Courtesy of Nelson Grice
Sculptor Nelson Grice stands with his piece, titled “Hope Born Through Despair.” This sculpture won second place in the Alabama Power Corporate Archives’ 2013 exhibition, “From Black & White to a World of Color. The Power to Transform Through Art.”
Artist Nelson Grice seeks his off-the-wall ideas from the younger generation. He has been a teacher at Hoover High School for 17 years and enjoys helping his students tap into their creativity.
“Teenagers keep me young and inspired,” Grice said. “I seek to break every social chain that holds back my imagination and teach my students to do the same.”
Grice’s art crosses various forms of media. Much of his work is influenced by the Legos and Lincoln Logs he played with as a child. The process of creation and assembling parts fascinates him.
“Sculpture is primarily what you might see in the mainstream, but I paint, print and make jewelry, among other things,” Grice said.
Grice graduated from Berry High School and went on to attend the University of Montevallo with a concentration in ceramics. He later enrolled in the College of Education at Montevallo.
Art is just something that he was born making, he said.
“I have built and created since the day I could lift my hands,” Grice said.
Grice has been married for 24 years and has five children. He believes his family has a powerful impact on his work.
“My inspiration comes from people around me,” Grice said. “My wife has taken care of the basic needs of our family while I may be working late in my studio and has always been by my side through the successes and failures. My kids as children retaught me what a child’s imagination is capable of.”
He describes the process of forming art as exhilarating.
“My favorite part is imagining and then seeing that imagination through the journey of idea to pencil, and ultimately completed and experienced by those around me,” Grice said.
Grice’s work has received widespread recognition. One of his special works includes a clay sculpture of Robert F. Bumpus, which is displayed in the Bumpus Middle School lobby.
Another sculpture honors the four girls killed inside Sixteenth Street Baptist Church during the historic civil rights struggle in Birmingham. Nelson won second place with this piece, titled “Hope Born Through Despair,” in the Alabama Power Corporate Archives’ 2013 exhibition, “From Black & White to a World of Color. The Power to Transform Through Art.”
Nelson’s hope is that viewers will be interested in the animated characters he creates. He describes the greatest compliment he ever received about his work, which signaled to him he was doing what he was born to do.
“Recently one of the board members of the High Museum in Atlanta, Lucinda W. Bunnen, said that in these days with art it is hard to create something new,” Grice said. “She went on to say that I had created something new. I will cherish those words for sure.”
For more about Grice and his work, visit nelsongriceart.com.