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Free Art For Everyone In Bozeman? Ole!

Once again wee readers, you get it first. The Art Crossing article hath arrived, you lucky little art connoisseurs.

Eric “Ole” Nelson is a man with whom you are familiar. If you have ever looked up at a local business sign downtown, chances are you have viewed one of his attractively sculpted love children of steel and light. Ole has been crafting steel for nearly two decades in Bozeman and loving it. Imported from Madison, WI after meeting an alumni from MSU in his youth, Ole moved Westward to study graphic design at MSU.

He began his process with all hand-welded pieces, eventually scooping an introductory position at Ridgeline Metal Art, where the need for a plasma cutting table operator with no experience and an artistic background swung the door wide open for his current career. A love for this technology and steel became Ole’s motivation across the next few years as he graduated and got right to work. The locations of Ole’s work are far too numerous to name in entirety here, but believe you have appreciated them outside maybe the Co-op downtown, or that jewelry shop you love so much.

The numerous and incredible brain-spawn of our friend is indeed everywhere. These pieces all originate from his studio in an abandoned sign warehouse (fortuitous? By definition.) Walking into the studio is an interesting experience at first, standard artistic madness abounding from every shelf and table, but when the neon signs get tickled into action it lights up with the same exuberant crackle one might expect in the bowels of an eastern European castle, high atop a peak that villagers refuse to speak the name of. Luckily this mad scientist holds sole interest in artistic expressions of beautiful positive and negative space for Bozeman. Sturdy and memorable, Ole’s pieces stand proudly year round in the art crossing, braving the drunken mounting of many and the collective awe for the unique. The next time you find yourself in Soroptimist Park or outside Starky’s downtown, gaze upon these mighty and stark pieces (Fishface and Treesail) before wandering upon your merry way.

The Art Crossing exhibit hosts a variety of artwork introducing viewers to many artistic approaches. The goal of the program is to add at least one piece to the permanent collection each year and expand further throughout downtown, hopefully bringing unique works to optimal locations. The entries for this year will be posted on the Art Crossing website and opened for public voting until the installation date. We prefer this level of community involvement and interaction for the art that we are placing for the public’s benefit.  The involved fundraising behind the Crossing incorporates a variety of techniques and entities such as community challenges and the solicitation of individuals and businesses for contributions, not to mention the hours of work from the board and volunteers.

There you go me hearties, enjoy the photos. Peace.

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