PaperCity Magazine

January 2018- Dallas

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Page 39 of 83

THE EXPOSED ROUGH-CONCRETE CEILING BEAMS, COLUMNS, AND WALLS WERE BEAUTIFUL; SOME STILL HAD THE ORIGINAL CONTRAC- TOR'S PENCIL NOTES ON THEM FROM 50 YEARS EARLIER. A brilliant colorist with a soft spot for interior decoration, Nelson was in charge of furnishing the apartment, with Tibbs offering advice when needed. Much of what's in her apartment now was originally made for her show at Gerald Peters Gallery, entitled "Homecoming," which emphasized how applied arts and home arts overlap, she says. Nelson and other artists collaborated for several years translating her paintings to tiles, fabrics, wallpapers, hooked rugs, furniture, lighting, and other objects. But the gallery closed suddenly in 2008 before the show opened. (She is now represented by Craighead Green Gallery.) Nelson boxed it all up and put it into storage, waiting for the right time to be used. Now the geometric tiles she designed years ago have been pressed into service as the kitchen backsplash, and a pair of stained-glass column lamps, inspired by one of her watercolor paintings, illuminates a buffet in the dining area. A pair of gorgeous gilt sofas that belonged to her mother is upholstered in green velvet fabric of her own design, custom-fabricated by textile designer Peter Fasano. She made a mosaic coffee table with her grandmother's pearl buttons and hundreds of unclaimed keys given to her by an uncle who owned a dry cleaner's. When morning light streams across the room, that table sparkles with life. It's ironic, Nelson points out, that she originally created all of these pieces for wealthy collectors, not for an artist like herself. "We can't always see what's around the corner," she says. "But what we learn is that it all falls into place." There's an exotic air to Nelson's apartment that's inspired by a lifetime of traveling — she and Bill lived in Germany where he was stationed during the Vietnam War. "We went off every weekend and drove somewhere," she says. The '70s-era white-marble-and-chrome Parsons table and chrome Laverne pedestal chairs in her dining area were bought on one of those jaunts. Later, the couple and their sons moved to Saudi Arabia for several years for Bill's work. "I learned so much about Eastern art history and architecture there," she says. A pair of antique painted doors from Morocco is used as decorative elements on either side of the sliding balcony doors. She's also employed her considerable bargain-hunting skills and keen design eye to fill in with purchases from Target, such as a brass side table, which she placed between a pair of luscious green-velvet barrel chairs from ABC Carpet & Home. Nelson layers various greens throughout her apartment not only 38

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