. Among many influences, her work has been significantly shaped by her direct personal experience with disruptive or transitional world choreographies. Having lived and worked in multiple countries, she has a lived understanding of fragile resources, natural and human, and the global sculptural flow of power and matter. These global flows must be linked and translated to a bodily scale for ethical action to begin. She is currently working on a film about environmental grief, produced by the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, with additional support from The American College of Greece.


Artist in residence–Grand Central Art Center, Cal State University Fullerton, 2019  Andy Warhol Grant awarded to the Arizona State University Museum “Social Studies” Artist Residence Program for 3 artist projects that include Nelson’s Securing a Free State: The Second Amendment, 2011

Guggenheim Fellow for Visual Arts, 2003

Artist in residence- Stiftung Laurenz-Haus, Basel, Switzerland, 2003



Nelson, Jennifer, ‘Waste (Inheritance)’ Reports, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens EMST blog, March-November, 2022

The Dreamer’s Handbook, The Guerrilla Optimists, BOZAR / Outset.Greece, Athens, 2014.

The Limerick Cookbook, Nelson, Jennifer / Kotsaras, Dimitri, ISBN: 978-960-6654-85-5, e v + a Ireland, Futura Athens, 2008

Reality Needs Changing, Nelson, Jennifer, ISBN: 3-907053-28-1, Memorycage Editions, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, 2003


Exhibitions/Festivals/Film festivals (Selected)

[1] National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens EMST:

Jennifer Nelson, Waste (Inheritance), A Public Negotiation with the Repressed 

[2] Art Space Pythagorion, Samos: Handmade, On the Social Dimensions of Craft

[3] Natural History Museum of Crete: Sleepless night/Nuit Blanche

[4] Goethe Institut Athen: Everything is in a State of Change, Jennifer Nelson / Janis Rafa

[5] Athens Conservatory: Anatomy of Political Melancholy II

[6] Grand Central Art Center, 20th Anniversary

[7] London Greek Film Festival, Experimental section

[8] Official Selection, Democracy is a Party 

[9] Minikino Film Festival, Experimental Section, Bali Indonesia

Official Selection, Democracy is a Party 

[10] Museo MADRE and State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki:

Transit-4, Project Room, Kotsaras and Nelson / Tibaldi

[11] ASU Art Museum Social Studies 7: Jennifer Nelson Securing a Free State: The Second Amendment Project         

[12] The Box Gallery, Los Angeles: Ring / Nelson For The Birds

[13] National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST): Expanded Ecologies: Perspectives in a time of  crisis

[14] Open Art Gallery, Beijing: Open Art 10th International Performance Art Festival, Week 6

[15] Thessaloniki International Film Festival, Experimental Forum

[16] BOZAR, Brussels: No Country For Young Men: Contemporary Greek Art in Times of Crisis

[17] 2nd Athens Biennial: Heaven live

[18] Benaki Museum: (Out)topias, Performance and Public Space

[19] De Young Museum, San Francisco: Social Dream Lab ( From Athens, Greece)