Born 1986 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Lives and works in Chicago, Illinois


MFA in Fiber and Material Studies, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2012
BFA in Interdisciplinary Sculpture (cum laude)
Maryland Institute College of Art, 2008


Chicago Artist's Coalition Maker Grant Finalist, 2013
Stellar Scholarship, ACRE 2012
Janet & Walter Sondheim Award Semi-Finalist, 2009 

Interdisciplinary Sculpture Departmental Recognition Award, Maryland Institute College of Art, 2007
Academic Merit Scholarship, Maryland Institute College of Art, 2004
Trustee's Award, Maryland Institute College of Art, 2004


Plaines Project / Chicago, IL 2012

We Have Been to the Forest and Found it Lacking
Storefront installation
Labrabbit Optics / Chicago, IL 2010

Whim Jobs
WE LIVE IN NY $ LA / Chicago, IL 2010


The Bridge PAI / Charlottesville, Virginia 2013

Mix Factory / Brooklyn, NY 2013

trying to be cute bc the abyss
Co-Prosperity Sphere / Chicago, IL 2013

DePaul University Art Museum / Chicago, IL 2012

Roxaboxen Exhibitions / Chicago, IL 2012

School 33 / Baltimore, MD 2011

Current Gallery / Baltimore, MD 2011

MFA Thesis Exhibition, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Sullivan Gallery / Chicago, IL 2011

Janet & Walter Sondheim Prize Semi-Finalist Exhibition
Decker Gallery / Baltimore, MD 2009

The Point!
(producer and director)
A puppet musical adaptation of Harry Nilsson's album The Point!.
In collaboration with Dan Breen, Jeanne-Marie Burdette,
and the Baltimore Annex Theater
The 5th Dimension / Baltimore, MD 2009

For Decorative Purposes Only!
Performance and installation booth created in collaboration with Hannah Brancato
Midway at Artscape / Baltimore, MD 2009

An individually curated section of MICA's 2008 BFA Thesis Exhibition
Maryland Institute College of Art / Baltimore, MD 2008

Corner Store (FUF 2008)

Solo street performance at Pedestrian Services Exquisite
Load of Fun Gallery / Baltimore, MD 2008

Puppets in Performance: Cardboard, Shadows, Sheets, Strings and Suitcases
Performed with Puppet Uprising at a one night event curated by Beth Nixon, in conjunction with "The Puppet Show"
Institute for Contemporary Art / Philadelphia, PA 2008

Epicenter for Short-Lived Phenomenon
Middendorf Gallery at Maryland Institute College of Art / Baltimore, MD 2007

Exposition / Exhibition

Centre pour l’art et la culture / Aix-En-Provence, France 2007


The Nature of Things
Pattern Drafter / Seamstress
2011 - Present
Created patterns and garments from original designs by fibers artist, Sandra Adams.

Maryland Institute College of Art
Visiting Critic in Interdisciplinary Sculpture

School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Teaching Assistant for Intro to Fibers
2010 - 2011
Demonstrated fiber techniques such as crochet, knitting, machine-sewing, and dyeing to undergraduate students. Engaged students in critical discussions about contemporary art, craft, and theory.

School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Teaching Assistant for the First Year Program Core Studio
2009 - 2010
Instructed students in a broad range of processes including sewing, carpentry, figure drawing, and graphic design. Supervised the woodshop, performed maintenance on tools, and kept inventory of supplies.

Baltimore Annex Theater
Collective Member / Set Designer / Props Master
2008 - 2010
Designed and built props, sets, and costumes for Annex productions. Performed in numerous plays including Faustus, Space Ghost, and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Directed and produced a full-scale puppet musical of Harry Nilsson’s The Point!

Kenneth and Elizabeth Lundeen Properties Intern
2008 - 2009
Manufactured props for use in CENTERSTAGE performances using techniques ranging from carpentry and upholstery to graphic design.

Maryland Institute College of Art
Teaching Assistant for Interdisciplinary Sculpture
Demonstrated techniques such as carpentry, sewing, mold-making, and Photoshop to foundation-year students while fostering student's conceptual development and critical engagement.

Parkett Publishers
Editorial Assistant
Copy-edited drafts of articles. Kept office organized. Communicated with artists, writers, and galleries to facilitate issue 77 of Parkett Magazine.


Teaching, Sewing, Carpentry, Upholstery, Garment Construction, Painting, Drawing, Graphic Design, Performance, Puppetry, Video, Printmaking, Set Design, Costume Design, Moldmaking, Crochet, Knitting, Writing, Editing, Public Speaking.


DePaul Art Museum, Afterimage Exhibition catalog. "Ellen Nielsen" by Elizabeth Chodos, 2012

Monsters & Dust, Issue #3 "Flowers" 2012

Newcity Art, "Portrait of the Artist: Ellen Nielsen" by Lee Colon, 2012

This Here Photo, "Ellen Nielsen Studio Visit: Beyond Velvet" by Alex De Leon, 2012

Mildred Pierce Issue #4, 2011

Beautiful Decay Magazine Online, 2010

Ruby Mag Issue #44, 2009

Bad at Sports Weekend Pick, 2009

Baltimore Sun, "Giving Props to the Proper Props" by Mary McCauley, 2008