permanent / transitory

August – December, 2020

PERMANENT/TRANSITORY is a crowd-sourced collaboration between artist Nina Elder, NEST, The Dairy Arts Center, and YOU.

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”



These public artworks utilize stream of consciousness list-making as a way to think through categories of information and concepts. The lists explore phenomenon, responding to the questions “What is permanent?” for the NEST mural—CASE Building, Room W250, University of Colorado Boulder, 1725 Euclid Ave, Boulder, CO 80309—and “What is transitory?” for the Dairy Arts Center mural—2590 Walnut Street, Boulder, CO 80302. The collected thoughts become large 2D artworks with the words meticulously hand-drawn onto the windows.

The lists are meant to be crowd-sourced to reflect the collective and eclectic reality of our community, and you can contribute to them below by September 15, 2020. The murals will be painted between September 17 and 26, and will be on display until December.

Artist and researcher Nina Elder creates projects that reveal humanity’s dependence on and interruption of the natural world. With a focus on changing cultures and ecologies, Nina advocates for collaboration, fostering relationships between institutions, artists, scientists and communities. Her work takes many forms, including drawings, performative lectures, community projects, and public art. Recent solo exhibitions of Nina’s work have been organized by SITE Santa Fe, Indianapolis Contemporary, and several university museums.Her work has been featured in Art in America, VICE Magazine, and on PBS; her writing has been published in American Scientist and Edge Effects Journal. Nina’s research has been supported by the Pollock Krasner Foundation, the Mellon Foundation and she is an affiliate artist of the National Performance Network. She has recently held creative research positions at the Nevada Museum of Art, the Anchorage Museum, and the University of New Mexico. Nina splits her time between Alaska and New Mexico.

This is made possible with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the “Environmental Futures” Sawyer Seminar at the University of Colorado Boulder.