Quick 5: Riki Kölbl Nelson


ArtsTown recently chatted with Riki Kölbl Nelson, local painter and poet. She’s got a talk coming up on Saturday, April 25 at 1pm, at the Northfield Senior Center for the the regional AAUW meeting: “70 for 70: Art for Girls’ Scholarships”.


Riki Kolbl NelsonWhat are you reading right now?   

Stefan Zweig, memoir published in 1946 (“Die Welt von Gestern”)


What’s your idea of a perfect vacation?

Being in a place of beauty with my favorite family members, particularly my grand daughter


What’s your comfort food?

Griessnockerl Soup, Eric’s chicken soup, avocodoes, creme brûlée


Have you gone to any great shows (music or art related) lately? 

Hapsburg exhibit at MIA, plan to see the Pop Art Show at the Walker and the Morrison exhibit in Minneapolis

What gets you out of your comfort zone, creatively speaking?

Starting on a new series of drawings/paintings or a new artist book


What keeps you inspired?

Other artists/poets

Do you think creating art in a small community affects your style? 



Whose work, most recently, do you admire?

Always O’Keeffe, Matisse… my friend and former advisor: Joyce Lyon


How has your work evolved over time? Or have you evolved because of your art? 

There are subjects/themes in my work to which I circle back, in various techniques and mutations, getting smaller, more layered

What are some of your favorite adjectives that describe you or your art? 

I prefer nouns: I aim for an expression of Energy (ch’i) I like bold colors…and subjects that are close to my heart.


What format or medium are you interested in exploring next?  

I want to embark on a more experimental exploration of texture and abstraction based on the wine cellar door/steps series


What is your idea of the perfect gallery opening or show? 

For a show I want to circle back to my theme of clothing as metaphor, in image and word, apply for a grant, and involve the Northfield community.


Make sure to check out Riki’s portfolio.