Meet your neighbor...Eden Neleman, a teen who specializes in art collages
NEW CANAAN — A lot of teenagers got new gadgets or clothes for Christmas. Eden Neleman got a box of vintage National Geographic magazines.
The New Canaan High School junior used the magazines to create collages for her second art exhibit, “Spliced and Divided,” which is on display at The Inn, an independent living facility in New Canaan.
The daughter of a photographer father and a fashion and interior designer mother, Neleman learned bits of the craft from an early age. In seventh grade, Neleman joined Instagram, which sparked her interest in creating her own work after being exposed to other artists.
“Through that, I found my love for photography,” she said.
Two years ago, Neleman saw artists making collages out of their photography, which inspired her to try her hand at the craft.
“Photography is fun, but I wanted to do more with the photos,” the 17-year-old said. “With a photo, you take it and it’s done and with collages, you can move things around constantly. It’s never finished until it’s glued down.”
Located at 73 Oenoke Ridge, The Inn provides carefree, independent senior living and welcomes older adults from all areas.
For more information, or to visit the “Spliced and Divided” exhibit, call 203-594-5450 or visit waveny.org.
Neleman’s works from the exhibit can be purchased for $45 each.
In September, Neleman’s first show of collages, “The Garden of Eden,” was displayed at Bankwell’s New Canaan branch after her neighbor, an employee at the bank, saw Neleman’s work on Instagram. Neleman sold all her pieces in the show’s first night.
“The Garden of Eden” was made up of collages using photographs of Neleman, as well as image from magazines. For this show, the 17-year-old made her collages using only images from old National Geographic issues.
“I used vintage photos, which I think works well,” she said. “I wanted to do something different. I didn’t want to include myself, but do pure collages. But I wanted to do vintage.”
Neleman’s process start
“When I see an intriguing picture, it sparks a whole idea,” the New Canaan teen said. “You envision what you want around it. It’s a free for all.”
Despite the devotion to art, you won’t find Neleman in one of New Canaan High School’s many art classes. During her free periods, Neleman takes orchestra where she plays the cello. She also volunteers at Arts for Healing, a music and art therapy nonprofit in New Canaan, and plans to study art therapy in college. She said that for her, art by itself is not something she’d pursue professionally (though she plans to continue to sell and exhibit her work), but something she does as a break from the pressure of school and life.
“I don’t need motivation,” she said of working on her art during her free time. “I think it’s so fun. I find it relaxing. It’s always a nice break. I find art so calming, almost an escape.”