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Erika Nelson

Lucas, KS

“No one expects anything out of Kansas, so that gives you a permission slip to do whatever the hell you want.”

-Erika Nelson, Wall Street Journal, Feb 9 2010



Erika Nelson is an independent artist and educator, exploring contemporary art forms in the public realm. While living in a vehicle for two years, she explored the nooks and crannies of the United States seeking out the odd and unusual, gathering stories of people who build Outsider Art Environments, as well as Roadside Vernacular Architecture known as World's Largest Things.

She developed her own traveling roadside attraction and museum featuring The World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things, , settling in Lucas Kansas in a house adjacent to S.P. Dinsmoor's visionary folk art site The Garden of Eden.

Her work manifests itself in a series of interesting, innovative, engaging public art projects that incorporate Art into the Everyman's everyday experience.

Through her travels, she has written a Graduate thesis titled Driving Around Looking at Big Things While Thinking About Spam, prepared a full meal utilizing foil and her automobile's radiator and heat manifold, stood on a sideshow performer lying on a bed of nails with a genuine Kansas Cowboy at the last functioning 10-in-1 sideshow in Coney Island, found out whatThe Thing is in southern Arizona, drunk free ice water at Wall Drug, eaten Rocky Mountain Oysters, bought a Genuine Walnut Bowl from somewhere along I-70, seen Rock City, and been stuck in a traffic jam in Branson in front of Yakov Smirnof.