Before arriving to Chicago Mark Nelson traveled extensively overseas with his family. Nelson’s early childhood residencies involved adapting to new surroundings, diverse cultures, and becoming aware of his inherit role as an icon of U.S. occupation. As a North American colonist, the privilege to be a product of the United States carried with it the stigma of the conqueror. A symbol of empirical denial to equity, fair trade, fair politics, and monopoly of resources, Nelson was motivated to validate his life journey through an exploration of projects that have involved inequity in labor, racial profiling, cultural demonization, and economic domination. While his early artwork in Panama was forged in the politically and socially charged arena of a 1970 - 1980’s Central America, it was Nelson’s arrival to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago that expanded his media repertoire. Over the years, Nelson has established himself within the community of Chicago as a laboring artist and teacher.