Debra Elmore-Nesheim is a St. Paul artist and a research nurse whose composite fields of study influence the imagery in her work. From the Colorado Institute of Art, where she studied graphics and illustration, her journey has encompassed routes through anthropology, mortuary science, medicine and ministry. These centers of interest took her from Minnesota to Montana, Colorado, Florida, New Zealand, Peru, Tanzania, Liberia and Washington, DC.
Being informed by each discipline of study is imperative to how Debra works as an artist. Drawing from her design sense and a rich well of information, she creates artwork from disparate sources which she uses to serve the narration of her intent. She recognizes that everything has a story.
Anthropology, the anatomy of cultures in human history, brings a story with every artifact, dwelling place and population. Mortuary Science focuses on the reality of death in the ceremony of life: Each of the deceased has a story. Nursing engages in the preservation of life, helping to restore health to each story. Art addresses the spirit of life by enhancing life stories from within. In all of Debra’s works, one sees symbols from stories inspired by her vision to create doors of perception beyond the collected pieces.
Recent work of hers has been included in faith-based art exhibits in Minneapolis and St. Paul (MN), and Bismarck (ND) where references have been made to Biblical stories, sermons, and mission ministry. One piece has been shown in New York in an exhibit featuring stories of cancer survivors.
Debra was the co-founder of an outreach ministry called artREACH, a developer for the Art of Passage Gallery and a planning participant in the Door2Hope ministry. She is a member of Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA). She is a licensed nurse and works at theUniversity of Minnesota.
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