In Her Element – A Conversation with Chloe Nelson

While moseying around one of my favorite spots in Minneapolis – the Walker Art Center – Chloe Nelson caught my eye. Admittedly, I was on the lookout for individuals who illuminated a kind of natural sense of style. I hoped to find someone who didn’t look as though she spent hours getting ready in the morning. Ms. Nelson, an employee in the Education and Public Programs department at the Walker Art Center, exudes a natural beauty aesthetic that fits into what I hoped to find. I spoke with Chloe about her experience as a recent Minneapolis transplant, her favorite things about fall, and her style choices.

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LM: With the changing seasons in Minnesota, there’s oftentimes an awkward transition. What do you like about fall?

CN: I like all of the trees changing colors. I’m really excited for fall because I was in California last year and, you know, there’s really not that much of a change, but in Minnesota you get those dramatic seasonal changes and it’s really visible. It smells different – it smells like pumpkins, it smells like fall…

LM: And are you from San Francisco?

CN: I’m from down the peninsula.

LM: Some of our ArielSimone team is down in San Francisco. What is different here in Minneapolis verses in California when fall arrives?

CN: Well, I feel like California is generally more… sporty. I’m from Silicon Valley so …I feel like I had to dress casual and dress, you know, like jeans and sweaters. And I feel like because people know that it’s going to get really cold in Minnesota they, dress more playfully and more….more to American roots. Like plaid and…

LM: Here?

CN: Yeah, I would say that. I mean, San Francisco is different than the peninsula, obviously. But I would say people dress pretty similar in areas in San Francisco and Minneapolis, but obviously it gets a lot colder here so you need to brace yourself.

LM: And this fall, is there anything that you’re doing particularly different for your style?

CN: I was going to try to wear more neutrals. To wear greys and blacks and browns.

LM: Which you’re doing today…

CN: Which I’m doing today, I want to simplify my wardrobe. I’m trying to pare down my wardrobe, to make things have lots of different iterations.

LM: Cool. And, how does working in a museum that is very contemporary, you know impact what you wear.

CN: I think that you want to look nice. You know, I think you see a lot of cool clothes and interesting patrons and interesting art and I think that there’s constantly … just a creative energy that you want to … be a part of it. It’s encouraging, but it’s also very non judgmental, too. So I think that’s awesome.

LM: Awesome. (Pointing to bracelets) Betty …. Who is Betty?

CN: Betty is my grandmother. These are both from her. And this was a friendship bracelet with some of her friends. It’s from 1943.

LM: Oh my gosh…

CN: And, when she passed away my Mom gave it to me. And a lot of people think it’s for like penicillin allergy or something, but…it’s just a little thing. I like delicate jewelry.

Paralleling her love for delicate jewelry choices was Chloe’s overall unassuming, minimalist vibe from head to toe. She offers us a great reminder of the beautiful simplicity in going back to the basics for fall.

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Until Soon,

 

Lauren Miller

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Discovering That the Journey is Apart of Me Too

As I walked through the empty halls of the Walker Art Center yesterday morning contemplating what I would write about in this first blog, the sound of my stilettos “click clack” echoed through the museum, forewarning the guards that the girl who wears heels everyday to work is here. Since this is my first blog, I thought it would be nice to tell you about the journey that ultimately brought me to this amazing contemporary art museum.

I wasn’t always into art and fashion. As a matter of fact, in high school I broke every fashion rule imaginable. I thought by shopping at Bloomingdales, wearing DKNY and Tommy Hilfiger, I was being a fashionista (I will spear you with pictures from that era of my life). In college I was as lost as every other 18-year-old, trying to figure out the path to take that would lead me to become someone I wanted to be. Eventually I settled on Marketing, Art History and French, knowing that would provide me the perfect alibi to study in France for a year, which was a dream come true. In Paris, I was thrown into the world of Louis Vitton, Christian Dior and of course the mother ship, Chanel. I was fascinated with the black turtlenecks, the wool pencil skirts and the impossibly hard task of walking in heels on cobble-stoned streets.

Returning stateside a year later, I was a different woman. Yes, a woman who experienced the European sophistication of cigarette smoking while having a Café au Lait, museum and art gallery hopping, tragic heartbreaks and using random French words in my conversations. After graduating from college, I craved more of that glamour so I enrolled into Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York to obtain a master’s degree in Art Business. Another whirlwind of fabulous blurs later, I find myself unemployed with three undergraduate degrees and a master’s degree.

The Walker Art Center could not have came in a more opportune time, as I find myself once again looking for direction, I was offered a position in Museum Development and Corporate Sponsorship. I immediately jumped on that train, and know that this is the new beginning of my big adventure and I wasn’t going to miss a minute of it. Now my days are spent researching artists and exhibitions, prospecting sponsors for the museum and of course, my favorite: special events. Recently I worked on the first annual gala and the graphic design’s after hours party among many many corporate cocktail parties thrown in between.

The point is, as important as the destination; the journey makes you who you are. So go for it, whatever it is your contemplating, go for it. I can’t guarantee you’ll end up exactly where you want to be, but I can say this: you’ll enjoy being yourself a heck of a lot more!


by Annie Zhang