Salvaged Landscapes 2022

Exhibit by Trevor Nelson

Salvaged Landscapes 2022 is a photo exhibition created from the vast landscapes of often outdated or unrepairable objects left in perpetual limbo. These abandoned objects stand not only as imaginative compositions of color, form and texture, but allude to a more striking allegory; humankind’s wasteful and careless treatment of the land. In this work, these discarded elements have been recycled and salvaged by way of art.


Weaver Room Gallery
September 9 – November 27, 2022


Opening Reception

During the Art Walk on Friday, September 9th from 5:00-8:00pm.

Artist Statement

Growing up in Montana and living in the West means a lot of windshield time as one drives between places. At times, the view can play like a film experienced at the drive-in theater. Those vast landscapes and seemingly infinite distances — so similar even to the familiar eye become known by their unique elements. Much too often those elements are abandoned detritus — random reminders of days past and forgotten tasks — often outdated or unrepairable objects left in a perpetual limbo. Whether abandoned entirely or intended to be used again in parts for other equipment, their reality is likely one of lost purpose.

Throughout my life I have maintained and nourished my sense of curiosity. This often leads me on quests for beauty. Muted colors, intricate patterns and geometric forms are the important elements I capitalize upon in my work. Structures and frameworks, skeletons of architecture and machinery provide rich compositional opportunities as light and shadow change across a day and throughout the year. The colors shift with the lower angles of the sun and in the winter months. Equally inspired by the abstract photos of Strand and Siskind, the paintings of Mark Rothko and landscapes of Montana’s very own Russell Chatham, I present this collection of images showing the unseen beauty of what has been left behind—not in romanticized portraits of nostalgia or documentary photography, but in abstractions and extreme close-up images that are more informed by abstract expressionist paintings than iconic pictorialist panoramas. They stand not only as imaginative compositions of color, form and texture, but allude to a more striking allegory; humankind’s wasteful and careless treatment of the land. In this work, these discarded elements have been recycled and salvaged by way of art.

Artist Bio

Trevor Nelson is, in many ways, a Renaissance artist. After completing a degree in architecture at MSU, working in the fields of urban design, residential design and construction in Portland, OR, he returned to his native MT to complete a degree in photography. While here, he also worked in advanced printmaking studios, graphic design and was the Art Director of the college newspaper.

From his earliest days with the family Kodak 110 Instamatic, Trevor was a landscape and architectural photographer. However, his current work has refined itself and taken him into an area more akin to abstract expressionism. These abstract, interpreted landscapes are found in the discarded vehicles and abandoned buildings of the American West. Like Michelangelo freeing the figures trapped in the marble, he seeks to expose the beauty hidden in the waste.

Trevor currently lives in Bozeman, MT where he manages the Art, Photo & School Supplies Department of the MSU Bookstore and is a volunteer DJ at the college radio station, KGLT.